Archives 2016

Tara Luanei: the mysterious land in Buzau

Mysterious is the best word to describe the land in Buzau Mountains, known as Tara Luanei (The Land of Luana). The name of the area is related to a legend known by the elders who used to live in the villages around. Luana, supposed to be of Sumerian origin, was the name of an old wise man who used to reign the land and a fortress. According to the legend, he also knew the cure for death, a cure connected to the healing springs in the area.

Legends and superstitions are woven around this region with ancient rupestrian paintings, plateaus with rocks which actually grow, instead of decreasing their size from erosion and places where paranormal activity has been reported. Tara Luanei is a less accessible but magnetic place near Bucharest, the part of Geopark Buzau which defines the area around the Bozioru, Nucu, Alunis, Colti localities in Buzau county.

Rupestrian settlements in Nucu-Aluniș

In the area of Bozioru-Alunis-Nucu localities lies a rupestrian settlement with 29 dwellings. The most known piece of this complex is the 700 years old church in Alunis village, one of the few places dug in rock where religious ceremonies are still held. The settlement is classified as an A class historical monument, some of the dwellings dating from the sixth century BC, while others from the Christian or early Christian period. In one of the caves – Fundul Pesterii – researchers have identified iconographical documents of over four millenniums.

Babele in Ulmet

Despite common knowledge, the rocks in Ulmet grow and even multiply. In scientific terms, the trovants (by their geological name) are supposed to be a transition form between mineral and vegetal. But they never cease to amaze, some people believing they have supernatural origins or that they are the evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life. Located on an isolated, sand plateau they have a strangely well burnished surface, with forms varying from perfectly oval to the shape of a mushroom or a flying saucer. The tallest rock in the formation has a height of two meters. They are called Babele due to their resemblance with a better-known rock formation of the same name in Bucegi plateau. You can get there taking the road from Bozioru village to Valea cu Teiu, going up towards the ridge of the rock formation.

Amber Museum in Colti

Six kilometers away from the rupestrian settlements lies Colti, locality famous for its yellow amber collection. Amber is an organic semiprecious stone resulted from the fossilization of several pine species dozens of years ago collection. The collection in Colti is unique in Romania and one of the few of this kind in the world. The most remarkable piece is an amber clod of almost 1.8 kg.

How to get there:

From Bucharest: Bucharest – Urziceni on Eurpean road E60, Urziceni – Buzau on European road E85, Buzau – Parscov on national road DN10, Parscov – Buzioru on county road DJ203L

From Brasov: Brasov – Parscov on national road DN10, Parscov – Buzioru on county road DJ203L


Accommodation nearby:

Check out hotels and guesthouses in Buzau on our dedicated section

Europe’s giants in Romania: bison reservations

Romania is one of the few places in Europe where the bison (bison bonasus) still lives. This amazing species dominating the deciduous forests in medieval Europe is almost extinct now, as there are only about 5.000 bisons in the world.

In Romania, they were re-introduced when the first two animals were brought from Poland and kept in the Haţeg – Slivuţ reservation. According to WWF, in the spring of 2015, a new group will be brought in Tarcu mountains in order to grow the bison population in Romania up to 500 individuals until 2022.

Dragoş Vodă reservation – Moldavia


Address: 2 Zimbrului St., Vânători Neamț locality, Neamț county

How to get there: Take the county road from Târgu Neamţ tothe Neamţ Monastery. At about 1,5 km, turn left.


Haţeg – Slivuţ reservation – Transylvania

This is the oldest bison reservation in Romania.

How to get there: Located in Hunedoara county. On the road from Haţeg to Strei turn left at an indicator. You will reach the location after approximately 3 km. Find here the location of the reservation on the map.


Neagra reservation –Bucşani

This reservation has the largest number of bisons in Romania.

How to get there: Located in Dâmbovița county. Take the DN72 roadfrom Târgovişte to Ploieşti, then the county road from Adânca to Bucşani. Pass Bucşani, enter Răţoaia and turn left at the church. Drive or walk forward until you reach the reservation.


Valea Zimbrilor (Bison Valley) – Brașov

Open in 2008, it has a family of 5 bisons, donated by three zoos in Europe.

How to get there: Located in Brașov county. Take the national road 10 from Brașov to Buzău and turn right when you reach Brădet, on the road 103A. Cross the Acriș locality and as you head for the other end of the locality, you will find Valea Zimbrilor on the left side of the street.

(photo credit: Michael Gäbler, Wikipedia)



Deva fortress reopens for visitors

The Deva fortress, one of the most important medieval fortifications in Transylvania, is set to reopen in April, after three-year long restoration works.

The fortress was closed between 2007 and 2012. Refurbishment works restarted in 2013 at two of its precincts, according to local media reports. These are the first restoration works conducted at the fortress since 1849, when the site’s ammunition deposits exploded, destroying the eastern side of the monument. The works were financed with funding coming from the European Fund for Regional Development and the Deva city hall.

The Deva fortress was erected during the 13th century but living traces on site date back to the Neolithic. Its first documentary mention is made in 1269, followed by another mention in 1444 when prince Iancu de Hunedoara receives the fortress ‘with all of its riches’, meaning 56 villages and gold mines. During the second half of the 17th century, prince Gabril Bethlen built here a bastion serving as prison and torture place. At the foot of the bastion he built the Magna Curia palace, a Renaissance-style building. In 1784 the fortress served as refuge place for the noblemen escaping the revolt led by Horea, Closca and Crisan. Around 1817, emperor Francis I of Austria had the place refurbished, with works on site lasting for 12 years.

The monument is accessible by foot but also with a cable car, running between 09:00 and 21:00 May through September and 08:00 to 20:00 October through April.

How to get there:

From Bucharest, you can take the E81, the DN1/E60 and DN1/E68 or the DN1/E68 as shown here. Once in the city, the fortress can be found behind Stadionului St., as shown here.

Photo source:

Prislop Monastery, popular pilgrimage spot in Romania

For almost seven centuries now, Prislop monastery has been one of Romania’s most important spiritual points. Located at an altitude of 640 m and a distance of almost 15 km from Hațeg, a 500 years old locality in Hunedoara county, in the past years it has become a very popular pilgrimage spot for both laic and religious Romanians. The main reason is that here lies one of the country’s spiritual leaders during Communism, monk and priest Arsenie Boca, said to have made wonders and guided people closer to God. It is a certainty that he was persecuted by the Communist regime at that time, forcing him to secretly practice his duties as a priest.
The Prislop monastery is also known for hosting a Saint Mary icon said to have made wonders, as well as the icons hand painted by Arsenie Boca, orthodox leader whose name is deeply tied to the rebirth of the monastery.
According to the legend, princess Zamfira, the second founder of the monastery, was ill when she arrived at the Prislop monastery and was cured by the water she drank from the monastery’s spring.

For more details, visit Prislop Monastery’s facebook page.

Tourist attractions nearby

Sarmizegetusa, Corvin Castle, Dinosaurs Geopark in Hațeg, Retezat National Park and the Deva Fortress

How to get there
The shortest route, from Bucharest: take the E81, pass Pitești and Râmnicu Vâlcea, enter Brezoi locality and continue on road 7A. When you reach Petroșani, take road 66 until you reach Hațeg (town in Deva county). From there, take the road 687 which reaches the Prislop Monastery.

Sarmis Cristal Guesthouse
Address:Str.Progresului Nr.57, Sarmizegetusa, judetul Hunedoara.
Phone: 0754.030.337

Casa Cânda Guesthouse
Address: 190 Strada Principala, Salasu de sus
Phone:0740 132 925

Hotel Diamond & Complex Ovi
Address: Lacului St., Cinis, Hunedoara county
Phone: +40757 102 850

Expat Fair 2 Bucharest 2016, April 16, Willbrook Business & Convention Center

Expat in Romania? Have no worries! You are not alone! We invite you to the most important event designed especially for you, the Expat Fair. Here you can connect with your new city, learn about the expat lifestyle, add value to your new experience and expand your personal and professional network.

JOIN US on the 16th of April 2016 at the second edition of the  Expat Fair in Romania. The one and only event that will offer you all that you need from the expat community to start up your new life in Romania.

The Expat Fair is the ideal event for the expats who want to have a smooth transition into a new country. It answers an increasing need for a fast and unimpeded integration and creates meet-and-greet opportunities for the expat community.

Still in doubt? Take a look at the first edition, and see how it was, through the “window” we open here for you.

The fair will be hosted by Willbrook Platinum Business & Convention Center – a venue embraced by the Baneasa woods, an elegant project in which environmental considerations contribute to a fundamentally superior building: more comfortable, more efficient and more appealing.

We are welcoming all internationals who live, work and study in Bucharest, both newly arrived expats and long-standing residents, individuals, and families alike.

Enrich your knowledge about the Romanian culture, have a look at the stands of different service providers and their special fair offers, get informed, join the customized workshops, meet new people at the casual networking session and discover what Bucharest and Romania have to offer!

See below the workshops confirmed so far:

Culture & children’s play – the importance of an international environment and how this affects play;
You better jump –  From expat to being a part of the community;
How to become a hero as an expatriate – by making yourself replaceable;
Living and working in Bucharest as a foreigner in 2016 – is it cool or overestimated? a panel discussion with insiders on expat experiences in Romania.

You can do all of the above under the guidance of our confirmed partners so far, such as: King’s Oak –  British International School, ICUnet.AG, Hotel Cismigiu, Gosselin Mobility Romania, Grecu & Asociatii, JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel, DSBU – Deutsche Schule Bukarest, Questfield, AISB American International School of Bucharest, AmCham- American Chamber of Commerce Romania, Santa Fe Relocations, AGS Movers Bucharest, Rilvan Moving & Relocations, My Romanian Store, Nordis Expat Properties,Terra Carpatica, Ramada Hotel & Suites Bucharest North, BWFR Business Women Forum Romania, City Compass Media/, AlphaCab, Club Snagov, PQB Communication Designers, Eventbook, Eventlink360, Ametras, Roedl&Partner, Smybox, Consuela Dezso, Alexandra Pasca Photography, Kathrin Weident Photography, Willbrook Platinum, Flavours Food Design and more.

The Expat Fair is organized by the City Compass Group – a ‘feel at home in Romania’ service provider for over eight years, with top quality English-language media – online & print, customized city tours and team building services and intercultural consulting.

The event is warmly supported and endorsed by several embassies, expat communities and corporations that gather a large number of expats.

Don’t wait for too long, take action today and join us!

Corvin Castle: the standing legend

Best-known for the shivers sends tourists down their spine, Corvin Castle is one of the most important tourist attractions in Transylvania. Also known as Corvins’ Castle, Hunyad Castle or Hunedoara Castle, it is the largest medieval building in Romania still standing. With 42 rooms, two terraces, two bridges (of 55 and 30 meters), 7.000 square meters of built surface and a tower 72 meters high, it has an aura of an unbeatable fortress.

The Gothic-Renaissance castle, most probably built in the XIV century, has managed to defy wars, fires and generations for hundreds of years.  Host of imprisonments and even executions throughout time, it gave birth to dark legends of killings and sufferance. Vlad the Impaler is said to have been imprisoned here by Iancu de Hunedoara, the ruler who owned the property at that time, reason for which the castle ended up being associated with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, although the writer sketches another location for his setting, closer to Moldavia. Another legend is the one of the twelve Turkish prisoners who were promised they would be set free if they dug a well 30 meters deep and to whom, after 15 years of work, liberty was denied. It is said that the inscription on a wall “you have water, but no soul” belongs to them.

During modern times, several well-known film productions chose Corvin Castle as setting, some of them portraying world or Romanian historical characters: François Villon, Vlad Tepes, Mihai Viteazul, Alexandru Lapusneanu, David, The Damned Kings, Vlad, Jacqou le Croquat, Blood Rayne.

The Corvin Castle can be visited every day, from Monday to Sunday during 09:00 – 17:00 (last entry is 40 minutes before closing time). Entry fee is 25 lei for adults and 5 lei for students and pupils. An audio guide is available for Android and iOS phones, you will pay 6 lei for it.

If you are looking for a very special place for an event, it is good to know that the castle administration is open to renting: the wedding chapel is 800 RON/hour, while castle festivities cost 1.200 RON/hour.

For more information on the facilities, check out the official website.


How to get there


1-3 Castelului Street, Hunedoara city, Hunedoara county

GPS coordinates:

Latitude N 45 45.006
Longitude E 22 53.302

Road access:

From south: E79 via Targu Jiu – Petrosani – Deva

From north: E79 via Oradea – Beius

Romania’s Semmering: the oldest mountain railroad

The first mountain railroad in Romania was built in 1863, during the reign of the Austrian Empire in Banat, the country’s western region. Located between Oravița and Anina, it is unique in Romania and falls into the A class category of historical monuments.

The Oravița — Anina mountain railroad is also known as Banat’s Semmering, in comparison with the similar, but famous Austrian railroad. Today, Banat’s Semmering is still considered to be a masterpiece in railroad constructions, unique in Romania and south-eastern Europe. It has 14 tunnels dug in hard rock, ten viaducts and four train stations, on a 33, 4 km route with a level difference of 340 meters. The railroad has cuts into rock totaling 21 km and support walls on a length of 10 km. But the great art of the construction lies in its slope of 20 per thousand, compared to the other railroads which have a slope of 14 per thousand.

The beauty of the landscape throughout the route is breathtaking in any season. “Throughout the road, the beauty of the landscape goes hand in hand with the thrills each unexpected kilometer gives: tunnels dug in the mountain rock, viaducts over deep valleys and open crossings.” says Prof. PhD. Gheorghe Popovici in his book on the mountains in Banat region.

Today, the train traveling this route consists of a Romanian diesel-electric locomotive, built specifically for the Oravița – Anina line and two second class wagons with wooden benches, built in 1914. The wagons were reconditioned several times, but the shell and the interior remained unchanged. Interior heating is on steam. The average speed is 17 km/ hour, the road from Oravița to Anina being traveled in two hours.

How to get there

By car, from Bucharest: Bucharest – Pitești: E81 road; Pitești – Craiova: E574 road; Craiova – Orșova – Plugova (locality in Caraș-Severin county): E70 road; Plugova – Oravița: 57B


Noblesse Guesthouse
Address: 51B Trandafirilor St., Băile Herculane, Caraș-Severin county
Phone: +40255 560 566

La Ponton Guesthouse
Address: 1016A Dunarii St., Eşelniţa, Mehedinți county, DN 57 – Orșova – Moldova Nouă national road
Phone: +40 25 231 49 49


UNESCO World Heritage site: Rudăria water mill park

The largest complex of water mills in southern Europe – 22 watermills, two centuries old – stretches on three kilometers along the Rudăria river, at the foothills of Almăjului Mountains in Banat (western region of Romania including Timişoara). The famous water mills park attracts tourists from Romania and abroad, as the site is included in the UNESCO World Heritage and was recently revamped by the “Astra” Village Museum in Sibiu.

Although the use of these primary hydraulic systems was introduced in the area in the second and third centuries, the first 8 mills were officially registered in 1722. Just 50 years later, in 1874, 51 mills were functional. In the meantime, due to floods and other events, their number went down to 22. Locals still use them for grinding and as a meeting place. One mill grinds about 130 kilograms in one day and is managed by 15 to 25 families from the village. Visitors can understand better the milling system here in the museum at Rudaria, where a dismantled mill is exhibited.

Surrounded by mountains, the Efitime Murgu locality (in older times called Rudăria, after the river crossing it) in Caraş-Severin county has a picturesque landscape: Aninei and Semenicului in the north-west, Almăjului in south, Locvei mountains in south-west and Ţarcului and Cernei mountains in the background, towards east.

How to get there

By car, from Bucharest: take E81 road to Piteşti, then E574 to Craiova and E70 to Orşova. As you pass Orşova, continue on E70 until you reach road 57B. Turn left on 57B and continue until you reach a roadsign indicating the Eftimie Murgu locality. Turn left on that road (571F) and continue until you exit the village. After a few miles it reaches a forestry road and the entrance at the mill park.


Photosource: Wikipedia

Romania’s most spectacular canyon – Cheile Nerei National Park

If you are looking for wild scenery and tranquility, Cheile Nerei is the place to go. A reservation known for its wild, untouched places, it offers a restful break from civilization. Between the Sopotul Nou and Sasca Romana localities, throughout around 20 km, Nera crosses a spectacular, narrow gorge, forming the longest canyon in Romania. The walls are up to 200m high, as the water of Nera and of its tributaries dug and formed into the limestone rock lakes, canyons, caves and cascades.

The most impressive spots in the park are Lacul Dracului ( Devil’s Lake, the largest karstic lake in the country, 9.3 m deep, formed by the collapse of cave roof), Valea Rea (Evil Valley) canyon, Ochiul Beiului Lake, Beusnitei Cascades which succeed one another on the gulch, Voinii Cave, Pestera Mica (Little Cave), Pestera Mare (Big Cave).


The Cheile Nerei – Beusnita National Park is located in the South-West of Romania, Caras Severin County
Geographic coordinates in the central area are 44º 45 ‘north latitude and 21 ° 53’ east longitude.

Road acces
The only national road that reaches the park is DN 58, Caransebes – Resita – Anina.
The city of Caransebes is located on E 94 ( DN 6 ), between Timisoara and Drobeta Turnu Severin. You can also reach Resita from Timisoara on DN 58 B, 120 km. Points of access to the park: Oravita, Sasca Montana, Sopotu Nou, Carbunari, Bozovici, Anina.

The two access roads to the park are DN 58 (asphalt road, Caransebes – Resita – Anina, 84 km) and DN 57 B (asphalt road, Baile Herculane – Bozovici – Anina – Oravita). They reach the park but visiting the park is possible only by foot or by bike.


Here are the waymarked trails available in the park:

Symbol Waymark trail Duration
3 – 4 h
2 – 3 h


Map of the park available here.




Rocker’s Inn

Address: 763 Sasca Montana, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40735 532 674






La Vechea Moara

Address: 530 Sasca Montana, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40723 141 458





Casa cu Platani

Address: 14 Brazilor, Ciclova Montana, Caras Severin county

GPS coordinates: Latitudine 45.0333333 / Longitudine  21.6833333

Phone: +4 0766 541 784






Cabana Sapte Brazi

Address: Nucilor Street, Oravita, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40752 133 301





Where to eat:



Rocker’s Inn – Restaurant

Address: 763 Sasca Montana, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40735 532 674







La Vechea Moara – Restaurant

Address: 530 Sasca Montana, Caras Severin county

Phone: +40723 141 458


Sighișoara, at the medieval core of Romania

Sighișoara citadel is one of the places one should not miss while in Central Romania. It doesn’t even have to be during the highly popular Medieval Festival that happens every year in July.

Read More

The Case for Happy Expat Couples – on Valentine’s Day and throughout the year

The starting point is very simple: Many expats have partners and naturally they want to relocate together with them. Now three questions come up: What do you do as an expat’s partner? How can you find a new happy balance as a couple at your new destination? And should the company take care of their expats’ partners, and if yes – how?

Expatriates’ partners do not want anymore to just follow and sacrifice their own agendas. These are good news. The vast majority wants to see new opportunities for themselves.

The Everyday Side: Options for Integration

When both partners want to follow their professional ambitions as Dual Career Couples (DCCs), in many cases this works well, especially within the EU. Learning and Development are also frequent choices. Many spouses decide to register for courses of any kind – mastering the local language, or doing their MBA. (Anything is possible: In Shanghai, some spouses become ‘certified luxury shopping consultants’.)

If a couple has children, some decide to focus on spending time with them, or take an international assignment as a convenient time to enlarge the family with new offspring. Charity activities are one more popular option. And in order to find new friends, the good news is: a wide range of formal and informal social platforms has emerged in all major expatriate destinations, of course including Bucharest.

The clear recommendation for employers says: Invite and include partners at an early stage of nomination and preparation of an assignment.

The Emotional Side: Finding a new balance

However, all these smooth solutions do not always come by themselves. Risks include frustration, boredom, loneliness, missing the career and the friends back home, feeling lost, and the challenge of cultural adaption in everyday life.

In order to reduce the risk of frustration and unexpected surprises, it is vital to exchange expectations in advance: How and when will we spend time together as a couple? For example: If commuting requires that on an average day the partner leaves at 7 and comes back after 8pm, this is something the partner should know in advance and learn not only when the assignment has started already. Or – even heavier: In some real cases, spouses learn only late that their assignment is planned for 3 years (as the company thinks) and not only for 1 year (as they thought).

Considering business dinners for introductions with stakeholders, kick-off meetings, and troubleshooting: attention and time for partner may suffer. Especially at the beginning of an assignment, there will be a painful gap between the available leisure time which the expat has, versus the leisure time his or her partner has. After two or three years, this situation may well be reversed – with well integrated partners, and expats having more time available than at the busy beginning.

In retrospective, many couples say that their assignment has become an especially intensive time of their relationship and that the special life situation – even including the hardships – brought them emotionally closer together.

The Business Side: How do companies address this?

Obviously, these challenges are not just ‘a private issue’. When couples are out of balance, the expat’s performance will of course suffer. Indeed, there is one main – and frequently underestimated – risk for failure of assignments, in terms of quitting early: emotional challenges in the private couple situation. Smart companies consider not only the single cases of failed assignments but also the strategic impact: Only if the overall situation was perceived positive, the expat will recommend an international assignment to his talented colleagues back home. If not, the company may have a hard time finding future expatriates.

So how do companies care for their expatriates’ partners? Some provide just financial packages, and call them for example “compensation for partners’ career interruptions”. However, more and more have decided to provide “Spouse Assistance Programs”. In the US, this has been the standard for many decades already, in Europe in the meantime the majority of companies do this as well.

These programs include three kinds of support: Practical-technical (relocation and immigration); professional (career opportunities); social (integration opportunities). In all these three areas, you find premium solutions at City Compass Intercultural Consulting, your local expert for couples who relocate to Bucharest – and count themselves lucky.

Further Reading:

Andreason, Aaron (2008): Expatriate adjustment of spouses and expatriate managers: An integrative research review. In: International Journal of Management. 25(2), S. 382-95.

Brown, Robert J. (2008): Dominant stressors on expatriate couples during international assignments. In: International Journal of Human Resource Management. 19(6), S. 1018-34.

Cole, Nina D. (2011): Managing global talent: solving the spousal adjustment problem. In: The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 22(7), S. 1504-1530.

McNulty, Yvonne (2012): Being dumped in to sink or swim: an empirical study of organizational support for the trailing spouse. In: Human Resource Development International. 15(4), S. 417-434.

Rosenbusch, Katherine / Csehb, Maria (2011): The cross-cultural adjustment process of expatriate families in a multinational organization: a family system theory perspective. In: Human Resource Development International. 15(1), S. 61-77.


A two-day tour of Brașov citadels

While driving on weekends to ski resorts in Brașov county, take a short detour to discover the fortresses and citadels in the area. Little jewels of history, they spread throughout the Brașov – Râșnov – Bran – Făgăraș region on a distance of about 100 km. You can reach them by car, train (and, during summer, by bike on cycle lanes).

If you want to dedicate an entire trip to visiting the fortresses and castles, here is an idea for simple two-day visit:

Day 1

Start your tour in Brașov city with the Citadel, the old defense system – the city wall, the towers and bastions, the Ecaterina and Șchei gates –, the first Romanian school. Continue with a cable car ride to Tâmpa. At its foothill, the Woodcutter’s Tower is open for visitors who can admire here old handicrafts. Pass Poiana Brașov to get to Râșnov, where you can spend about two hours visiting the Râșnov Citadel, a landmark in Romania. The Citadel’s opening hours are daily from 09: 00 to 19:00.

Day 2

On the second day, use the morning energy to visit the Bran Castle, famous for the Dracula myth (it takes about two hours as well). The museum is open on Monday from 12:00 to 18:00, and from Tuesday to Sunday – from 9:00 to 18:00. Move on to Făgăraș, where the well set-up museum of the Făgăraș Fortress is open daily from 9:00 to 17:00. Make sure to take advantage of the souvenir stands and shops and renew your wardrobe with knitted wool clothes made by the women in the area. And if you’re interested in seeing how the wool was washed in the old days – using nothing more than water and inventiveness, stop by Vâltorile de la Lisa (the Lisa Whirlpools).

A weekend with snow at Straja resort

Winter sports lovers in search for new places to ski and snowboard, can choose to spend a weekend in Straja resort in Romania. Located in Hunedoara county, in the Valcan mountains, Straja has the biggest ski slopes in Romania.

The 9 km of slopes are evenly divided for skiers and snowboarders of every skill level, whether beginner, advanced or expert, everyone has a few runs in there. The longest ski run, the Telescaun is nearly 3 km and takes you all the way back into the valley if the snow conditions are friendly. The most challenging slope for experienced skiers is the Canal ski slope, a with 1.5 kilometers length. Other easy ski slopes in Straja are Platoul Soarelui (400 m), Sf. Gheorghe (700 m) and Constantinescu (1.7 km).

Above Lupeni city, Straja Ski Resort has fan-shaped runs, regular grooming and a tourist complex that offers numerous accommodation options including over 200 ski chalets, hotels, hostels and private villas. Visitors can also enjoy the 350-year-old history of the local coal-mining town, Lupeni. The nearest airport to Straja is Sibiu International Airport (SBZ).

You can reach the resort from Petrosani or Targu Jiu, which are about 230 km from Bucharest, going towards Romania’s west.

Buşteni, the popular mountain resort in Romania

One of the most popular mountain resorts in Romania, Buşteni is a little town located in Prahova Valley at the foothills of Bucegi mountains, near Sinaia. At an average altitude of 930 m, it offers great panoramas for those on the lookout for nature’s beauty and it’s an ideal starting point for hiking, climbing and skiing in the mountains.

Many tourist attractions are spread around the resort, from the natural ones: Urlătoarea (howling) Cascade, Babele and the Sphynx – rock formations on the Bucegi plateau, the National Park Bucegi, Poiana Crucii, to historical monuments such as the Cantacuzino Castle, Biserica Domnească(the Royal Church) built by King Carol I and Queen Elisabeta of Romania and the Caraiman Monastery, located right at the foothills of the Caraiman mountain. For more activities and sightseeing, also check out our Sinaia section on the website.

Buşteni is fitted with cable car transport connecting the area around the resort with the Bucegi plateau. The route by cable car has a length of 4350 m and a height difference of 1235 m. Tickets are RON 35 (EUR 8) for adults and RON 18 (EUR 4) for children, students and pensioners.

The resort is also known for the Kalinderu ski slope, one of the most modern in Romania, homologated by the International Ski Federation. It has a length of 1.500 m, an average grade of 37% and a width of 40 m. Prices for the chairlift at Kalinderu are RON 20 (EUR 4) for adults and RON 10 (EUR 2) for children, students and pensioners. Near the Kalinderu ski slope, tourists can enjoy a Fun Park with a slope for beginners (150 m), baby ski (120 m), tubbing track, slide and a carousel. A four hour pass at the Fun Park is RON 25 (EUR 5).

How to get there: You can reach Buşteni by car on DN1 (136 Km from BUcharest, 35 Km from Braşov) or by train, on the Bucharest – Braşov route.

For accommodation in Buşteni, go here. For restaurants, go here.

(Photo credit: Stefan Jurca, Wikipedia)

Experiments House aims to make science fun for all

A plasma globe, lightning recreated in a lab and a tesla coil are some of the attractions of the newly opened Experiments House in Bucharest. The venue is the first non-profit scientific center in the country and offers students the opportunity to learn in an informal environment. It has a permanent display of scientific exhibits which were created to allow learning while visitors play and interact with them.

The center aims to put to good use kid’s love for play rather than of reading and targets children in kinder gardens, schools, high schools as well as their teachers and educators, and families in Bucharest and Ilfov county with a ‘science for all’ motto. It was developed in partnership with Swiss Technorama Science Center and benefits from the know-how transfer from the Swiss Romanian Scientists Network.

At some of the workshops visitors can attend while on site, they can find out what happens when a candle burns and afterwards, what is the ‘nothing’ that surrounds us all, and what can and cannot be done with a microwave oven.

Science enthusiasts can also organize birthday or other type of parties here, with various shows in the program as the center has a dedicated Party Room.

The official opening is set for January 25th and entrance is free for the first six months.  The venue is located on Calea Vitan Barzesti.

Photo source: Casa Experimentelor Facebook page