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TTF Talks: Two Americans’ views on their Romanian trip

Spence and Ed are two active American citizens in love with the world and new experiences. We met some years ago on a trip to Morocco and stayed in touch ever since. To keep the relationship going, they paid us a visit in Romania, but they also focused on discovering and exploring new places.

They share with us their honest views on what made their hearts leap with joy and what was not their cup of tea on their two weeks Romanian trip.

Planning a visit to Romania? 24 epic places to visit in Romania is the best start!

For a start, please introduce yourself and say how long you stayed in Romania.

I am Spence Hinig originally from California, USA; recently moved to Idaho, USA…I was 69 at the time of my travel and my husband Ed was 71…We were in Romania for two weeks…

Exploring Barsana Monastery, Maramures on the Romanian trip
The four of us at Bârsana Monastery, Maramureș

What did you do here?

WOW! What didn’t we do!? My friend and guide Andrea Kriston of kicked off our journey-those adventures to follow…

What expectations did you have?

The excitement of reconnecting after five years with Andrea, seeing a formerly communist country now democratic, visiting new sights, people and food…

What did you know about Romania?

We knew about Transylvania 😊; some history, and that transportation would prove challenging for a foreigner! And it did! 

What did you like about Romania?

The AMAZING architecture, castles, history of a people, PIZZA!

Corvin Castle is a must of the Romanian trip
Corvin Castle is a must on the Romanian trip; photo: Adrian Zaharia

What did you dislike?

Bus stops with no signs indicating they were bus stops!

What proved better than your expectations?

Kindness of towns’ people, free of trash and litter, modern and bustling, and the abundance of eateries in the town squares …it was like every day was a holiday! Churches and historical sites were in amazing condition!

The simplicity and conservation of old sites; here the Darjiu fortified church
The simplicity and conservation of old sites; here the Dârjiu fortified church

…and worse than your expectations?

Bucharest, was neither clean nor kind…It was like every big city, with few surprises…except monuments, buildings, museums…

Where have you been in Romania?

The Romanian trip took us to Timișoara, old world of Maramureș, Oradea, Deva, Corvin Castle, Sibiu, Brasov, Bucharest

What were your favourite places and why?

Maramures- Merry Cemetery– simple joy found from every day living, and sense of community shared in those bygone years.

Sibiu and Oradea …sheer charm of the towns, magnificent buildings, and the cobble stone streets!  Sooo many spectacular churches in every city! The art and wall coverings in the historical churches of Maramures, defied the ages! What stories they told!

Merry Cemetery of Sapanta, another must of the Romanian trip
Merry Cemetery of Săpânța

What was the most spectacular place you visited and why?

Peles Castle-the King’s interest in all things historical…opulent surroundings, mind boggling in its art collection, fascinating ceilings, amazing armoury…what does stand out; all families have their tragedies…And the Athenaeum in Bucharest – breath-taking!

What about the stereotype saying that Romanians are very hospitable and friendly?

Soooo true! All except Bucharest…

What do you believe about driving in Romania ?

Not on your life! You need a good life insurance policy to drive in Romania!

Romanian drivers?

Fearless! 😉

Please tell us three things you like about Romania.

Charm, warmth of the people, architecture, historical churches, and how well the people spoke English!

Peles Castle is a must of every Romanian trip
Peleș Castle is a must of every Romanian trip

Please tell us some things you dislike or some negative experiences you had.

During our Romanian trip we saw that the country could be losing their sense of self in effort to become ‘modern’…while I wanted to see the old country! It was sad to see a city and life in decline …I knew the waning culture meant a better life for the village. I wish that there was room for both… Many may not be interested now… but someday – maybe will!??

What is your favourite Romanian food?

Fabulous soups!

I don’t think it is Romanian, but they give their pasta a very tasty twist…

Would you recommend the country to your friends?

Oh, hell YES! Already have!!

Spence and Ed in Maramures
Spence and Ed in Maramures

What could Romania do to be more visitable?

All media exposure…

Thank you so much Spence for you feedback! So glad you liked Romania!

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