Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Was Ceauşescu the worst of them?

Flag Romania MB307, Romania.

Thursday, August 13 2009

5 years, 22 days

Bucharest, Romania

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

current MB307 3,644km

Trekking 442km

Ferry 1,654km

Train 3,738km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 73,414km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > europe > romania > 20090813-bucharest

What can you do in 7 days?

Map, Romania.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Me looking quit happy through mirror of the MB307, sunny evening after entering Romania.
Enter Romania.
With Christina.
Christina.

Romania (wiki), 5th country on the great journey to India. Ţeara Rumânească, Romans were here, in Trans-Danubian Dacia, but pulled out in 3rd century AD. Who knows with certainty what happened after, through the Dark Ages and how the latin language or the people have come to Romania. Fact is with some Italian you may get through. The land of Drakula, land of Gypsies (Romani), Romania was always a dream destination for me. We enter on 8th of August, one fine afternoon, ride the Carpathians, this is what we have come for.

Romanian Carpathian train.
Romania Carpathian Train.
Blue train on bridge. Carriages.
Locomotive, engine, Romania.

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Carpati Orientali.

Romanian Orthodox Church in the Carpathi Orientali.
Orthodox Church.
Small Road in Carpathian Mountains Romania
Small Roads.
Carpati Orientali. Romania
Carpati Orientali.
MB307 on hilly road, Romanian Carpathians.
MB307.
Horses on Road in Carpathians.
Horses.
Foot bridge over Bistrita, Eastern Carpathians, Romania.
Foot Bridge.
Lake Bicaz/Bistrita, Carpathians, Romania.
Lake Bicaz/Bistrita.

The Carpathians (wiki), one of the largest areas of undisturbed forest in Europe, largest bear and wolf population in Europe: what do we want more?

We enter the Carpatii Orientali as this section is called, or Eastern Carpathians, inner or outer, who cares?, we enter where county Maramureş is, later Bistriţa-Năsăud, down to Bistrita, over some lower peaks east again, Neamţ, follow the raul (river) Bistrita for a day. Somewhere there is the magnificent, orthodox, partly off stone, partly wooden country church and cemetery of Dreptu, Poiana Teiului is the commune.

Before evening we reach the artificial Lake Bicaz/Bistrita.

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Dreptu.

Orthodox church Dreptu, Poiana Teiului, Neamt, Romania.
Magnificant orthodox church.
Dreptu, Carpathians, Orthodox Church and Cementry, Poiana Teiului, Neamt.
Dreptu, Carpathians, Romania.
Icon on Cementry Gate Dreptu, Romania.
Icon on gate.
Orthodox cementry, Dreptu, Romania.
Cementry.

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Galati.

Socialist Eastern European communal housings.
Communist heritage.
Galati, Romania, Communist Appartment Blocks.
Systematisation.

Then it goes down, roll down, out of Carpathian terrain, Tecuci, with a fine orthodox church, to Galati (wiki), whose communist blocks feature as a banner of this page. We touch/cross the Danube for the 2nd time on this journey

It was not just rhetorical, ... whether Nicolae Ceauşescu (wiki) was the worst of them? Well, maybe not as bad as Stalin... But pursuing a quasi-Stalinist cultural-revolution policy that encompassed all aspects of life, leading to immense destruction of intellect, lives, old architecture, all based on repression by the Securitate apparatus, the Conducător in the end becoming insane, completely denying reality... At leazst he was shot dezadz quickly.

And some wonders how these managed to survive.

Tecuci orthodox Church, Romania.
Tecuci, orthodox church.
Tecuci church inside cupola frescos/paintings.
Inside Frescos.

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Mouth of the Danube.

Tree.
Danube Delta, Tree.

Rezervatia Biosferei Deltei Dunării, a world heritage site, the largest and least damaged wetland complex in Europe, second largest delta in Europe, the mouth of the big stream, the Danube which after some 3000km and 10 countries flows into the Black sea, with its sheer enormous force molding this world wonder.

The area measures more than 5000 km2, covers 8% of Europe, has been formed over last 16000 years, now branches into 3 main arms. It is important stopover and breeding place for cormorants, swans, pelicans, flamingoes, wild ducks; many species winter here. The delta lies on migration routes for birds from Mongolia, Siberia, Antarctica and other regions.

It is the variety of Ecosystems, running waters, stagnant waters, marshlands, etc. that make out its uniqueness. The communist area regime had its big plans with it, from the 60s on large parts were drained, transformed into today’s agriculturally used lands.

Danube Delta Road
Danube Delta Road.
Road and Tree in Danube Delta
MB307 in Danube Delta

Sunflowers in Danube Delta.
Herbs in Delta Danube. Sunset.
Tree sunset.
Romania, Mouth of Danube, Fisher man.
Lake and Birds, Danube Delta
Flighing Bird Danube Delta.
Pond and Birds, Danube Delta.
Birds over lake in Romania, Mouth of Danube.
Reeds, Flore, wetlands, Danube Delta, Romania.
Tractors, Danube Delta. Romania.
Shephard, sheep, Danube Delta.
Field of Sunflowers. Twilight.
Village in Danube Delta Romania.
Water lilies Danube Delta marshes.
reeds, Wetlands, Mouth of Danube.
Brick orthodox Church Danube Delta Romania.

Danube Delta, camp, Christina in front of setting sun, dancing.
Danube Delta Camp.

Camp 11th August, Black Sea in sight, on plain harvested fields, on the other side of the track sunflowers hang in there in the hot Romanian summer sun, stand tall crisp, for the last finishing oily essence. Twilight descends onto camp. Dinner tonight, red peppers and eggplant white wine risotto, vegetables from the delta.

After moonrise an owl repeatedly makes its appearance, glides over our heads, in circles. Will we encounter wisdom on this journey?

Driving roads in Danube Delta.
Road, slanted.
Picture of road slanted.
tilted Picture of Road and trees.

Me and sunglasses.
Better get my head in.

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Romanian beer, please in a PET bottle.

Plastic and I AM GETTING USED TO IT. What have we: there is Bürger 4.5% vol. in handy 0.5l bottles, there is Neumarkt 5.2% vol. in 1l bottles (Heineken Romania), already you struggle a little, but the Timisoreana, who cares how strong anyway?, in 2l bottles is too much in size even for me. All manufacturers jumped on that PET train, German Löwenbäu is offering its brew in the new handy 0.7l bottle. Mmmm.

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Constanta.

Black sea Resort Mamaia, Christina and I.
Hit the Black Sea, Mamaia.

Mamaia, Romania's most popular resort, north of Constanta we hit the Black Sea.

Casino in Contanta.
Casino has seen better days.

Constanta (wiki) has a long history, a big port, a casino on a short sea front walk, an orthodox Peter and Paul cathedral with impressing cupola paintings, long Ottoman history, hence a mosque, some museums, stunning Roman mosaics and Ovid died here. But there’s also so much communist left-over rubbish, Ceauşescu’s done away with much of the old structures.

Lunch and we go.

Following smallest roads, the old cobblestone roads, lined with trees, pass villages that neither see tourists nor traffic, driving like 40 years ago. Wineries appear once we hit the Danube again near Ostrov. Here the Danube, vast in expanse, splits into several arms, forms several fairly large islands; the smell of stones and trees is the Danube smell from home.

My road, communist area cobbled stones on country roads, southern Romania.
My cobblestone road.
Wineries, where we hit the Danube near Ostrov.
Wineries, dusk.
Danube, trees, stones, twilight, dusk.
Danube and twilight.

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Danube crossing.

Sunrise over Danube, Fishing boat. Romania.
Setting over, by ferry, a beautiful pink sunrise.
Pink Danube sunrise.

There is a reward for getting up early, a pink sunrise over the big stream. But the mosquitoes are up too and very active just before sunrise.

Danube crossing, Romania.
Ostrov Danube Ferry, Romania
Danube Delta to Wallachia.
Pusher of Roro ferry Danube, Romania.
Sunrise Danube, Romania.
Ferry boat, Romania, Danube sunrise.

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Buchuresti/Bucharest.

Bucharest, Parliament.
Bucharest, Ceausecu Palace.
Ceausecu Palace.
Massiv, a real monster.
Casa Republicii
Palace of the Parliament.
Bucharest, Parliament. MB307.
Buchurest, my van.

Enter Bucharest (wiki); all I really want is to see the Ceauşescu Palace (wiki), now called the Palace of the Parliament. Planned on the site of a district of the historic old town during the erratic personality cult years of the dictator, not finished until after his execution, it is the second largest building in the world (after the Pentagon), wow, enormous, also the world’s heaviest building and most expensive admin building; Gigantism always is explained by stupidity. But once the dust settles one can see the beauty, sheer size makes an impression.

Bucharest, fountains, on Piata Unirii, Union Square
Piaţa Unirii
Bucharest, 2 old women on bridge.
Old, poor.
Studioul de Theatro, theater Bucharest.
Theater in ruins.
United Nations Square Bucharest
Piaţa Naţiunilor Unite
Piata Natiunilor Unite, Buchuresti
Busy, ad with meaning.

Bucureşti suffered in the communist years of systematization (wiki), many districts 20 years after still lie in complete shambles. it will take a few more decades to repair it, - but despite all Bucharest has enjoy some spirited booming years recently. And I like big cities, those that are not clean and neat. I can sense this atmosphere of self actuation. Everything is allowed that is not expressly forbidden. Much happens, somewhere, inbetween the rubble; No government help, no interference is good help in a way. Cities need to take their time to recover, it would take time for me to discover them. Too much time...

It was a mistake to leave so quickly.

For stupid Brasov.

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Braşov/Kronstadt. What I call spoilt.

Brasov, what it could be idylic old houses.
Could be idyllic.
Christina, in Brasov, Romania, in boots and skirt.
Christina, boots and skirt.
Brasov, probably the best city in the world, umbrellas, Heineken outfitted cafes. Romania.
Laughable, annoying.

What Ceauşescu did not accomplish in years the city fathers manage in no time at all. In Brasov (wiki) you want to puke. Some inferiority complex speaks, and repeats the most stupid words 1000 times, stuck on all city parasols, in your face stimate client, a lie, it wants to distract, from some horrible truth the visitor would find out if left with an unobstructed view, a church cellar full of dead bodies, a genocide, or whatever? We don’t know.

We don’t know why we have to look at “Brasov – Probably the best city in the world” wherever we look at.

As if plastic Heineken rattans weren’t enough? There at least you think you have a choice, if you don't like the Heinekens' you go next door to the Peronis'. But the Brasov umbrellas you cannot escape.

But we need you dear client drinker whether Russian or English. And for you to come back we invented “Brasov – Probably the best city in the world”, and stuck it everywhere so you forget looking for the cobblestones, the old houses and churches. And we want your money, you pay for church entrance, parking and peeing. Asking for parking fees without providing a guardian is thievery.

And I think it would have been better Ceauşescu had completely razed the place.

Southern Carpathians, Brasov to Sibiu.
Southern Carpathians

Young smart Brasovians, I have a business idea, must be a seller, T-shirts ridiculing the probably-the-best-city-in-the-world slogan, One side reads: “Brasov – Probably the best city in the world?” the other “I have seen better.” Well not so good, I am just having a rant here, I am sure you can do better, be creative, there are many others you can do.

But be careful as city fathers may not like your gag and harass you as under Ceauşescu for nonconformity or just opposition. Beacause, as we know, they have something to hide.

Brasov, face it you're not Vienna, not Paris and not Venice. You could be pretty good, if you showed a bit of restraint and some sense of aesthetic.

I puke and we drive back to the Carpathians.

14th of August.

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Sibiu/Hermannstadt.

Relief in Sibiu (wiki) also in Transylvania, it is so much better.

Sibiu, main square, birds in sky. Romania
Birds view.
Sibiu, Romania.

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Timisoara.

(wiki) similar. They all have interesting history. But they are like Graz, Austria, really provincial. So it is my problem with provinciality?... Maybe I need a change after 8 days in Romania. We leave for Belgrade. 16th of August.

Timisoara, Romania.
We know where it is coming from.
Timisoara, Union Square.
...and where it went.
Timisoara, old, Viennese house on union square.
Dom or union square?

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