Fun Friday–My Virtual Summer Vacation: Romania
It’s no secret . . . I really enjoy watching HGTV. And one of my favorite shows is House Hunters: International. But unlike most people, I tend not to watch the episodes in which they’re looking at properties on magnificent tropical islands or looking for beachfront property. (And don’t get me started on people who are looking for vacation properties, where they’ll spend at most three or four weeks a year and they gripe about small bathrooms and kitchens—it’s a vacation home, people!!!)
So, since I’ve been housebound the last three weeks—two weeks finishing Turnabout and this week because I’ve been not just flat-broke but in-the-hole-broke and can’t even afford a big night out at McDonald’s, I thought it would be fun for the next few weeks to take a virtual vacation, hitting some of the top spots I’d love to visit and spend some R&R time. So today, we’re traveling to . . .
Anyone who’s heard the story of the origin of my last name should understand this one. But for those who haven’t, here’s the scoop. Dacus is Latin, dating back to the early Roman empire, and it’s the Latin word for a person who was from the province of Dacia—what is now Romania. In fact, Dacia, which was home to at least twelve different tribal groups, traces back to the Iron Age. I’ve always figured my ancestors came from the area that is now Transylvania—it would explain why I’m such a night person!
For my virtual trip to Romania, I will stay in the village of Sinaia, Busteni, known as the Pearl of the Carpathian Mountains. Sinaia, in the foothills of the Bucegi range of the Carpathians, takes its name from a 17th century monastery built by a Romanian nobleman after he took a pilgrimage to Mt. Sinai. So, of course, I would need to do my due diligence and visit the Sinaia Monastery:
After spending time in a quaint village in a gorgeous mountain setting . . .
. . . and visiting Peles Castle, the summer palace built by the royal family in the 1880s:
. . . it would be time to move on to some of the more famous sights in Romania. The first, of course, being Bran Castle, reputedly Dracula’s castle, as it was one of the fortified castles Vlad III the Impaler called home:
(though I will be sure to visit during the daytime ;-) )
The fortified church-city of Sighisoara is known as the city of Dracula, as it’s the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, son of Vlad Dracul, who would become known as Vlad the Impaler—it’s also one of the most beautifully preserved medieval cities in Romania. So, of course, this is my next stop!
From there, it’s on to the Maramures region, known for its wooden churches:
Then, it’s on to Bucovina to visit the painted (and fortified!) monasteries:
What’s a vacation without a relaxing stay at a spa? I’ll visit Ursu Lake near Sovata, famous for its unique bearskin shape and heliothermal saline qualities. A layer of fresh water sits atop the saltwater, holding in warmth from the sun. It even has its own legend:
- “Once up in the woods above Sovata lived a fairy in a beautiful castle. She saw a shepherd lad and she fell in love with him. But according to the fairy laws they couldn’t met so she listened his flute play every night. After a while she decided to break the law and meet the lad. She went down to the valley and saw the boy kissing a girl. She went crazy and turned them and the sheep into stones. She also paid for her villain deed. After this she wondered in the woods and from her veil flowers grew everywhere. And the beautiful palace disappeared. She started crying and her tears grew into a stream then a lake. The fireplace of the fairy is heating it from below.” (From transylvaniantravel.ro)
And, of course, I must make time for all of the beautiful castles throughout the country:
Want to play along?
I’ll be posting these “virtual vacation spots” on Fridays through the end of June. So come up with your own list of dream vacation spots and be prepared to tell us where you’re going for your virtual vacation, one locale each week. Can’t wait to see where in the world we end up!
So, what’s your first stop on your virtual summer vacation?