Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Saints in Romania-Throwing Axes and Opulent Palaces

Today, we continued our journey in historical Transylvania. We all bundled up in many layers since it was snowing outside! Our first stop was Rasnov, a medieval fort. The fort is high up on a hill overlooking a village. To get there, we had to take a little tram to the top since it was too steep and far to walk. The fort itself is untouched in most places with the original walls and buildings still standing. Where the buildings are in good shape, the fort has gift shops and tourist attractions including our favorite: ax throwing! We all took turns learning how to throw the medieval weapon at targets. It was quickly deduced that none of us would be good in a medieval battle based on the lack of accuracy in our aim! Another favorite at Rasnov was the 360 degree view from the highest peak of the fort. We enjoyed taking photos and enjoying the breathtaking views together.

After Rasnov, we drove a short distance to the Peles Palace, the summer residence of the old monarchy. The palace is as opulent and extravagant as a palace can be with no expense spared. From the retractable roof, "paintings" made out of different types of wood, indoor plumbing, to different themed party rooms, Peles was definitely a favorite for us all!

Audrey Shaw wrote about her experiences and thoughts on our two stops of the morning.

"Today we woke up, ate breakfast and then left for this really old fort. It was super cold, but seeing the amazing views from the top of the fort was worth it! Everyone was dabbing and the pictures are something we'll have forever! Also, we threw axes and Lily and A.C. proved they were the strongest and the most precise and accurate! (*Ms. Fusina appreciates this chemistry reference!) 

After the fort we drove the last monarch's palace and took a tour. It was beyond extravagant and the opulence was astounding. There were movie theaters, wood carved paintings, and even a retractable skylight/ceiling. Our tour guide was great and we're all excited to have another day here in Romania!"

After the visits, it was time for lunch. We ate at a delicious Hungarian restaurant where we enjoyed one final meal with our guide, Father Steven. It was then time to head back to Pro Vita. 

The snow in the mountains turned to rain as we descended to lower altitudes on the beautiful drive back to Pro Vita. Before arriving at Casa Tyrol, we made one final stop at Carrefore. Imagine Walmart, Target, Pentagon City Mall, and a movie theater wrapped into one and that is Carrefore! The students enjoyed seeing the cultural influence of Romania joining the EU as this giant shopping attraction is in the middle of miles of nothing but farming fields. We all bought some last minute chocolates and drinks before getting back in the vans and finishing the ride home. 

When we did arrive back, we were welcomed to a wonderful dinner by Vio and lots of the Pro Vita boys and women hanging out in the living area anxious for our return. Our students were excited to see their new friends and enjoy another evening of chatting and playing cards. Tomorrow is our final day in Pro Vita and we are looking forward to lots of time dedicated to playing with the children and even creating a goodbye surprise for each house before we have to depart.

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