How to prepare for a business call with Romania: first get the current time

International remote work and cross-country business deals are very common nowadays in Romania, where many multinationals have regional hubs, and an increasing number of foreign investments open up. So work or business calls between participants in different countries are frequent in Romania. How best to prepare for such calls?

While your research for such calls will vary with the content and the other participants in the call, there is one thing everyone should do: check the current time in Romania! (this is also valid for when sending emails to teams based in Romania, so you can adjust your expectation of an answer).

The Romania time zone is Eastern European Time Zone. Romania observes the Daylight Saving Time, so, depending on the time of the year when you check, the local time in Romania can be Standard Time or Summer Time.

Standard Time began on Sunday 29 October 2017, when clocks went back one hour. Summer time will start on Sunday 25 March 2018, when clocks go forward one hour.

For Romania, Eastern European Standard Time equals Greenwhich Mean Time (GMT) + 2 hours, while the Eastern European Summer Time equals GMT + 3 hours. If you frequently do business with Romania and are based abroad, it is best to mark the Daylight Saving Time dates in your calendar every year, as a lot of business calls confusion can happen around those dates, because not all countries observe the daylight saving time rules. You can find a useful list of Daylight Saving Times around the world on Wikipedia.

 

Finding the best Romania travel guide for your trip

For the experienced traveler, who might have already discovered much of this world, a small gem county like Romania is a must-visit. While many like to discover a country at their own pace, especially those which are already established tourist destinations, those who want to visit Romania might need a bit more preparation. Like any other gem, this one too takes a little work to discover its true beauty, which makes it all the while.

Even before setting foot on Romanian ground, you can do your research to find the right way to discover Romania, suitable for you. Buying a Romania travel guide is probably high on the list of everyone looking to travel here. We’d recommend the City Compass Romania travel guide: it is written by both locals and foreigners who actually live in the country and know their way around (unlike other travel guides where the writer is as much of a visitor as you will be). Not only will you discover the local views and recommendations for cities in Romania to visit, but you will get the inside look into the culture and society. This will help you better enjoy your time in Romania. You can have the hardcopy of the guide delivered anywhere in the world, or instantly download the ebook from Amazon. 

In addition, you could also hire a Romania travel expert to tailor the whole experience for you, so you can decide what to do and what to see in Romania long before coming here, as well as leave some things for the spur of the moment. We recommend these Romania travel experts, who have created from scratch many Romania tours based on the visitors’ interests and wishes.

How to find reliable Romanian daily business news in English

In a world of abounding information about everything, one would think it should be easy to find out essential, day to day information about a country one is interested in investing in, such as Romania. Yet, the abundance of information also means a lot of misinformation, so choosing a reliable source is of the essence. And it also means dedicating a lot of time to finding the right info.

So, how does an investor or foreign CEO figures out what really happens in Romania on a daily basis, without losing too much time? And without the need to speak the local language, and sometimes, without even being there physically all that often.

The solution is to have a daily dose of Romanian daily news in English, put together by reputable journalists – after all, they know the sources and check the news cycle often than anybody else; it’s their job. You could hire a full-time journalist for your company to do this, or, for a fraction of that cost, receive the Romania Daily Press Review in English. A team of professional journalists selects the most important news of the day, in business, social and politics from Romania, and send you brief summaries in English, every morning.

If you prefer to read the main topics on a weekly basis, they also send a weekly bulletin via email every Friday. Either of the bulletins will provide the much-needed batch of Romanian business news in English.

Those interested in more than business news or who are happy spending more time scanning the news can head to Romania-Insider.com, the most read online portal for news and features about Romania.

How to find a high paying job in Romania

Whether you’re a foreigner considering a move to Romania from anywhere in the world, if you have already moved here (alone or with your family), or if you’re a Romanian expat looking to return home, fret not on the job front. You have high chances of finding high paying jobs in Romania as a foreign language speaker.

So, how do you find a high paying job in Romania?

A first idea is to check the many multinationals offering jobs in Romania. They are hiring on a constant basis, for different divisions, so various skills and work backgrounds could fit in. Those speaking foreign languages, and especially natives, have more chances landing some jobs than locals. The latest jobs in Romania are not only in Bucharest but in Western Romania as well – Cluj – Napoca, Timisoara, Targu Mures, among others.

For example, in this new career section for Romania, you can search for jobs in various fields and different cities across the country. New jobs are posted frequently, and foreign languages are very much sought after.

Secondly, the better connected you are, the higher the chances to hear about a good job fitting your experience. Make friends, both locals, and foreigners. Romanians love to help out by introducing or making connections, so you can be open about your target of finding a job in a certain field. Eventually, somebody will know somebody else who can get you a meeting with a person who’s hiring. A good place to start making friends is at Internations events, which are also being organized in Bucharest.

Fresh travel guide – City Compass Romania: Bucharest & Beyond, 2017

City Compass Romania: Bucharest & Beyond, 2017, the feel-at-home guide to Romania, in English, enjoyed by expats, tourists and even Romanians, is now out in print & digital editions.

Everything you need to feel at home in Romania! Practical info, tips & tricks, real stories from 17 contributors and curated recommendations in an easy to follow format + bonus special chapter on technology.

Now available in hardcopy, soft cover, fully color, glossy, 168 pages, as well as in digital formats – full color PDF, ePub & .mobi versions for iBooks and Kindle reader.

This book will help readers discover the real Romania. It covers the main regions and cities of the country, with insights from 17 contributors, locals and expats, and recommendations of places to see and things to do.

Highlights of this edition:

  • NEW Letters from expats
  • UPDATED Travel destinations from all over Romania, including main cities, mountain resorts, seaside & Danube Delta
  • NEW Spa & destination hotels in Romania
  • UPDATED Bucharest neighborhoods, including Pipera –the expat area & Old Town
  • NEW Special dossier: Technology,  Tech trends, Romanian discoveries,  IT hubs,  Start-ups
  • UPDATED & CURATED Bucharest business directory, in easy to browse format:  Restaurants, Hotels, Shopping,  Education, Transport, Home & more

Get a free book extract by signing up here, and order your copy now – in print with international delivery, or digital, with instant download! 

The Romanian Eternal Flames, a wonder of the nature in Buzau

There are many things I like about Romania, but the one I like the most is that it has so many tourist attractions that are not yet known. Today I am going to tell you more about one of such places mainly known by locals and some mountaineers as it’s off the beaten track: The Living Fires of Buzau.

”A landscape that could only be dreamed up by the Brothers Grimm.” That’s how a British journalist with The Guardian described the Buzau region after a week bicycle touring through the Buzau Mountains.

Many already know about the Muddy Volcanoes, which are also a wonder of the nature, but few know that the area where the two attractions are located will soon become a Geopark, joining the network of 48 already present in Europe.

The Living Fires of Lopatari are some of the most mysterious, and unusual phenomena you will find in nature, on a hiking path, within your reach. The important thing is to know where to look. In the village called Terca you will find this phenomenon, which is unique in Europe, but not in Romania.

Two similar sites can be found in the Andreiasu and Reghiu communes in the Vrancea County. Although the Fires in Andreiasu are considered to be more spectacular, as they also cover a larger area, the ones in Lopatari are more popular among tourists due to the other attractions in the area: the Muddy Volcanoes, the Dealu Mare wine-growing district, the Salt Mountains near Manzalesti, the oil springs at Pacuri, or the amber mines at Colti, Romania’s only amber extraction site.

Wondering how this works? The natural emanations of gas are lit at the surface, under the rays of the sun. The fires burn at night as well, when the scenery is at its most spectacular display. At times you can see a flame rising up to 1 m above the ground.

For travelers, the fires are a natural curiosity. For the locals however, they are a source of legends, mystical beliefs, and superstition. Many local traditions have been inspired by these “eternal flames,” some no longer practiced, others still leaving their mark on local pottery or costumes.

So are you ready for a hike in the beautiful area of Buzau? To reach the place, take DN2/E85 to Buzau, drive through the city and then take DJ203K to DC159 in Lunci and then continue for another 7 km until you reach Terca. Keep in mind that the car cannot take you to the Fires. The road takes you on uneven terrain up the hill, on a twenty minutes hike. Make sure you follow the signs and you will get to see this wonder of nature in no time.

By Oana Pascu

 

St. Ana Lake, one of the most beautiful in the country

Romania is known for hosting a large amount of lakes. This week we want to present you one that strikes through its uniqueness- the only volcanic lake in Romania situated in the only intact volcanic crater in East-Central Europe. As the summer has indulged us in the past weeks with sunny days and pleasant breezy evenings, it’s time to gather all our camping gear and have a weekend getaway at Saint Ana Lake (Lacul Sfanta Ana).

Lake St. Ana lies in the cold crater of a dead volcano, at an altitude of 950 meters. In the prehistoric ages, there were other lakes in the crater, which, by now, got filled up with decaying remains of old trees, dry leaves, and the area turned into lightly forested, boggy land, called the Mohos-láp with an unique flora and fauna. The lake is supplied exclusively from precipitations, therefore the degree of mineralization of the water is very low. The water purity approaches of that of distilled water.

The area of the lake was not only believed to be a hiding place for pagan gods or genies, but also has been and still is one of the most adored and respected sacred place for the Christian Székelys, who always come here with a spirit filled with piety.

The St. Ana Lake is surrounded by legends, mysteries and miracles. Etymologically speaking, the name of the lake comes from the legend of a girl, Ana, who would become a wife. She did not want to marry because their parents forced to marry only to get the property of the young boy, who was quite unpolished in the marriage. In the evening of the wedding, the bride ran away and jumped in the lake, her lifeless body was not found not even today. Every year, on the day of St. Ana, the metropolitan consecrates the lake. Also, in her honor, there is a small chapel, set back from the water.

According to another legend, long ago, hereabouts lived two tyrants who were brothers. One mastered a fortress on the top Puciosul nearby, the other, a fortress located on the site of the current lake. Lord of the fortress of Puciosul had a beautiful carriage, won from the dice game, which has aroused the envy of his brother, who promised that the next day he would come and visit with a more impressive carriage. To gain the bet, the tyrant ordered the carriage to put a harness of eight of the most beautiful girls in the neighborhood.

The carriage was very heavy, they could not move it, which has aroused the master’s fury, who began to beat them. One of the girls, named Ana, cursed the hideous master. The curse materialized at once: an awful storm started, with lightning and thunders, earthquakes, and the fortress, together with its tyrant, immersed in flames. Here a blue and quiet lake was formed, called by the inhabitants of the area the “Lake of Saint Ana”. Also, the locals claim that the lake is bottomless.

In case you want to visit the lake and you want to take a refreshing bath, St. Ana Lake is 244 km away from Bucharest: take the DN1 to Brasov, then follow DN12 to Miercurea Ciuc. Then follow DJ113 for another 17 km.

Oana Pascu

 

Iulia Hasdeu Castle, where mystery and culture go together

What do the Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, The Tower of London, the UK and the Iulia Hasdeu Castle in Romania have in common?

Romania is home to more than 190 castles and palaces, Castle Bran being the most famous due to its connection to Dracula. Some of them have fantastic stories, being linked to spiritism, magic or the ghosts still haunting them. This castle is rather unknown in Romania, and offers a lesson of spiritism, architecture and culture. The Iulia Hasdeu Castle is a place where mystery and culture go together and it’s a wonderful place to stop if you are on your way from Bucharest to Brasov.

The Iulia Hasdeu Castle is a folly house built in the form of small castle by historian and politician Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu in the city of Câmpina, Romania. Work on it began in 1893, after Hasdeu’s daughter, Iulia (en. Julia) Hasdeu, died at the age of 19, an event that dramatically shook and changed his father’s life. Since his child’s death, the scholar B. P. Hasdeu consecrated a veritable cult to his daughter. The same as Victor Hugo, he chose the path of spiritualism as the only way to comfort himself and to experiment the communication with the other world. He claimed that his belated daughter provided the plans for building the castle during sessions of spiritism (which took much of Hasdeu’s imagination and time after Iulia’s death). The building was completed in 1896. It is said that Iulia reportedly haunts the castle still, walking through the courtyard in a white dress and holding daisies.

The castle has two towers on the sides, one for Iulia, his daughter and one for another Iulia, his wife, whom he also loved deeply. In the middle, there is a larger space that B.P.Hasdeu used for spiritualistic experiments. Even today, there is a “Celebration of the two Julias” held every year on the 2nd of July.

The castle, which required a lot of revamping even when Hasdeu was alive, has been affected by the First World War. In 1924 the People’s Atheneum of Câmpina “B.P.Hasdeu” tried to take it over for restoration. The Second World War affected the castle again and it kept its state until 1955, when it was included in the Listing of Historical Monuments.

Since 1994 the Iulia Hasdeu Castle has been housing the “B.P.Hasdeu” Memorial Museum, which displays furniture, personal belongings of the Hasdeu family, photos and original documents, manuscripts, Hasdeu’s reviews, many paintings made by Nicolae Grigorescu and Sava Hentia.

So in case you want to see a castle that appears next to the Edinburgh Castle, Scotland and The Tower of London, the UK as one of the most haunted places on Earth, make sure you visit the Iulia Hasdeu Castle.

Wondering how to get there? From Bucharest, it will take you around one hour and a half if you take DN1 towards Brasov to DJ101R in Cornu de Jos (Campina) for 96 km and then follow the latter road for another 2 km.

Oana Pascu

Colorful getaway at Poiana Narciselor flower reservation

The nature reservation “Dumbrava Vadului”, also known locally as “Poiana Narciselor” (the Meadows of Daffodils), is the biggest of its kind in Europe, covering an area of 400 hectares. Dumbrava Vadului became a natural monument in 1967. The reserve lies in Sercaia commune, Vad village, less then 60 km distance from Brasov. Besides daffodils, irises and yellow peonies also grow adding to the vibrant natural colors.  Apart from the specific fauna, roe deer, wild boars, foxes, rabbits, wild ducks and a few ant bears also live in the reserve making the place even more interesting.

In Romanian, the term used for the flower is “narcisa” and it comes from the beautiful young character from the Greek mythology called Narcis, who, it’s been said, fell in love with his own appearance. The legend says that the flower appeared after his death, right on his grave.

The Festival of Daffodils

The Festival of Daffodils is organized in the Meadows of Daffodils every year on the eve of the Day of Saints Constantine and Helen on the 21st of May.

This is the time of the year when the Transylvanian traditions and dishes can be admired and tasted. The young people from the Homorod Valley, dressed in traditional costumes, are head towards the meadow to race against other young people from the surrounding villages and counties.

The festival is a unique opportunity to emphasize the beauty of traditional dances, music and costumes, as well as the local customs and traditions in an incredible environment, surrounded by the beautiful daffodils.

Millions of daffodils bloom in Dumbrava Vadului every year, especially during the month of May, in some places exceeding 150 flowers per square meter. The locals have called them “coprine” and feel very blessed with this gift from God.

The beauty of this place attracts thousands of tourists every year. Dumbrava Vadului was also featured in the Romanian movie “Neamul Soimarestilor”, based on the novel with the same name written by Mihail Sadoveanu.

In case you are planning your getaway from Bucharest, the beautiful reserve is 228 km away in the Brasov county. You need to take DN1 to Predeal, then take the road DN73A to Vad and from there Dumbrava Vadului is just 3 km away on a local road.

 

City Compass Romania: Bucharest & Beyond, 2016 edition [PHOTOS]

The City Compass Romania: Bucharest & Beyond 2016 edition is now freshly out in print.

More than 25 years since the fall of Communism, Romania seems to have truly come of age. This 8th yearly edition of the City Compass Romania: Bucharest & Beyond guide dives into the past to reveal the old, the forgotten and the recently remembered, and highlights changes in the Romanian society – from arts and culture, to politics and social life.

Highlights:

  • Back to Romania – Letters from Repats
  • Culture, traditions and places
  • Multicultural Romania
  • Changing times: society, politics, justice.

We’re not forgetting the practical sides of life – our regular chapters with places to visit across Romania have been updated, and so has been the Bucharest directory, including the highlighted Old Town, and Pipera – the expat neighborhood.

CC 2016 ipadThe expat letters in the beginning of this book bring diverse views of Romania, and so do the practical features such as life in the Romanian countryside, opportunities for expat spouses, or inspiration for family life in Romania, among many others.

The updated business directory contains places and businesses we recommend, or which come highly recommended by the community: restaurants, hotels, shopping, education, transport, home & much more.

Over 20 contributors wrote content for this edition, or shared their recommendations of places to see and things to do in Romania. The book was coordinated by Corina Chirileasa – City Compass Media Managing Partner and founder of Romania-Insider.com.

 

 

The guide is available as an ebook on Amazon.

 

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The new edition of the City Compass Romania: Bucharest & Beyond 2016 guide is now available in print and can be purchased from Anthony Frost bookshop, Carturesti, and from My Romanian Store (6 Episcopiei St., Bucharest)

To buy copies of this book, you can also email [email protected] We will offer discounts for companies that buy several copies.

Browse through topics in the table of contents below. Scroll down for a gallery of pictures from our launch event, where over 100 guest joined to celebrate a new edition of the guide.

Table of contens visual CC2016

Check the alphabetical index of the guide here and here.

Photos from the launch of the new guide; November 25, 2015, Noblesse Palace in Bucharest.

Photos courtesy of Kathrin Weident, Alexandra Pasca & Mihai Constantineanu.

Decathlon opens online shop in Romania

French sportswear retailer Decathlon opened an online store in Romania, where it sells more than 20,000 sports items, which is more than it has in the traditional stores. The site decathlon.ro is however available only in Romanian for the time being.

There are currently 13 Decathlon stores in Romania, three of which in Bucharest.

More about Decathlon’s new online shop, on Romania-Insider.com.

Google Play Music now available in Romania

Good news for music lovers who live in Romania, as Google has opened its music service to the Romanian territory as well.

This means everyone in Romania (or with a Romanian IP) will be able to sign up to the Google Play Music service, buy songs and albums, and upload up to 20,000 songs in the cloud, and listen to them from any device, for free.

More about the recent Google Play Music in Romania from Romania-Insider.com

The Merry Cemetery in Romania gets international attention

The famous Merry Cemetery in the village of Săpânţa, in the Northern part of Romania, in a region called Maramures, was recently presented in a documentary on French TV station TV5 Monde.

The documentary presented the life of several villagers in Săpânţa, who seem to have a special relationship with death. There, people save money their entire life to be able to order one of the colored crosses from artisan Dumitru Pop, and to be remembered by the funny epitaph written on the cross.

There is even a Merry Cemetery festival and this cemetery was rated among the most beautiful in the world by a French newspaper.

Maramureș, the art of savoring life at ease

How should Romania be promoted? Dracula vs Eminescu

Romania and Romanians have always been torn between using the myth of the Dracula vampire to sell their country as a tourism destination, and betting on more serious topics, like its arts and culture.

A recent statement by a tourism agency owner called that into question again – how many people abroad know about Dracula and connect it to Romania, and how many know about Romania’s national poet Mihai Eminescu?

Read more of the tourism agency owner’s statement on Romania – Insider.com, and to find out more about Dracula, go here, while for Mihai Eminescu and other famous Romanian writers, check this page.

More about Dracula and Romania below.

The “Real” Dracula tour – Curtea de Arges (1 day)

Carpathian Mountains & Medieval Transylvania (2 days)

A worthwhile trip for any Dracula enthusiast

Corvin Castle – Transylvania’s standing legend

Brașov: Medieval heritage and gateway to mountain resorts

iPhone 6 launches in Romania – how much does it cost & where to buy it?

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus officially launched in Romania last week, at the main telecom operators Orange, Vodafone and Telekom, which sell the latest Apple gadget in its various versions together with mobile telephony subscriptions.

Telekom sells it unlocked, while the other two companies lock the phone to their network.

The phone can also be bought unlocked at online retailers Quickmobile.ro and eMag.ro.

More about iPhone 6 prices at the main telecom operators in Romania here.

New Vodafone shop in Bucharest’s Old Town

Telecom operator Vodafone is the first of the four operators in Romania to open shop in the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town. Vodafone last week opened a shop in the core of the busy area, in a space which used to host a Gregory’s shop used to be located, but which had been empty for a while.

The Old Town in Bucharest is mostly known for its entertainment options, as it is an area of bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants. Shopping however slowly starts to make its way into the Old Town as well.

More about the new Vodafone shop in the Old Town here.

Romanians & online shopping – budgets & preferences

Romanians spend some EUR 106 online a month, and prefer to buy electronics, smartphones & gadgets, clothes and cosmetics, as well as some travel expenses.
More about it on Romania-Insider.com

Superstitions, miracles & the power of dreams – do Romanians believe in them?

Most Romanians say they are not superstitious, but they read the horoscope and think that dreams can predict the future. Romanians also say they don’t trust witches, but that they fear curses and demons. These were the findings of a recent survey by IRES.

Half of Romanians think that dreams can predict the future, 44% say they’ve had such premonitory dreams, and 8 in 10 of these say those dreams became real.

Hint: black cats means bad luck for Romanians, whereas in other countries, such as the UK, a black cat signifies luck! Be aware of this cultural difference.

The more about what Romanians believe in on Romania-Insider.com

Romanians and their status symbols

Romanians like their expensive cars, the latest gadgets, having their own houses, affording shopping abroad, but also hold family dear and like to talk about their children’s accomplishments.   Many of these are not unlike status symbols to be found elsewhere in the world, but their combination is uniquely Romanian.

In Romania, the first impression is always important, and a host of status symbols help create that good first impression. Below we list some of the most important status symbols for many Romanians – they either already have them, or strive to one day have them. (these are generalizations, they do apply to many people but not to all – so it is always safe to check, rather than presume, what values a person holds dear).

Expensive cars
Romanians love their cars. But not their old cars! They love new, shiny cars, the latest models, and some would spend a fortune on them. Some actually do spend a fortune on such cars. A trip downtown Bucharest, on Calea Dorobanti or on Dacia boulevard will reveal lots of expensive cars parked near cafes. Luxury cars sell well in Romania, even if, by EU standards, Romania is not a rich country.

Latest gadgets
Romanians are early adopters and the majority love technology (even in the countryside, where access to various amenities is sometimes poor, Romanians still have their mobile phones). So having the latest phone model is a status symbol, and so is being among the first who gets that model. Once everyone has it, it’s time to move to the next.

Read the full list on Romania-Insider.com

Starbucks opens coffee shop in Novo Park offices in Pipera

Starbucks recently opened a new coffee shop in the Novo Park office compound in the Pipera area of Bucharest, one of the Romanian capital’s office areas.

The coffee shop covers 200 sqm and is located at the ground floor of the D building. It can be accessed via the Fabrica de Glucoza street, as well as from the Dimitrie Pompeiu boulevard.

This is Starbucks’ eight coffee shop in Bucharest. Contact details for the new Starbucks (as of September 2014) are here.

Travel café concept store opens up in Bucharest

Romanian tourism agency Perfect Tour has opened the first Travel Boutique in Romania.

Covering some 240 sqm and located on the famous Calea Victoriei boulevard in Bucharest, just across the street from the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel, the store is a mix between a traditional travel agency and a sophisticated café.
It is divided into four thematic areas, namely explore tours, exotic tours, cruises and Disney.

Check out contact details here.

La Placinte – Moldovan pies & dishes

La Placinte is a chain of restaurants from the neighboring Republic of Moldova that has become quickly popular in Romania – where it is one of the “new things” one has to try out. They they have three restaurants now, all in downtown locations in Bucharest, and they are preparing about six more openings. La Placinte will also expand to Brasov and Iasi, and one of the future restaurants in Bucharest will be in the Old Town.

So what is La Placinte about? First off, it’s the famous placinte – the pies themselves. These are not any sort of pies, these are traditional pies from neighboring Moldova, some of which with cabbage, with meat, with cheese and dill. These pies have to be tried to be fully understood. On top of it, the menu is so nicely designed and the pictures look so appealing, that on our first try, it was really hard to choose something. We went with the sour cabbage pie and with the royal pie with cheese, and I am glad we did. For me, the pie was a bit on the bigger side, meaning it took me a while to finish it, but for my husband Andrei, it was the perfect size.

The full restaurant review on Romania-Insider.com.

Cosmote & Romtelecom telephony providers re-brand as Telekom Romania

Mobile telecommunications company Cosmote and the landline telephony, Internet & TV provider Romtelecom will re-brand as Telekom: Telekom Romania Mobile Communications and Telekom Romania Communications, respectively. The two companies thus take the brand name of their parent company Deutsche Telekom.

The official re-branding happens on September 13, and will mean all communication with subscribers of these two companies will switch to the Telekom brand. Subscribers of both companies will receive a single bill.

More about the re-branding, on Romania-Insider.com

One-day trip in Romania: the Seven Ladders Canyon

Corina Chirileasa of Romania-Insider.com writes about a one-day adrenaline – filled trip to the Seven Ladders Canyon close to Brasov, in Central Romania, where the system of metallic ladders pinned to the rock was recently renovated.

My third attempt to climb the metallic ladders pinned to the rock at the Seven Ladders Canyon was successful this summer. My first trip to the special canyon close to Brasov was about 11 years ago; I was in my early 20s, had no fears and lots of energy, so I crossed the canyon like a breeze. The second attempt, a couple of years ago, was unsuccessful however – the ladders were shaky and the whole experience was terrifying – I chose to return after climbing only a few stairs of the ladder.

Luckily, the metallic ladders were replaced last year, and I got to feel the adrenaline again while crossing the beautiful canyon carved by the Sapte Scari river. Some of the ladders pinned to the rock are long – the longest is 14 meters, and going up that ladder was not a walk in the park, especially as the lower half is quite exposed to the waterfall to the left. My senses were tight and my eyes to the sky as I climbed each stair of the long ladder. However, the whole experience was less hard than I remembered it from over a decade ago. And luckily, if you find the whole experience tiresome, you get to return on an alternate route through the woods, rather than go back down the ladders.

The full article and lots of pictures on Romania-Insider.com.

 

Traveling by the Mocăniţa – Romania’s famous steam train

Corina Chirileasa writes about a half a day train trip by the Mocanita, the famous steam train in the Maramures region of Romania, an experience which should not be missed while in Romania.

It’s the start of a working day in Vişeul de Sus, a village in Maramureş, Northern Romania. At 8 in the morning, people already form long queues to buy tickets and jump on the famous steam train, the Mocăniţa, that used to carry wood down the mountain.

Now the same train, fed with wood and water, very slowly takes travelers through the woods, to a place that seems close to the end of the world. Of the modern world.

Before getting there, however, some preparation is needed: summer is a busy season for the Mocăniţa, which runs from early July to mid – September. It’s the season when four trains, and not just one, make the daily 21-km trip, and when people need to sign up on waiting lists for a chance to be on one of the four trains. So piece of advice: make sure you reserve seats in advance! Or that you’re there way before the sun rises….

We ended up on a waiting list, and we were lucky enough to be called quite fast and let know there were two seats for us on one of the four trains – that really made our day!

Read the full story and check out the photo gallery on Romania-Insider.com.

Citronelle, the new ‘market to table’ restaurant & terrace @ Crowne Plaza

The Crowne Plaza hotel in the northern part of Bucharest opened in late summer of 2014 its Citronelle restaurant & terrace. It is Chef’s Ashlie Dias of Crowne Plaza newest concept from “market to table”.

The menu is an homage brought by Chef Ashlie to the trendy restaurant concepts he came across in his career in New York, San Francisco, Hawaii or Lyon.

The summer terrace tucked away among pine trees in the hotel’s 4,000 square meters garden.

Some of the house favorites are Spinach salad with organic red quinoa, marinated tofu and tomatoes, or the Mediterranean sea bream with pea risotto, citronelle and ginger oil with toasted sesame seeds. They also recommend the Wiener snitzel served with baby salad greens or our signature fries.

More about the new restaurant, here.

The full menu (in English) is here.

A country club in the forest – Stejarii Country Club

We’ve recently discovered a place which offers so many things to do! It’s called Stejarii Country Club, and is located in the Northern part of Bucharest, in the Baneasa forest.

The club covers 22,000 sqm and includes a fitness center, aerobic and cycling, indoor and outdoor tennis court, indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, Jacuzzi, squash courts, a Shiseido SPA and a Golf Driving Range.

They will also add a restaurant, which should be opened in December 2014 – January 2015.

More details about the club and contact data, here. 

The club was created by famous Romanian businessman and former tennis player Ion Tiriac, which explains why so many sports have been added and can be practiced there.

The club is membership only – check out their membership options. 

Kulinarium in Sibiu offers discounts for bikers

The Kulinarium restaurant in the Central Romanian city of Sibiu offers a 10% discount to bikers, provided they come to the restaurant by bike. Kulinarium is located in the Small Square – Piata Mica – in Sibiu.

The offer was launched a month ago and seems to have attracted plenty of bikers, judging by the number of bikes parked outside. Read the full story on Romania-Insider.com.

 

New Lidl store in Pipera

Discounter Lidl opened a store in the Pipera neighborhood in Northern Bucharest on Thursday, August 28, its 178th store in Romania.

The new store is located on 88 Erou Iancu Nicolae Street, the backbone of the Pipera expat neighborhood. It covers some 1,200 sqm.

The full story here.