500,000 bottles of sparkling wine mature in this section of the underground cellars at Cricova Winery just north of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 3, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A little info about our next trip

Since we're going to be spending most of the month of November in the country of Romania, we figured we should give you a bit of a primer about the country itself.

Probably the first (and maybe the only) thing you might think of when asked about Romania is Dracula...and/or Transylvania. Most everybody will have heard of those two things that are closely related to Romania, and especially at this time of year, given that we're only a couple of days away from Halloween.

Transylvania is actually a region in Romania that has become famous because of the location for Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula. And Bran Castle has somehow become linked to the Dracula legend, even though it really hasn't any connection. Bran Castle has now become known as Dracula's castle, and it's become a bit of a tourist trap because of it. We likely won't visit because there are actually better castles in Romania that are less busy and with cheaper entrance fees.

But there is so much more to Romania than the Dracula reference. The country itself is slightly smaller than the state of Wyoming, and it has a total population of just under 20 million people.

It has a very turbulent history, the most recent of course was it's Communist era between the years of 1946 and 1989. You might remember the name of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, whose regime was overthrown and he and his wife were executed. Many remnants of his rule are still visible today.

Here's a very rough idea of our route over the next six weeks.

What language do they speak? Well, Romanian of course! Romanian is a latin language, like Spanish, Italian, and French. Plus, apparently 32% of Romanians say they can speak reasonable English. I expect that it's mostly the younger ones. English is now taught as part of the curriculum throughout the school system.

Romania has the 10th fastest internet speeds in the world, and the fastest in all of Europe! For reference, apparently the U.S. ranks 17th, and Canada is 33rd.

What do Romanians drink? Well of course wine and beer are popular, but the national drink is called tuică. It's a traditional fruit brandy made from plums. Romania is the top plum producer in the world, and apparently 75% of the production ends up as tuică. 

Țuică is only consumed before a meal (traditionally every meal!) as it is said to increase appetite. It is drunk as a shot, so you just pack it back, after everybody says "noroc" (cheers). Apparently no meal should start without a shot of tuică!

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10 comments:

  1. Never been there myself, but T.C. had to go several times a year. Something called a "balance sheet review", which apparently needs to be dealt with in person. She'd fly in to Cluj and there would be someone there to pick her up.
    Her first trip was a bit of challenge, as she tried flying to Bucharest with a connecting flight to Baia Mare, only to discover that the second part of the flight was cancelled. No bueno.
    You'll see some interesting things for sure.

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    1. Having a flight cancelled in a city you don't know and needing to be somewhere for work would not be fun but I am sure things worked out for her.

      Yes, we are looking forward to seeing some interesting places for sure. :-)

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  2. I actually knew very little about Romania. Thanks for the the info. I think I would enjoy their national drink...hehe

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    1. By the time we are finished our time in Romania, you will have learned a whole lot more.

      Trust us, we will be trying that national drink. :-)

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  3. Now that's a tradition I could get used to! Looking forward to learning more as you explore the country.

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    1. We can't wait to see, learn and experience all that the country has to offer.

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  4. I've read many books over the years about Romanian gypsies as well as the Ceaușescu era and the great monuments they built. Looking forward to the photographs.

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    1. We are looking forward to learning more about Romania and it's people and history as well. I am sure there will be lots of photos to share.

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