Romania, Ready for a revolution…

The government passed a law on 31st Jan at 22.00 which will free corrupt politicians, and people who are serving under 5 years in prison for various crimes, by decrimnalizing corruption, politicians who were in jail would basically get a clean slate. So those who took bribes or were doing trade/ business with each other would avoid jail time, as long as the offense is under 200,000 lei (€44,000). While also after 6months of the crime, if not found out they could not be charged for said crime. So like a game of monopoly, politicians basically have a get out of jail free card.

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Their excuse was, that this was all in the hope that the E.U. will not give them a massive fine, as the Romanian prisons are overcrowded; so this is what they need to do. But if they thought that was a great idea, then maybe they should really let someone else do their jobs. This is the same government who was last elected in Dec 11th 2016. But like a lot of politicians these days, they lie there way into office with empty promises, then screw you over then when they get in power. (nothing new there then with politics) Withing hours of them passing this law there was 4,500 people out protesting, and no better place to do it then in victory square that night till 2am. With some protester shouting “like a thief in the night you do this to us” or “we came here to protect our country from political criminals”.  As the days are passing so is the momentum of the people. Since the first night of 4,500 people protesting, that figure has reached 150,000 and that’s just in Bucharest. That is not including the number in Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Timisoara, Brasov, and Iasi.

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They will not take this lying down, the Romanian people know that they are the ones with the real power, they know the politicians only sit in their seats because the Romanian people put them there. The people have the power because they stand united together and that it what is truly beautiful to see,  I was talking to my boss who has been out every night since it started. He like so many other Romanians, will continue to protest until this madness from the politicians stops and this law is changed. For the most part, the protests have been peaceful, but like anywhere you will find a few idiots trying to start trouble. These idiots cannot outshine the beauty of what is going on here, the Romanian people are coming together for the common good, and justice they will have. With a “never say die” attitude of theirs, they will not give up until they win.  I’ve heard some great stories of protesters giving the police flowers who are on duty supervising the protests, a sign of peace as they are not there for trouble, but change! Shops and restaurants giving free tea and meals to protesters to keep the troops going. Hotels offering free accommodation for people coming from outside the city, plus kinder-gardens are offering free supervision for kids so the parents can go and protest during the night. If that ain’t the people coming together for the greater good, then I don’t know what is. Im so glad to be here for it, it’s such a beautiful thing to see how a city is coming together here. At 10pm tonight the protesters held a minute’s silence and when it was done they joined together and sang the Romanian national anthem 🇷🇴. When they all finished protesting for the night, all the people cleaned up whatever mess they left on the ground and went home leaving Bucharest’s Victoriei Square like nothing had ever happened.

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There has not been a reaction this big from the people since the Nicolae Ceaușescu era in 1989 when they protested and stormed his government office to end his communist ways. Which shortly after he was executed. 

I’ve seen a lot since I came here, and I as a foreigner in a foreign land, I can look at things and maybe see them in a different light to someone who has grown up here, I think sometimes that can give me a different perspective  on things. I have literally been to the other side of the world on my travels,  In my time I have seen some beautiful sights; that this world has to offer.  I have never seen something like what I am seeing in Romania in this past week. The spirit of these people is incredible to go out every night and do as they are doing. Simply put, it’s amazing 💪👊🇷🇴🤔

Bravo Romania..bravo ♥♥

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January in Bucharest, lots of snow…

Snow is something I ain’t never seen much of growing up in Ireland. It’s something I always wanted to see and wished for around December for the Christmas period and onwards. From what I can remember in these 33 years and a bit, that I’m here on this planet; I can only remember it snowing on Christmas day once back home in Ireland. I was only like  6-7years of age at the time,   getting my fatherly advice from the old man saying “whatever ya do, don’t eat the yellow snow” but since then we never really had a lot of snow up until about 6years ago, when it snowed for about two weeks. Other than them two experiences, I don’t recall where I could honestly say we had what some would consider a season of snow. Winter in Ireland is pretty cold and windy with a large pinch of rainfall, for sure you can get all 4seasons in one day if you are there at the right time.  Rainfall is always a certainty at some stage, no matter what season it is. As we say in Ireland: Of all the islands in the world, we get the feickin rainy one!!

In the past week over here in Romania, we are being updated constantly about the weather, with yellow/orange/red warnings in place since it started, as much as it’s beautiful to look at or to go for a small walk in. It’s a bit of a pain in the ass also. It has been -20degrees most nights, So as you can imagine not the best time for skinny dipping 🙂  I don’t mind any kind of weather once I’m inside. I’m looking at people every morning here and there digging out the snow, as so they can leave for work in the car, snow plows going on the hour most hours. Public transport has been a lot busier since the snow has come, I have the car there and it can stay there until the summer comes to thaw it out. It’s bad enough to be out walking the dog 3 times a day in this weather. It’s a good thing I have Coopie on the dog lead with the red jacket or his little white ass could get lost out there. I can’t say I fancy waiting at the bus stop either, but it is the lesser of two evils. I’d have to commend the local authorities for keeping everything in good condition from what I can see .ie the roads etc Earlier in the article when I spoke of the snow in Ireland we ran out of salt for the roads after 3days one year, we had to get it in from neighboring countries if I remember correct! Not the first time the Irish government falling asleep at the wheel so to speak!!

It seems Europe is getting hit hard with the snow, I have seen some reports over social media outlets saying over 150 trains were canceled on Wednesday, 5 people have died in Romania alone and that number reaches to 60 across Europe. For sure its dangerous weather out there and as always at this time of the year I would feel sorry for anyone who is homeless as I wouldn’t put a dog out to stay in that weather. So I spare a thought for them. Ok folks, I have put in a few pics for anyone who would like to see them and also a video link for the facebook page so you can see with your own eyes what it’s like here.As alway’s if you like what you have read then please like/share or comment below.

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Christmas & New Years in Bucharest

As everyone is waiting for the clock to tick down to 12 midnight. Another new year approaches and for certain there will be lots of new years kisses, glasses been raised for a toast, family, and friends celebrating the new and the old. For me this year it will be different from previous years. I’m living in a different country from my own.ie Ireland. Like anyone who lives abroad, over the Christmas and new years period you miss your family and friends back home etc. But when I look back and reflect on things past and present I’m happy to be where I am, Ireland has been my home for a long time, but that home will always be there and now I have a new home. Let’s face it I don’t think a whole lot has have changed in the time that I’ve gone. I’m pretty sure everyone is doing pretty much the same as always, some will have kids, got new jobs, went out and did the same routine as normal etc. Life goes on. “Such is life” as a wise man once said.

In Romania  Dec 31 – Jan 1 means the burial of the old year and the birth of the new one, and it is called the old year before and the new year, after that midnight. St. Basil is the first of the holidays celebrating the important saints of the Romanian religious calendar. St. Basil is celebrated every year on January 1, as a joyful young man who likes love and fun. (dont we all)

Christmas in Romania has been pretty different in a lot of ways from back home. Some similarities to be fair, but different never the less. Romania has a lot of traditions in so many ways, no matter what time of the year it is. We had people coming to the apartment complex and outside the block singing their hearts out with some lovely Christmas melodies, (pity I wasn’t fluent in the language to really take it all in) charming nevertheless… a group of people cracking whips as they walk by the blocks, not to sure about that one, the cutting/killing of the pig for the feast, the boiled wine in the Christmas market on a cold winter’s night as it snows around you. As I am but a student of this land, I let it all soak in; where ever possible.With any big city, you have lots of Christmas lights and Bucharest is no exception. I didn’t get to see all that i would have liked but there is always next year. From what I did see I was impressed.

This is my first Christmas in Romania and also as a daddy, when I think back on the year I have had, it has been one of the best as I got to welcome into the world a beautiful little lady, and as Christmas is a time for giving, my fiance gave me the best gift of all. The gift of life. For that, I will always be eternally grateful to her; and I would like take this time to tell her I love her very much. Christmas without having a kid or kids, has never meant that much to me, but its kids/family and friends who make Christmas. So to all my family and friends and whoever reads this blog. I wish you all the best for the new year ahead and I hope it brings you as much joy as I have had this year.

If you got this far, thanks for reading. Please like/follow/share or leave a comment. Feed back in always welcome.

Some nice pics below

 

Lake Baia Baciului, Romania…

Recently we were invited to get out of the city for the day, after working all week I was in need of some TLC so took the opportunity with both hands. The place we went, was none other than Lake Baia Baciului. Another little gem hidden in the countryside. Saturday morning we left with a few friends and as we drove down to the lake, Its like an hours drive from the city so its not far from home. I being a non driver at the age of 33, I called shot gun, while my heavily pregnant fiance took the wheel ( I know, I should be ashamed of myself )  and it wasn’t before long and we arrived at our destination. I knew a little about the place, as we stopped here for lunch after visiting the salt mines not far from the lake on a previous outing.

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A little about the place.

It has a nice traditional restaurant which you can eat inside or out, the food is very nice and you can get your fill of romanian foods with plenty on offer. If you have kids, not to worry. They have playgrounds for the children to keep them entertained, while also having a zip line which crosses over the lake for a small fee. Its main features for me has to be the salt lake, I’ve never been in one. Im not a great swimmer by any means and can’t tread in the water (stay afloat without swimming in the one spot) but because of the salt in the water it was nearly impossible to stay under and not rise to the top. which made it perfect for me.( for once i was able to do the dead mans float, on top of the water) There is a section for people wanting to jump or dive into the water, the height ranges from around 6f to 16ft, if your feeling brave. Which of course I had to do 🙂 Last but not least was the mud bath next to the lake. They said it has very good properties for the skin, which include sulfates, nitrates, sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, etc. Its therapeutic so why not.

When in Romania, do as the Romanians do. So we got in and got dirty..

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After we were mucked up like two pigs we let it dry in and washed ourselves off in the lake.

All that was left to do was sit back and relax on our sun loungers, enjoy the sun and chill out with a beer. In my opinion, a perfect way to spend a Saturday.

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If you got this far, thanks for reading. Please like/follow/share or leave a comment. Feed back in always welcome.

Some nice pics below

5 Things I have noticed since moving to Bucharest, Romania…

As you can imagine living in Ireland, we are some what way out of the distance of central Europe. As once described by Roddy Doyle in “The Commitments” the Irish are “the blacks of Europe” 🙂 Every country you go visit or live in has its differences, Ireland like many other countries is no exception. The way we talk, act,carry on and so forth. As a people we are hard-working when we need to be and very laid back also, never short of a joke or a good story. All work and no play makes for a very dull day. We like to have “the craic” where ever and how ever we can. Today I was thinking about some of the difference that I have seen since I came to live in Romania. Just little things, but I’m sure a few Romanians might agree with what I write about here today.

The local bus

Everyday Mon/Friday I get up to go to work, I get the 355,or 330 to where I work. It takes maybe 25/30 mins at most to get there. In this time, I have noticed that no matter how hot it is outside; and no matter how hot it is inside? The windows for the most part are always closed, very rarely do I see a window open, no matter how many people are in the bus. If you are brave enough to open a window, then be ready for someone to close it just as quick. For some reason, I don’t know why. But the older generation of Romanians in particular, think the cold will hurt them in someway or that they will get sick. Sometimes its like a tin of sardines on the bus, there are so many people packed into it. If you’re a claustrophobic person, please take the metro!! If not, for sure you will have a panic attack on the bus and die during rush hour 🙂 (don’t say I didn’t warn you)

The local bus conductors,

For sure it you are a foreigner they will see it and they will approach you looking for your card, to see did you pay before getting on or if the card is valid. I’ve had one or two run ins with these guys. If it was legal to hit them by all means I would love too, as would many other Romanians. Quite simply put, there assholes. Maybe not all of them but the ones I had dealings with. They took me off the bus one day and tried to scam me out of 50 Lei, I payed my card before getting on the bus. They came and checked it. For sure they switched the card and then said, no money off, off. So I got off, they threatened me with the police. Then wanted me to pay 50 lei fine, I called their bluff and said ring them. When they seen they weren’t getting anywhere, they gave me back my card and told me to go in a not so polite way. So I obliged and got the next bus.

Old women in the supermarket,

The first time I ever went to the supermarket it was an eye opener. In Ireland we are very relaxed when we go grocery shopping, in Romania however it’s a different story altogether. Think of it like, formula one driving meets destruction derby!!! The old women and gentlemen think it’s a race, they are very fast and eager to get their shopping done, so much so that when you are weighing your fruit or vegetables, personal space goes out the window. They will be almost be humping you from behind to get in next to weigh their groceries. Space can also be another issue if there coming down your aisle, be sure to get out of their way or use your trolley like a shield and attack their trolley till you can push your way through. I’ve had a few stair downs with some old ladies but I stood my ground. Luckily enough I have a bit of fight in me. As for the trolley, it never fully recovered and had to be put down… dame you old lady!!!

(Ps…. I have nothing  against old people)

Men going around with their T-shirts above there belly’s like tank tops,

Not to sure what to say about this, but yes its true? Its seems like its fashionable here, Men of all shapes and sizes, young and old. On a hot day for some reason lift their t-shirts above there belly’s and let it all hang out, as the air works its wonders around said area. I’m not criticizing, its just an observation. Each to their own as they say. If you did this in Ireland, a few eyebrows would be raised.

The traffic and crazy driving,

I’ve read a few articles about Romanians driving, as in any big city people are always in a rush. My father is from Dublin so when visiting relatives in Dublin I got a good feel for this their also. Bucharest is no exception!!! The traffic lights can go from red to orange and for 0.5seconds later when it turns green you better be driving off or you will hear the beeps from the cars behind you. It’s good my Romanian is not so good, I can’t understand if there swearing at me and my fiancée or not? I just smile and wave goodbye. But for sure if your driving here, it wont be long till you learn how to swear in Romanian 🙂 While also becoming an unqualified rally car driver.

This article is just a little look at some of the things I noticed here, please rest assured no trolleys or old ladies died in the production of this article…

If you like what you see here please feel free to share, comment or like the article. Any feedback is always welcome.

Anthony

Mountain biking in the Romanian Mountains…

Where to begin, well last week my boss asked me if I was interested in going for a cycle in the mountains. It’s something I have never done before, so I was a little weary at the first thought of the idea. I haven’t cycled a bike in quite some time and my fitness level has completely gone to nothing in the past year. He said it would be good scenery and that I could take some nice pictures for the blog, sounded like a great idea. So with that, I said yes. I didn’t think too much about it, as it was a great opportunity to get out there and do something different. It’s always nice to see something different and try new things; meet new people etc. After looking at a link he sent me, two things hit me like a sledgehammer in the face. The distance we would be covering was 48 kilometers, and if that wasn’t tough enough. The 1180 meters ascent to the top was the icing on the cake? (30 miles and 3,871 feet uphill and /3,871 down hill) On the bright side as Isaac Newton once said: “What goes up must come down.

The truth is I didn’t know what to make of it, for me; it was an adventure. Something I could tick off the bucket list. So I took the chance that presented itself in front of me.

mountain map
the trail

In my country the highest mountain peak is located in County Kerry, named Carrauntoohil, it is 1,038 meters high. I’ve never been, but as its in Kerry (also known as The Kingdom)  I’m sure it is a beautiful sight to see. The prospect of going up a mountain higher then anything in my country was an exciting thought. But for a man with no fitness….well…that was another thought entirely.

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the group minus the photographer

So with an early start on a Saturday morning, there was 14 of us setting up and unloading the bikes, ready for a day of cycling in the mountains. With the first few mins of cycling down hill I was taking my time as I wanted to get used to the bike I had, but it wasn’t long before I picked up speed and was taking corners like a man in a hurry. Within 5 mins we had our first casualty, someone had taken a corner too fast and crashed into a road barrier. They were uninjured and the bike was still in one piece, so we continued on as planned. It wasn’t long before we came across the first sight of the day “Barajul Maneciu” which is a beautiful canyon overlooking the Tabla Butii mountains.

PANO_20160730_152138When I looked at the mountain I didn’t think too much about what was ahead for me throughout the day, It was the first sight of the giant obstacle that stood before me. When I look back now and think about that moment, I would have never expected the outcome of the day. We cycled for hours and took breaks when needed, I needed more then most I can tell you 🙂 I cycled what I could, and pushed my bike up what I could not.

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So on we went, further and further into the mountain. Half way through the circuit I was completely and utterly exhausted. This was one of my fears going to do this cycle, with no fitness preparation coming into it, it was only a matter of time before my fitness let me down. But with a good group of people around me they pushed me on and on. I knew I was slowing the group down but there wasn’t much I could do only keep going and keep trying my best. Truth is, it was a grueling day for me. Later in the day a storm came, we could hear the clattering thunder; it wasn’t long before the heavens opened up. The rain was so intense that we found some shelter along the way for a few mins at least. A few mins later and we were on our way again, but now the ground was wet and the journey was more dangerous than imagined before.

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I fell 3 times off the bike in the space of an hour, with at least one of them being headfirst downhill with the bike landing on top of me. I picked myself up, dusted myself off so to speak and got on with it.Throughout the day it was hard going. Once we got over the highest peak, it got a lot easier going downhill for the remainder of the track. It was still hard and still a lot of mountain hills to overcome, looking back it was like a mix of hiking and mountain biking throughout the day. All in all no matter what I went through that day and what obstacles I had to overcome, I was glad that I did it. The sights I seen on this day were simply beautiful, with its picturesque mountain views as far as the eye can see, shepherds herding their flock of sheep, wild horses running free and untamed landscapes and so on. To see all I seen and to do it, was worth any struggle I may have encountered on the day. So a special thanks to Sebbe and the gang for having me. Another tick on my bucket list. Here is a look at some of the photos below that were taken throughout the day. I have included a link to a video made by Sorin Brutaru https://youtu.be/XtdzfVZEDiY It will give you a little idea of what sights we seen on the day.

If you got this far, thanks for reading. Please like/follow/share or leave a comment. Feed back is always welcome.

 

Getting lost is an Adventure as well as a lesson…

Where to start…

Since my last article I got the job I was looking for. Telesales and marketing.  It came just in time as money was running very low, and with bills due to be paid, it was very welcome when it came. For sure it’s not so easy to find work over here if you only speak English. You’re fighting an uphill battle but like I said before keep positive as it is not impossible either.

With going for interviews from one side of the city to another, public transport is a must. For some of the interviews I had my 6-month pregnant fiancé driving me around, but with temperatures in the high 30s, it’s not ideal for her to do so. So with that, public transport was the answer and something I needed to get use to ASAP. I come from a small town in the southeast of Ireland called Kilkenny; anything I need is within walking distance. You can get a taxi or a bus to where ever you need to go. I myself used to cycle everywhere when living there. In this concrete jungle over here, it’s a different story; you need to know how to use the public transport system. So last week I went off on my own for the first time using the bus as I went to the interview I had. Then when coming back on the bus I wasn’t so sure if it as the right one. So being a little lost I asked a local who’s English wasn’t so great. He in turn asked two more locals; before I knew it I was told to get on another bus at a certain stop, so I did just that. I got on the other bus then 3 transport inspectors came on that bus also, I swiped my card to pay, no problem. (more…)

English speaker, looking for work in Romania.

So today I was wondering what to write about and then like looking at a Frisbee getting bigger coming towards me…. it hit me 🙂 looking for work in Romania. So I have been in Romania for nearly 3 months and to say that the plan went the way I wanted would be a lie. But every sky has a silver lining. 

When I first moved here there was talk of working as a dental assistant to which sounded pretty good at the time. So I jumped at the chance, with no training I did it for a time with the promise of; if I worked there for a month I would get trained but not paid. Sounded a little shaddy to begin with but as I didn’t speak Romanian and needed work, I took it. I wasn’t registered to work yet and with no formal qualifications like a university degree it also sounded like a good start.  So I did it for a time, but then the “one month conversation”, turned into “two months” unpaid training. The new excuse was I didn’t know the language so good, but I could help out passing what objects needed, greet the patients, clean the tools etc, but I would have to wait another month, so at that stage I have had enough. I took it on the chin, I felt like I was been taking advantage of so I quit and started looking elsewhere.

It felt so good to know that I had the freedom to do what ever I wanted now. I didn’t see it as failed opportunity more as one I can learn from.

 I knew coming here I would be limited in a lot of ways to what I could do and from the start, the language barrier was always going to be the killer. But like many a man faced with what should I do now prospect, I looked online for jobs that only wanted English speakers. As luck would have it, living in a big city there are quite a few. So the search continued, in the past two weeks I sent out more CVS then I care to remember, I had 3 interviews this week alone. Sales Representatives seem to be the way to go for now. The interview I went for yesterday is the one I’m holding out for as they seem like a good company to work for, and promotion is on offer for candidates who do well; so fingers crossed. Its feels weird to be back sitting in an interview room trying to sell yourself but its something we all have to do at some stage or another. With time and effort comes opportunity so ill just keep going and wait for mine to present itself. I had a job offer already to work sales in an investment bankers company but the hours were to long and starting money wasn’t so great. As a father to be I have to think about these things now. The joys of adulthood folks! It is fair to say about options being limited but as a wise man once said:

 “The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.” 
 Rumi

“In the game of life, we all receive a set of variables and limitations in the field of play. We can either focus on the lack thereof or empower ourselves to create better realities with the pieces we play the game with.” 
 T.F. Hodge,

so I guess ill just keep on going and see what happens, and hope for the best possible scenario …

 

Anthony

Digging Deep, Prahova Salt Mines. Romania

Last weekend was a bank holiday in Romania and with the extreme heat at the moment we decided to get away from it, and where better to go to get away from the heat then underground. We decided to take a trip outside as i was told about a mine which is said to be the biggest salt mine in Europe. The mine is none other than Prahova Salt Mine, which is situated north of Bucharest. The first mention of mining here goes back as far as 1685, the mine was actively mined until 1972.

The Arrival 

So we arrive at our destination after a 2 hours drive from the city centre, as it was a bank holiday. There was a lot of visitors and with that being said, came an hour of waiting in line to get in at the mine. Not to forget the sun beaming down on us, eventually a bus came and we were very happy to see it. We boarded the bus and after about 5 minutes of driving us into the mine we arrived at our destination. As soon as you walk past the big doors at the entrance, you look out into the massive open area. I was in awe of the sheer size of this place. From the base to the ceiling, it’s taller than the statue of liberty at 55 metres. All year around the mines temperature is around 12-13 degrees with the humidity at 60 %, which on a very hot day outside, to get in was a blessing. The mine is like something I have never seen before, as I have never been so far underground.

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B-Fit In The Street Festival, Bucharest Romania

Recently I had the pleasure of going to Bucharest’s annual B-Fit In The Street Festival, the festival has been running since 2007 and has become a big feature in the arts calendar in the city. By the year 2021, Romania wants to be European capital of culture and is one of the candidates for the title. So every year since 2007 it has put on a show. It invites artists and performers from all over Europe to come together for a special 4-day event in the city. The shows are held in the main square “Piata Universitatii” which is in the city centre.

The project is organized by Arcub-Centre of Culture in Bucharest and with artists coming from all over Europe you’re in for a treat. The artists this year came from: France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Spain, Great Britain, Slovakia  and not to forget the local Romanians. The shows start from 17:00 hours and last all the way up to 23:00. The event is one for all ages and great day out for the family (more…)

Ireland on tour in France. Let the madness begin!!

It’s no secret that the Irish like to migrate, and have done so for thousands of years; some by choice and some by necessity. Where ever you go I’m sure they can be found roaming all over the world .In the past week gone there have been thousands leaving the country to fly to France for the euros, and i don’t mean Eurovision!! (Nicky Byrne/ Dustin the turkey/Jedward…..really Ireland)

As I write this article I think back of what I watched last night, which was Ireland playing Sweden in the European championship group stages. All week we have heard of the Swedes say this should be an easy game for them. Irelands centre defence are slow and won’t be able to handle what they have. That being their main danger, the talisman Ibrahimovic. Nobody can argue the talent of this man as he is a world-class striker, and capable of winning any game given half the chance. If you were to ask and Swedish fans about their team, he is the first person they would mention. Ill never forget the overhead bicycle kick against England a few years back. just one of the many great goals he scored in his career. To the Swedes it’s Ireland vs. Slaten!

The game itself was a good game and great to see some new fresh facesin the squad (Brady/Clark/Hendricks). It was nice to see Ireland playing attacking football for a change, and not everything long ball aka Jack Charlton football. As Wes Hollahan scored a pretty impressive strike I jumped from my chair and screamed with delight as did many an Irish man/woman im sure :).  The fiancé said I was going to have a heart attack if I didn’t relax. For every pass, tackle, throw, free kick, I was shouting at the TV in support. Hoping so much for the win.  Pity a few minutes later they got the equaliser (feickers) from an Own goal and the game finished a 1 all draw. The win would have been a great start to the campaign for the Boys in green. But that’s soccer, what can ya do!!! A draw in not a bad result against Sweden to be fair. As much as the game is why the Irish are over there, there is more to it then just soccer. The craic the banter, showing the world for such a small island we have probably the best fans in the world. It’s a fair enough statement to make! Just look at any social media outlet Facebook /Youtube/ Twitter etc and you will see something Irish connected in your stream somewhere down the feed. I’m happy to say I’m Irish when you see how good an image we portray abroad, sure we are not perfect, we may drink a little to much from time to time, but we are no trouble. Their for the fun of it, (hear for a good time, Not a long time )to enjoy all it has to offer. If other nations like England and Russia took a similar approach, the French police would sleep easier in the next few weeks, but that’s not to be! They will earn their money as long as they’re in the tournament. To be fair it only takes a small minority of troublesome fans to mess things up for others. Its great to see such spirit in the Irish team and the fans, we all know what we are like in Ireland, but its nice to show the rest of world also. So folks its Belgium next, lets keep that Irish spirit going and keep fighting for a place while having the craic along the way. Until then here is some nice fun flags in the gallery for yea to view.

Slainte folks

 

Anthony

 

Rasnov Fortress… who’s with me… deep in the Romanian heartland

Like I said in my previous article about Peles Castle, Rasnov Fortress is also like something you would only read about or see from a fairytale book. It is situated in the high hills of the Carpathian Mountains, which hails 650 feet over the town Rasnov. High in the hills and surrounded by beautiful forest lands. It’s easy to see why this would be on your to do list in Romania. It’s said that the fortress was built in 1211 ad and finished 14 years later in 1225ad. Inside the fortress there is a well, which was built in 1623. The fortress was built more as a place of refuge for the inhabitants against its enemies. Inside the grounds is pretty impressive as it had 30 houses, a school, a chapel and a well. As you walk through the grounds there are plenty of locals selling there trinkets, food etc. At one stage during my visit I could see some of the locals dressed in old style costumes with swords and axes, for a small little fee, they let me play the game of throwing an axe at a target. Can’t say I was any good though. Who ever thought to build it here obviously had strategy in mind, and as you walk from one side to another. You can see that the defence system had nine towers, two bastions and a drawbridge. Turn to the north, south and west of the walls there is a 500 foot slope of a drop. On a cold winters day with freezing conditions outside the fortress, it must have been terrible trying to break through its defences. However, only once in all it’s existence was it forced to surrender. The year 1612, that was due to no water supply as the enemy found their secret passage. Which in turn was why they built the well inside the grounds many years later. Pretty impressive all the same. Local legend has it, that two prisoners built the well, which took 17 years to build in return for their freedom. The well itself is 470 ft deep. Once you finished looking inside you can take a look from the towers on the town and countryside below, which is a pretty impressive sight. All in all nice to see and a nice break from the city does nobody any harm.

Anthony

 

Sinaia, Romania… A little gem.

Another day another story, recently we decided to get out of the city for a few days to visit one of Romania’s most famous landscapes. The place i’ll be talking about is Sinaia.

If you want to get a feel for Romania and what it was like in the old days then look no further. This place has everything you could ask for, Peles Castle is like something you would only see in a fairytale book, The castle itself was once home to King Carol who ruled Romania from 1881-1914, from what I gather from locals he used this castle as a summer retreat. This area is full of mountains and you wouldn’t want to be afraid of heights when driving as there are a lot of steep hills you will come across. The mountains here range from 2,516 to 2,822 feet above sea level.

You can do a bit of hiking in the summer from beginners classes to expert levels, you can also bike around the mountains and if you’re up for the task,  quad bike. One thing is for sure, you won’t be short of views as the mountains views are beautiful. When the winter comes in, Romania gets as much snow as you can imagine; and with Sinaia being a mountain area there are plenty of winter activities that can be done. For people who don’t want to walk you can get the cable cab to the top of the mountain and ski your way down. There also is ski touring you can do which seems to be pretty popular, where you can be guided down the mountains, but being summer over here when I visited skiing was not on the agenda. When I do eventually do it i’ll let you know my thoughts on it.  My main interest for coming to Sinaia was to visit Peles Castle as I heard it’s one of the nicest castles to visit in Romania.

So we arrived,

As you walk up the pathway through the wooded area you will see plenty of stalls with the locals selling all kinds of Romanian memorabilia and food at a pretty good price, while in Peles Castle grounds I was very impressed from what I could see. The outside grounds as well as the castle are in pristine condition, and as you take the tour around the grounds you can just imagine what it was like 200 years ago with a king inside and his army of troops at his command. Just outside the grounds of the castle there is another house called “little pelisor” which was built for his nephew in 1899-1902 which is also pretty impressive.

As you can see from the photos you will not be disappointed if you come here, the main town is only ten minutes away, you can get back to normality with plenty of shops and restaurants to eat in, So if you want to get away from the busy city then this is a perfect retreat for a weekend get away. If visiting Romania I would put it on the to do list.

 

 

Anthony

Pictures below:

 

The land of the free…Really?

America the land of the free, It was something I have heard a lot in my childhood. All you had to do was turn on the TV station and you could be sure to see some show promoting this ideology. For a long time Ireland has had its fair share of the American dream, It has in somewhat way played it’s part in shaping America to what it is today. As the saying goes “the Irish and the Italians built America”. Many of men have died for this dream. They worked at jobs nobody else would just to survive and it meant hard labor  in the land of dreams, many of which were the earlier Irish in America. They came off the famine ships, for those who made the long trip and survived, it was a very tough start. Starved from hunger, a lot of them dying from diseases “the black death” as it was known.

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For sure the Irish had it tough when they got there first, trying to get a job as an Irishman or woman in them days would have been torture in itself, but that was nothing new for the Irish. Look at our next door neighbors England who showed us so much love in the past with signs like:  No cats, No dogs, No blacks, No Irish. Thank God not to be born in them days as everything was a struggle. Now with the internet connecting everyone and information at your fingertips you think it would bring people closer. But no, if anything we are losing each other. We may be more informed but we spend so much time online these days we forget how to really connect with one another, to much Facebook WhatsApp, Snapchat etc, We are programmed in a different way from generations before us. So to the people who are so well informed and connected to the internet I ask you a question? How the hell is it that the American people will be faced with a decision to vote in Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think surely yea have better quality candidates then these two… Unfortunately with these things money talks and they got it in the millions if not billions. But where does it come from and who is giving it to them, the real question is for what will they get in return for their investment. A better America maybe, I highly doubt it. Another war machine in the making, with tensions high with North Korea and Russia could we see another world war. I myself for many years have great respect for America or for Americans I have met in person, but not for there politics. Invading country’s is not the way to make good relations and from an Irish point of view who where once ruled by the so called “Great Britain” aka England. No good can come from it. America did to the Indians, what the English did to the Irish. Invade torture enslave starve rape etc the article was written as food for thought, but as Americans get to the polling stations in the near future there deciding which idiot do I vote for. The future doesn’t look great for yea with these two as your front runners for president. How this will affect the rest of the world only time can tell. We are in  for some interesting times ahead. America… Europe awaits your decision as does the rest of the world.

 

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Anthony Homan

Another Saturday in Sunny Romania

Ryanair are calling me!!

                           

 

             Another Saturday in Sunny Romania.

 

 

Hi folks, So another weekend has come and gone. So how’s everybody doing today, and what excitement did we all get up to the weekend?

The fiancé and myself went to the Bucharest International Air Show and Aviation Exhibition. Which was held on the outskirts of the city, where we spent the day lazing around in the good weather; eating Mici (Romanian meet) while I was sipping on a cold glass of Ciuc (Romanian beer J ) and of course we were in good company as we went with friends.So with the fantastic weather we were having, we made the best of it. To be fair the weather being at 29degrees is a lot to take for me; as coming from Ireland its not very often we get that kind of heat. Sad but true, “Of all the islands in the world I had to be born on a rainy one”. So god help me when the “real summer” comes in as I keep hearing it can get up to 45degrees, for two months solid. (I find that a little frightening) (Barbequed Irish man anybody)

Watching the planes do all sorts of tricks.

I haven’t been to an air show in a long time so I was a bit excited to be seeing this one, many planes and people turned out for this event and with the weather being so good made for a pleasant way to spend the day. (more…)

First blog post

So this is my first post!!! No pressure then. The aim of this website is to have a look at all things weird and wonderful on my travels,  whatever that may be 🙂 and of course myself being irish i’ll have to write about it in my own unique fashion i would like to write about life in romania as well as things back home in ireland or the world and have some fun with it. Recently i have moved from Ireland to Romania in search of a new life, some people in romania for sure will think I’m crazy as will plenty of people back home in Ireland. especially since i “have” or “had” a good job in ireland. But it’s only a job as they say and jobs shouldn’t define who we are, or what we can do in life.

I quit my job said my goodbyes and here I am. A foreigner in a foreign land 🙂

So a little about me:

My name is Anthony and I’m 33 years young. I’m from the South East of Ireland in a little city (big town) called Kilkenny. It’s also known as the medieval city as it was once the capital of Ireland many years ago. There is plenty to see there if you ever want to visit, i would highly recommend it. I can do a piece on Kilkenny some other time and here are a few pics from the famous little city below.

I have worked at a lot of different jobs over the years, painting, assistant plasterer, army, stores manager, care assistant to name a few, all good from  an experience point of view and lessons have been learnt from doing these jobs. Now I’m onto the next chapter in my life. I have lived and worked abroad before so I do have a little bit of living done and know a bit about trying to keep my head above water, which I’ll get to that in another chapter as I’m sure I have a few stories to cover from past travelling experiences.

So with no romanian language and no job and with my girlfriend  who is 5 months pregnant at this time we decide to come to Romania and make a go of things  here!

A lot of big changes ahead of me!

Kilkenny below:

 

Romania 

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