Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Romania: Hold On To Your Garlic

This morning we all headed down for a breakfast filled with sweet sugary donuts and hot coffee. After admiring the beauty of the Romanian hills and valleys that surrounded us, we packed our bags and made our way toward the bus. It took about 25 minutes of driving down the twisty pavement before we reached the castle of Vlad the Impaler. We quickly toured the streets leading to the castle and walked up the steep hill. Inside, were gold crowns, old armory, and creepy torture devices. It was fascinating to see Bram Stohker's story come to life. 

After looking through the gift shop, we continued to buy little trinkets from the market vendors. Father Cavanaugh introduced us to a traditional Romanian dessert called, kurtos. A parked car quickly sped off into the distance and startled us all as we devoured our delicious snack. The group moved toward the bus and drove for what seemed like hours to a Serbian restaurant. Even though some felt car sick on the bumpy ride, we all enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. 

After lunch, we made a short 10 minute trip down the road to our next destination, Peles castle. It was the lavish summer palace for the former Romanian king and queen. It was beautiful but extremely hot inside. We all had to wear shoe covers to keep the tile floors clean. The tour was quick but eventful. Each room mixed different European styles. 

We then walked down a hill which was lined with venders selling various handmade nick-nacks. Everyone loved playing with an energetic german shepherd puppy that roamed the sidewalk to kill time. We drove the bus to Carrefour, which is similar to Costco to spend the rest of our lei. We bought candies and other Romanian sweets along with some toys to give back to the community. We enjoyed our ice cream as we completed our trip back to Pro Vita where we were greeted with hugs and kisses from the kids. We washed up, ate dinner, and played outside with the children with some of the new soccer balls we had purchased at Carrefour. After reviewing our adventurous and fun filled day, we headed off to bed only to see what the next day had in store for us!

Rae Parsons, Annabeth Howton & Andrew Kiama

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