Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A look back: Romania

Three years ago this month, I spent time in Romania while on a mission trip.  I have so many wonderful memories of the country, and I often think of it with fondness.  The primary reason for going there was to work with Romanian children at an orphanage in Tulcea, and the children placed such an imprint on my heart that my time in the country turned out to be my single most life-enriching experience to date.

While I'd love to share pictures with you from my time with the children, I don't think the Romanian government would like that very much.  They are very private about those matters.

However, I'd like to share some of the sights I witnessed in Romania.  I hope they inspire you as much as they continue to inspire me.

Romania came out from Communist rein in 1989, but reminders of its past are still evident.  In many Romanian cities are rows of plain-looking apartments, void of color or personality.  These apartments were the standard during Communist times.  When I visited the country, many cities were attempting to renew this image by painting these old apartments more lively colors. 

This is the first hotel I stayed at in Romania.  It stood in stark contrast to the old, gray Communist buildings, and it was beautiful on the inside and out.  The picture of the Communist apartments were taken from the balcony of my hotel room, so it was interesting to see such an evident divide of where Romania used to be and where it's going.

The colorful buildings behind this family are actually examples of renovated Communist apartments.

Part of what makes Tulcea most unique is its location on the Danube River.  My last few nights in the city, I stayed on a hotel boat and enjoyed beautiful sunsets such as this.

After my group's work at the orphanage in Tulcea was complete, I had the pleasure of spending a few days exploring other parts of Romania.  The country is rich with history, and you feel like you're in different parts of the world as you travel from one part of the country to another because the geography is so diverse.  One of my favorite visits was a stop at an old castle in the countryside.  The castle and the property were absolutely breathtaking!

Of course, what visit to Romania would be complete without a trip to Transylvania?  Here, I toured the infamous "Dracula's Castle."

The landscape on the side of Transylvania where I stayed was definitely a sight to be seen.  The rolling hills and rich flora and fauna looked like something you'd see in a movie.

My group dined outside and enjoyed the gorgeous views.

On one of my last days in Romania, I visited an old fortress atop a hill.  It was so interesting to see how people lived and protected their village hundreds of years ago.

Before heading to Bucharest to fly back to the states, a stop was made in Brasnov, a buzzing, thriving city in Romania.  Above is the famous Black Church.

I'll always be immensely grateful for my time spent in Romania, and I definitely hope to return one day.  Until then, I will cherish my memories with a thankful heart.

4 inclinations:

DarlingV said...[Reply to comment]

my gosh Romania looks incredible, I love all your pictures!!

Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@DarlingV It WAS incredible! :) Thanks so much!

Katie said...[Reply to comment]

I'm visiting from Friday's Fancies and I am so happy to see this post--it brings back lovely memories. I went to Romania when I was in high school and spent a week working at a youth camp. I have always wanted to go back and see more of the country, because my great-grandparents were born in a small town near Timişoara, not too far from the Danube. I'll have to share these photos with my grandmother. Lovely post, and it looks like you had a lovely and meaningful time!

Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@Katie It's so neat that you went to Romania, too! It's not something you hear too often. I did have a very meaningful time and will always be grateful for the time spent there. I will return one day! :)

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