Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Escapades of Romania I

It has been quiet a while I have been inactive in this blogging arena. I think it’s the right time to strike the keys of my keyboard, fill ink in my sketching pens and markers….and start jotting down the excerpt from my experience…a travelogue!!

Romania, well first thing which strikes our mind are - land of the Dracula (a myth of course…I figured it out myself after coming here); home to the mysterious Transylvania region, where vampires are said to appear from fog-covered castles set high in the desolate mountains towering above rural villages.

In reality it is quiet a mesmerizing and charming experience to come here and in some way or the other become a part of this beautiful European country for three months. The enchanting landscape is spotted with picturesque windmills, articulate monasteries, and ornate churches, all perched in an untamed, mountainous terrain that rolls across Eastern Europe.

In August of 2009, I embarked on this European internship travel journey all alone from Mumbai (India) after completion of my internship tenure back in Pune. I would be working here in an architectural firm for almost 80 days. After almost 16 hours of travelling, I finally landed in Otopeni international airport, nestled in the capital city of Romania - Bucureşti.

I was picked up by Mihai, an ex-student from the architecture university. We loaded into a Renault mini-van and pulled onto the crowded city streets and boulevards. We were passed by dozens of miniature and luxurious sport vehicles, zipping between lanes and around corners. Modern day innovations exist harmoniously with Old World ways of life. It was absolutely fascinating. As I would soon discover, the country’s splendor is both amplified and haunted by the remnants of a fierce era of communism. Under communist control for more than 40 years, the cinder-block buildings still fill Romanian cities, but the preservation of Moldavian and Gothic architectural styles give the country a timeless feel.

For first few weeks it was pretty tough on my part to adapt to the food, roads and the ROMANIAN language. It was probably among the first of the romance languages to split from Latin, greatly influenced by Spanish, Greek, Turkish, German and Hungarian!!

The other international interns, who were incredibly warm and generous, welcomed me with open arms. In fact its all because of them that I don’t feel lonely staying thousand miles away from my home. Over the next few weeks, I became engrossed with the Romanian culture and the language.

The people are quiet hospitable though the same doesn’t apply for everyone, the tourism industry is bit underdeveloped at the moment but would definitely catch adequate pace in the coming years..

By this write-up I suspend my almost one year long mourn… Remember this is just the pilot write-up for my travelogue, I’ll be back soon with more escapades of my Romanian travel.