Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Heartland of Romania

Romania is a knock-down beautiful country! This week, we took the train into the heartland visiting NGO's in Sibiu and Arad. We also attended a celebration of a completed project where the Church donated 6 computers to a career center. As we traveled the countryside in the hottest train in captivity in first class accommodations, no less, we took pictures to share.

This old train did not have air conditioning so we stood next to the windows like real Romanians, for 6 HOURS! But, oh, the pictures we snapped!

Every 20 minutes or so, the train picks up passengers, and lets some off. If you're not standing by the door, the train takes off without mercy. The name of this station is "Huedin Banffyhunyard". Honestly!

Steaming along the countryside we saw villages with temple-like churches dotting the landscape.

This Orthodox church dwarfed the houses around it in this village.

We passed miles and miles of sunflower fields. Sunflower oil is a main product of Romania. Romanians love to eat the seeds and you see piles of shells near every park bench.

Baling machines have not been invented here. The farmers rake the hay and straw into piles around long sticks. It is very picturesque. Notice the horse and wagon on the left and, the porta potty. Ahh Romania!

The spring rains have made this countryside lush.

This is a view of the city of Deva. We have 4 missionaries serving here.

Cornfields, a church, and houses make a village.

Entering Sibiu.


Sunrise from our hotel

Meandering through the streets of Sibiu is fascinating. These houses line the wall of the city and date into the 15th century. There is a restaurant on the left that has been in business since 1561. You just can't find this kind of "old" in America (but you can find a bathroom and a drinking fountain!). The colors in this picture are in every home decorating book.

Sibiu is famous for these little windows in the attics of old houses. They look like eyes and if you look at them long enough, it gets creepy.

What did I say about creepy? A crane family resides on the chimney and doesn't seem to care.

We paid 1 lei (31 cents) to tour this Lutheran church. It houses the largest pipe organ in Romania and the organist was practicing as we walked through.

A better view of the church, built originally by the Catholics in the 14th century.

When you think of Europe in the summertime, you think of eating in an outdoor cafe. That is because Europeans love this! We loved it too!

The architecture in this city is amazing. This is the city hall and sits in the most famous square.

A treat for us was watching a rehearsal of the opera "Carmen" which was to be held 2 days after our leaving. This is Sibiu's Grand Square and it was fun to watch the production take shape. It is considered by specialists as the biggest show of this type to be held in Romania this year. The music reverberated through this square.

The dancers are from Japan, New Zealand, Italy, Belgium and Romania.

This is another view of the the square or "Centru" as we call it.

and another view. Europe is like this...point your camera in any direction and shoot!

We wondered around until we found the old wall.

Soras Ausen and Olson. The hardest-working missionaries we know!

We love Elder Martineau! He is the Zone leader in Arad and a great missionary.

I snapped this pictures as these missionaries walked toward us in centru. From left:
Elder Jensen, Johnson, Wirthlin. The Best!

After a hot 5-hour train ride, we arrived in Cluj just in time for a baptism of Macdonald, a medical student here from Uganda. He is with wonderful Elder Bernier who helped teach him.

Elder Ott baptized him.

The Church is growing in Romania!


  1. Absolutely beautiful!! I will have to add Romania to the list of places I need to go... but definitely in the summer! :) And congrats on little Kate! She looks so much like Steve!

  2. It is so gorgeous there! I want to come!!!

  3. You're right, I would love to wander through those old cities and villages. Especially when they are in such pretty settings. I bet the missionaries serving there were happy to see you. Do they make you speak to them in Romanian? You're getting good at it! Te iubesc

  4. The missionaries put up with us and our Romanian! We're much too old to be corrected by those young bucks but they do it anyway in hopes that we will finally learn this language. We use their superior knowledge of Romanian when the going gets tough and we need to exchange a train ticket or we can't read our electric bill. Otherwise, we're fluent! (fluent is when you can read a menu and not be surprised when the meal is served.)

  5. It is absolutely breath-taking! Thanks for sharing... not just the photos... your spirit and testimony elevate me every time I visit your blog. Love ya!