It’s always a pleasure to visit a new part of the world and my visit to Romania in September was no exception. It’s one of those places that is often un-recognised by tourists/travellers seeking friendly people, interesting culture and natural beauty….in fact it has all of these in plenty. My own trip involved a few days in the capital Bucharest, a spell in the remote and unique Danube Delta and visits to three of Transylvania’s beautiful Saxon heritage cities.
As a starting point the old centre of Bucharest is one of the best places for eating and drinking that I’ve ever been. Fascinating architecture, a totally pedestrianised environment, numerous street-based restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, inexpensively priced but tasty beers and various entertainments all feature there. Of course the rest of the city with it’s mix of old buildings, communist era blocks and new build is also fascinating to explore.
The Delta is a wildlife refuge of international renown and also provides some opportunity to see more traditional Romanian village life; with horse drawn carts, sand surfaced roads and water-based transportation.
Braşov, Sighişuoara and Sibiu are Transylvanian cities with historic centres dating from Saxon times and, regardless of the dark associations with Dracula, these places have a more vibrant, contemporary feel akin to attractive cities in Southern Europe. Sibiu is Romania’s summer festival capital and it’s beer-fueled Oktoberfest equivalent called Cibinfest was taking place when I was there.
This brief visit, with limited time for photography, was not really enough to capture a full set of quality street-focused images and was a reminder for me of just how much time and work is needed to compile a decent album that can show something of the flavour of a place. As a tourist, wandering the streets with a camera gives me a chance to absorb some of the atmosphere and detail but it’s inevitably a bit superficial. Maybe that’s a good incentive to return!