Our Jerusalem

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The Putna Monastery is one of the most important foundation of Stephen the Great. It was built between 1466-1469. Legend says that Stephen the Great, having once been defeated and wounded in battle and wandering around the country, at last reached the dwelling place of Daniil the Hermit, who gave him food and shelter. In the middle of the night, the hermit took Stephen by the hand and led him out of the cell, pointing towards a certain spot in the distance and asking him three times in a row whether he saw anything there. The third time, the voivode answered that he saw some lights, to which the hermit replied that those were not lights, but angels, and that the place is sacred. He added that, if he wanted to defeat his enemies, he should build a monastery on that very spot.

The same legend tells us that “The kind voivode Stephen, when he resolved to build Putna Monastery, shot an arrow from a mountain top which is not far from where the monastery stands today. And where the arrow landed, there the altar was built. He also had three country squires, the children’s bailiff and two pages shoot their arrows. So where the arrow of the children’s bailiff landed, there they made the gate, and where the arrow of one of the pages landed, the belfry was built.” The mountain from where the arrows were shot is named the “Crucisorul”, or the “Hill of the Cross”, and lies south-east of the monastery, on the opposite bank of the Putna brook.
Source of the legend: http://www.putna.ro/eng/Istoria-s2-eng.php

The graves of Stephen the Great and his family are inside the Church.
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The Putna Monastery was an outstanding cultural center known for its copyists and miniaturists during the XVth and XVIth centuries.
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The third and the fourth pictures are from inside where we can see the Orthodox characteristics.
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Note that my merit for this post is counted in minutes and perhaps the idea is mine, the photos are taken in 2006 by my best friend, Nicu. I’ll be more than pleased if one of the followers will have the opportunity to visit the Putna Monastery and so I’ll have real merit.

“Let’s make from Putna the Jerusalem of Romanian people and from Stephan’s grave, the altar of national awareness.”
Mihai Eminescu

Friends or enemies?

Armillariella mellaSomeone would say I have losted it and what is the bond between travels and mushrooms? Only one, they were on my path. Inspiring by a fellow blogger who has some smart pictures I said to myself let’s start another series.
I knew I had somewhere in my bookcase something related with nature, forest and plants as we used to camp very often for fresh air, the sounds of the creek and of course, for mushrooms. It was a challenge to see if I can recognize what type is it.

My friend is/can be Armillariella mellea. The track of this honey fungus has been identified in some fossils from Tertiary period.  On more interesting fact about Armillariella mellea, its rhizomorph are fluorescent and it’s said that the soldiers of the WW I could write letters using their light.
Its growing time is late summer and fall. Armillariella mellea, the enemy, attacks the wood and its effect is biodegradation.

Note: my research is based on a picture so I could be wrong, if I had the mushroom in my hand I could be able to certify this type for sure. Now if I go and goole it, I get lost, lots of pictures with different shapes. And very important, do not eat it raw.

 

The cell of Saint Daniil Sihastrul

Chilia Sfantului Daniil Sihastrul

Chilia Sfantului Daniil Sihastrul

There are seven years since four good friends took the road for visiting the famous Romanian Monasteries of Moldova and Bucovina. They made only one mistake, they traveled by car. In almost one week we saw or visited twenty places of workship. This post is the first from a series. The photos are …less quality but one can get the big picture.

Sfantul Daniil Sihastrul, the person from the title (I am using his Ro8manian name, because is easy to locate the place if you ever plan a trip) was a pious and a blessed human being. It’s been said that Sf. Daniil had the Holy Spirit by his side. He used to heal sick people by prayers. It was 1451 A.D. when Sfantul Daniil also made an important foretelling to Stefan the son of Bogdan II the ruler of Moldova in that time. It is normal that the son to succeed the father but that was not the case as Bogdan was murdered for his royal throne by Petru Aron. To make the story short, Stefan bacame in 1457 Stefan the Great and the Saint whose reign was one of the most important in the Romanians’ history.
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The cell or cave from the picture is the place where, Sfantul Daniil Sihastrul lived twenty years. Because of his fame, he chose to live in solitude and he spent more time for prayers. He caved the stone by himself. They say it took him 11 years to carve 9.25 m x 2 m.
Voronet Monastery hosts Sf. Daniil’s remains which makes the subject of another pilgrimage. On December 18 the Orthodox Christians celabrate him as a Saint.

Flashing

100_2269I’m in a mood to jump in a train, it’s been a while since I traveled by train…three years. Here I am very exciting about the idea but not my mom. “Who’s gonna join you?” Nobody. I want to be by myself or you can come with me. She paused and the thought of leaving her husband home, made her say “I don’t think so.” We’re arguing… as I am always on the road, it must be the quality of blood or my stubbornness.

I will choose Predeal, a beautiful montane location. It is situated in the middle of everything and very easy to reach Sinaia (Peles Castle), Sighisoara, Brasov (Black Church), Bran or Rasnov Castle. Besides that, the Prahova Valley is amazing, especially in the winter, breathtaking I may say.

To recharge my batteries I need one or two days, this affair will cost me around $100. Round-trip by train ($35), accommodation ($ 50) where I have 2 nights and perhaps breakfast. I’ll go for soups, coffees and snacks, all for $20. If I’ll move around visiting Peles and Brasov, let’s say another $ 15. Not bad at all, $ 120 for 3 days on the road. Or should I go for a diet and make it less? Until that day, I’m comforting myself with a flash from a hot summer.

The happy family

Rezervatia Narurala "Valea Zimbrului"

Rezervatia Narurala “Valea Zimbrului”

We call them zimbri, which in English goes like aurochs or bison bonasus, a name for european bison having a smaller and higher head than the North American bison. The picture is taken in 2009 at “Valea Zimbrului” ( Aurochs Valley) State Park, I hope this is the translation for a place/reservation which is held and protected by law.

Rezervatia Naturala “Valea Zimbrului” was opened in November 2008 and hosts 22 bison bonasus on a field with grass of 12 ha and 80 ha of forest. The main purpose of our authorities is to set them free to repopulate the Carpathian Mountains. Until then, this rare species can be admired daily with less than a dollar.

Location: Satul Acris, Comuna Vama Buzaului, Judetul Brasov, Romania.

It’s good to be home

Transalpina

Transalpina

The flight was in time or should I say half hour earlier, the one stop in London was short and not in the last, British Airways staff, polite and agreeable. Even though I couldn’t rest during the fly, this worked perfect to readjust to Romanian time (six hours ahead from NY now…soon will be 7 hours difference).

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So here I am, back to my country where in less than a week I managed to start and be done with different things, as gardening to my grandparents’ house, renewing my driving licence, meeting my best friends (a couple of times), attending the Mass, spending some time in a bookstore, “chit-chat” with my parents, fixing my internet connection and of course watching some TV news.

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I’m gonna stop here with my daily activities, I don’t want you bored, end of story: I feel good to be among my people, they aren’t so smiley but they have positive thinking.

Transfagarasan

Transfagarasan

These pictures are from 2009, old but good as a wine, right? I truly miss the road and the gang. So what is next? Between other things, I’m making plans for winter’s holiday:).

Bâlea Lake

Bâlea Lake