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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https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmygreatadventureweb%2Fvideos%2F1820821161520007%2F&show_text=1&width=560

 

 

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.

 

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

 

Winter is over in Ireland…finally :)

It must be official somewhere, now sure where yet. But my Facebook has been blowing up with  nothing but pictures of  Ireland and in the back-round I see a rear sight, that I haven’t seen in Irish people’s photos in quite some time. It’s something that eludes us most of the year. Yes, you guessed it..sunshine!!!

For it’s a dream as well as a curse to be born in ireland, for such a beautiful land with beautiful people, we are plagued with shite weather (excuse my french). Many a man, woman and child, will be sunburnt over the week end gone and the coming days. As using sunscreen in Ireland is of no use to you for most of the year, so we say “Sure feic it, a few hours out in the heat won’t do us any damage”, them famous last words 🙂

Farmers tan is a popular look in ireland around this time of year…
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Oh Ireland Yea feickers,

Of course the summer would have to come when I move away.  What is normally the rainest island in the world is after turning beautiful is these past few days. So much so I have a good friend John Ryan who even wrote a song about it. This article may not be top class 😛  but this man and his singing/writing skills are. He also has won many accolades over the years in his profession. Isn’t it  amazing what a man and his guitar can do?

Click link to see video: https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjpryanmusic%2Fvideos%2F10152334582271658%2F&show_text=0&width=560

So make sure to get that sunblock on thick and fast and enjoy the heat while it lasts  guys and girls.

 

Anthony

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…)