People in most parts of the world seem to know very little about Romania these days. Either they have no idea about its location on the atlas, or they have heard something about terrible happenings in the country. The mention of the name of the country could be greeted with questions about the execution of Ceausescu, the gypsy problem, etc. Some might go as far as to suggest that Romania is still languishing in medieval times.
Now, there is a little bit of truth in these wild reactions, but only just. That picture is a very old one, and needs to be updated immediately. Romania today has many things that can be said in its favor, things that will completely transform you negative impression of the country. First, Romania is a South East European country that is blessed with incomparable scenic beauty. The diversity in its geography must be seen to be believed.
The beauty of Romania is evident from the towering arc of the Carpathian Mountains in the North West to the serene Black Sea coast and the mouth of the Danube in the East. Romania has everything from the sunny hills and undulating vineyards of Moldavia to the great fertile plains of Walachia, drained by gurgling streams and rivers with clear water. It is a land of natural beauty and diversity that can truly leave a foreign visitor spellbound.
Take for example the Black Sea Coast. It has a large number of modern resorts with their architecture completely in tune with the natural surroundings. This non intrusive style of building can be seen in many big cities too. Incidentally, Romania has a population of over 22 million at the last count.
Bucharest, the capital city of Romania and a vibrant metropolis, holds its own charms for the foreign tourist. Iasi, Brasov and Sibiu are other interesting cities, with the last one being considered the cultural capital of the country. Not only the big cities, but every single province in Romania has something special to draw the foreign visitor.
Oltenia in the south is famed for the exquisite quality of its carpets and embroidery. Maramures is renowned for its wooden sculptures. Bucovina is a land of quaint traditions from the past. And if you are interested in history, Dobrogea is where you will find the ancient ruins.
Perhaps the most well known region of Romania is Transylvania with its mysterious legend. The legend of Dracula, the vampire king, has Transylvania as its backdrop. It can be traced back to the times of Vlad the Impaler, the merciless tyrant, who ruled briefly between the years 1456 and 1462. His favourite form of punishment for his subjects was impaling them for disloyalty or any other crime.
The barbarity and cruelty involved in such a mode of punishment induced the gullible people of the time to think that no human being was capable of such brutality. They, therefore, came to the conclusion that it must be the handiwork of a creature from hell. The bloodiness associated with the punishment also contributed to the legend of a vampire, which sustained itself on human blood. The seat of power of this king was in the Bran castle in Brasov county of Transylvania. It is a very popular tourist destination, and you can visit it for a hair-raising experience.
Now it is not just the evil from the past that you will find in Romania, but the holy as well. Romania is famous for its monasteries, especially in Northern Moldavia. The secluded monasteries will give you a taste of the peace of mind that is so rare in the fast life today. The peace and quiet of these monasteries will fill your mind with sacred joy and rid you of your sorrows and cares. Take some holy water and pray there, or just enjoy the serene and beautiful landscape.
That was a very brief outline of the treasures you can find in the beautiful country that is Romania. Now that you have an idea of what to expect, you can visit the country for a fantastic experience.
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