Bun Venit!

17 11 2009

Today was filled with meetings in Munich and a late afternoon flight to Timisoara, Romania. We flew straight over the Alps, where I was able to grab a quick picture of them. This mountain range makes my Seattle Olympic or Cascades look like Dallas. Not a small range. 🙂

german alps from the sky

As we landed in Timisoara, the sunset was one of the most amazing I have ever seen. The sun was so big! It was hard to capture it with a camera from a little plane, but I thought I did okay (notice the nifty chopper – those were all over the airfield — along with these bunkers built into hills, I suppose a reflection of recent turmoil).

landing in timisoara

As we circled the runway (the terminal was too full and we could not get off the airplane – this airport was the size of College Station’s for perspective), I was able to snap shots of the sun setting. I really wish you could understand how bit it looked!

spectacular sunset from the plane

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this city, it is a smaller city than Bucharest, and is noted as the “Vienna of Romania” as much of the architecture was spared from recent wars. The buildings are beautiful, but quite worn out. The roads are less than ideal, but not too terrible. Our hotel is well maintained (an American chain), but a modest 30€ (130 Romanian Leu or $52). As you approach, they have beautiful stained glass doors.

entrance to our hotel in timisoara

And once inside, there are antiques everywhere! Paintings, chairs, sofas, other random things, it’s hard to tell what it all is!ll

hotel lobby

antiques in the hotel lobby

Most of the taxis play dance music or 80s music, and all of the young girls dress like Madonna from the 80s. Definitely entertaining (yes, I see a million little Nadias running around, they all look just like her to my brain). The room looks stuck in the 80s, for sure (but very clean)!

not so antique room

 

We got into town with enough time to go out and see Victoria Square, The Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Theatre and Opera House. We had dinner in Victoria Square (which is a story in itself with no pictures for fear of being thrown out of a restaurant – foreigners are not always popular…especially American ones).

metropolitan cathedral

metropolitan cathedral from the front

In our short taxi ride from the airport to our hotel, we saw so many parks. All with manicured gardens, art, and fountains. This is Victoria Square – the cathedral is behind me and I am facing the Opera House. All along the street (no cars allowed) are store fronts, restaurants, and small businesses. Above are all residences.

victoria square

I simply turned around to get one last shot of the Cathedral. Hard to turn away, it really was spectacular!

victoria square looking to the cathedral

Within the square, there are a number of businesses – mostly cell phone carriers and shoe stores. We happened upon a flower shop too.

flower market in victoria square

The Opera House is a massive, all marble structure.

timisoara opera house

I’m looking for some help tomorrow to translate this plaque from the Opera House.

something happened in december 1989

As we circled the plaza, we came across a public water fountain (square toward the bottom right of the frame – this is where many people who do not have running water come to get fresh water for their home use) and some happy signs.

happy

Tomorrow, I have a meeting in Timisoara and am back on the plane to Wroclaw, Poland. Hopefully another update to follow! It is almost 2 AM here, so I am headed to bed. Long week!

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4 responses

17 11 2009
Daddyoleo

I suspect the celebrations in November are due to the fall of communism and the Eastern Bloc… including the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989… 20 years ago this month. The unhappiness would be due to “Change”… somebody moved the cheese…

Change…

17 11 2009
Daddyoleo

I meant the reference to 1989, not celebration… on the plaque.

18 11 2009
lpod

Dad, you were right. On December 20, 1989, the uprising against the Communist dictatorship began in Timisoara. You see reference to Dec 20 on many of the buildings around here (I noticed it in the daylight on the way into the office this morning).

The Berlin wall came down 20 years ago last week. Today marks the anniversary beginning of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia…also in 1989.

The significance of 1989 explains the obsession with 80s music, dress, etc. Interesting!

18 11 2009
Pam

WOW Impressed.
my little Kim all grown up and smart and traveling aournd the world.

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