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Showing posts from February, 2016

The Clock on Piata Mihai Viteazul

On top of P-ta Mihai Viteazul (aka "Complexul Leul"), in the heart of Cluj, sits a large, brutalist, cement clock. It's so drab that, on a dreary day, you won't even notice it against the grey sky. Besides, it doesn't even tell the (right) time.


For the past 26 years, it's been stuck at 12:07. A man named Jozef Palko stopped it the moment the Ceausescus fled by helicopter from the roof of the Central Committee building in Bucharest. As the building's administrator - and a witness to the previous day's shooting of anti-communist demonstrators in Unirii Square - he thought it important to capture the moment in history; the minute that communism fell in Romania.

Many years later, when I took this snapshot, I found that the contrast between the crisp, bright flags and the dreary commie architecture is a reminder that, with time, things do change.


You Can't Plan a Romania Road Trip, But You Should Anyway

I started writing this post in September 2014, not long after coming back from vacation. I dropped it because I got sick of going through the hundreds of pictures we took just to pick the perfect ones for this post. But, like a seed once planted, it needs some water and the right conditions to flourish. In my case: an email from a reader, asking me about road-tripping through Romania, and the chance to lift this weight off my back. So here it is, a summary of one Romania road trip, from Cluj and back.



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2,656 Kilometers.
188 Liters of gas.
2,919 RON.

That's more or less the tally for the Romania road trip I took with my roomie/wife Roxana. We could have booked an all-inclusive vacation to Greece, Turkey, or Bulgaria at about the same cost, but how could we resist a road trip? A unique waterfall, the 'tunnel of love', the best driving road in the world, Summer …