Three Romanian Experiences that give you a Feeling of ‘Back in Time’ Travels
If you ever dreamed of travelling in a time machine, you should know that there are solutions less complicated for time travel.
In Romania there are a lot of places that seem to be frozen in time. Stone labyrinth streets bordered by museum-buildings, palaces where you can hear the rustle of crinolines, trains that make you appreciate differently the saying “hurry up slowly” or colorful villages that refuse to embrace technology!
There is no need to leave the 21st century in order to enjoy experiences from other times. We will present you 3 experiences frozen in 3 different centuries that you can enjoy whenever you want.
1. A drive in the past with Mocanitza
The phone loses the network’ signal, the time seems to move slower in the rhythm of the train wheels, landscapes untouched by technology can be admired at the horizon… a drive with Mocanitza is the ultimate way to disconnect one self! Mocanitza from Visheul de Sus (Upper Visheu) runs on the only sylvan steam railway not only from the country, but from the entire world. Built at the end of the World War 1 for wood transportation, the steam engine did not lose its initial purpose, in fact it added a new one despite its long age: tourist transport!
The adventure begins in the morning, in the sylvan railway station Visheul de Sus where you can feel the smell of freshly cut wood and grass covered in dew. The engine is ready, the tourists get on the train nicely and then, the train slowly follows its path leaving behind a dark trail of smoke, following the cascaded river, passing by peasant houses and through the forest until the abrupt stones and dark tunnels signal the entrance into the mountains.
Looking at the way it climbs the impossible dips, one would be tempted to think that in any moment it will give its last ‘breath’ of smoke and the journey will end. But no -… for almost a century now, Mocanitza never has failed us … – it gets through the mountain roads and insists on showing us that no contemporary achievement has succeeded in speeding up its rhythm or in taking something from its charm.
2. Welcome to the Middle Ages… in the Sighishoara Citadel!
Sighishoara citadel is the old historic center of the town of Sighishoara, situated in the center of Romania. The citadel has a history lost in the mists of time. Archaeological discoveries show that the first settlements here date back to the beginning of the Iron Age. The 17th century was a difficult one for the dwellers of Sighishoara because in this period the settlement was affected by natural disasters, wars, robberies and pestilences.
However, the most tragic event was the fire on 30th of April 1676, when the whole settlement was destroyed by the flames. The only buildings that escaped the fire rage and still keep their old rural Gothic architecture are the Church on the Hill and the Monastery Church. The aspect of Sighishoara Citadel that we admire today is the result of the reconstruction period when all the houses were built from bricks and stone. Today, the Citadel of Sighishoara is a museum-citadel, with buildings perfectly preserved so that a walk through its stone streets is a true incursion in medieval times.
3. Stories Stopover from other times – at Ancutza’s Inn
Ancutza’s Inn is the main character of the homonym novel of the Romanian writer Mihail Sadoveanu and one of the symbols of Romanian hospitality. Since 1718 when it was opened, all kind of travelers have stopped here to rest in their journeys through Moldova, ( one of the old Romanian countries before the Union, now a region in the North East of Romania) and its brick walls have been silent witnesses of a lot of tales told in the evening in front of a cup of wine.
Mihail Sadoveanu was born in this region and heard a lot of stories that circulated at the inn. The dining hall is the same as Sadoveanu described it 100 years ago, Moldavian specific dishes are served the same way as in old times and fiddler music revives the atmosphere from 200 – 300 years ago. About Ancutza’s Inn, Sadoveanu wrote that you cannot find a similar one no matter how much you would travel the roads of the Earth. “Such citadel walls stay rod, wine cellar or wine – there is no other place where you can find them.” Today the scenery is the same just Ancutza is a different one…If you want to bed here you should know that the inn has 4 rooms for guests. The inn is located on the European road E85, in Tupilatzi village, Neamtz department, on the road from Roman to Suceava.