PERSONAL
GUIDE 
ROMANIA
Leave the planning to us!

Guide and Cruise Lecturer

Sorin
our  Avocado Travel   Consultant, is also an imaginative
freelance Tour Manager and Cruise Lecturer, 
who is driven by an incredible passion for
self-expression
through out travel and tours.


His presentations are often noted for their
unique style, elegance, and technique.



Sorin
enjoys to suggest customized private tours in
Romania and neighboring countries for those who like to
discover by them self and travel on their own,
with their
families , friends,  or business partners.


Sorin likes to accompany those with the free spirit
and ideas about where to go and what to see.


On request he takes also his own car or provides assistance
for small parties, too.

Sorin
enjoys to organize quality tailor-made tours following 
the
interest of our guests and he focuses on

culture and religion
history and architecture
cultural life and tradition
UNESCO wold sites
Jewish, Saxon, French, Byzantine heritage

 

Cruise Lectures

  • Black Sea Port Lectures
  • Danube & Danube Delta   

    Sorin is licensed in economic and law and he lectures on board
    of cruise ships arriving in  
    Romania  or in classes, touching  various
    subjects for special interests groups.
  •  

    Black Sea Port Lecture  

    M
    yths and Realities in the Balkans & Romania
     

     

    from "  From Dracula" to Ceausescu and modern   Romania a morning talk about                
               Romanian with guest lecturer Sorin Ioan Udroiu
    BSE.,LLM.                                     

    1)      Life during the Communist times and how it compares to life in Romania today.        

     -    how people were given housing, freedom then vs. freedom now.                               

    -         how life is in Romania today, in the larger cities vs. the smaller villages.                  

    -         how the government is different now                                                                     


    2)     
    How do people live in the different regions of Romania                                        

        -  Different cultural values, foods, drinks, landscape                                                   

    3)     Weave in some history of Vlad the Impaler - Dracula.                                               
          The real stuff- he is not well-known in the US,                                                           

    -         spend a few minutes to know more about the vampire and undead spirits myths       

    -         the other characters : Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola’ Dracula 


          4) A touch on the athletic history of Romania for a few minutes.                                     

    -  success in the Olympics with Nadia Comaneci                                                           

    5)      talk about famous Romanians that people might know, but might not be aware are       Romanian : Ana Aslan . G Paulescu, Henry Coanda, C. Brancusi                              


            Testimonial Romania 1964
     http://www.britishpathe.com



    Danube
    Cruise Lectures

    One of Sorin's joys is giving enrichment presentations to the guests on various cruises.
    His research and knowledge in economic geography and history, and international relations, music, the legends and folklore of various places traveling throughout are brought together in talks.

    This provide wonderful background for places guests visit.

     Lectures titles

    I.  People and culture in Romania
         with ethno - folklore music show
    II. Danube a former political and natural
        
    border line between Balkans and Central Europe
    III Socialism, communism, fascism, Nazism,
          and anti- Semitism
    in Europe

    A sampling from his diverse talks on Danube Cruises


    I. People and culture in Romania
    with ethno - folklore music show

    (15 minutes and 45 minutes of music and costumes show 
    or 45 minutes presentation) 
    * as presented in 2003 and 2004

    Romania a Roman Latin island of culture and civilization, between Balkans and Central Europe

    - Greeks and Latin Romans in Dacia Felix
      (ancient name of Romania)

    - Slavic Bulgarians and Serbs, Russians (settled along    Danube river   banks during Prince Dracula époque)

    - Prince Dracula the Impaler vs. Count Dracula the Undead Vampire,   myths, legends, stories about heroism, dragoons, religion, undead,   vampires, love

    - Hungarians, Magyars and Saxons in Transylvania

    - presentation of ethno folkloric costumes and music
    from Romania

    2.Gypsies/ Rroms settlement in Europe
     

    - gypsies’ civilization of nomad tribes: skills, superstitions and religion
    - gypsies music a living book of their history and culture
      presentation of ethno costumes and music of East European gypsies
     
    3.Woman condition in Romania : sport, art, politic, economic

    - famous woman characters: Nadia Comaneci (gymnastic),
      Elena Ceausesu(communist dictator’s wife), Maria Tanase (singer),

    * evening presentation  include genuine Romanian music and same  evergreen melodies

    Greek historian Herodot use to say that writing a book is building a bridge between people.
    We need such bridges in our epoch.

    Gypsies/Rroms are people of our days we need to understand them better.
    This is the best way to completely put an end to the racism, which has no reason in our epoch when European unity is one of the major goals.
    It is also pitiful for some civilized people to use in a derogative way the word “Tzigoiner” (German), “Gitan” (French) as a derogative word for people of another skin color, or of a lower economical standard as
    they are in Balkan area of the Eastern Europe.

    They call themself Roms, Romanes
    There are a lot of stories about Gypsies/Roms, most of them are true but some of them have too much a subjective interpretation.
    There are many people who are afraid of Gypsies for different reasons.
    They avoid as much as possible to get in touch with them by traveling in the area where they live or to stand by them in other locations.
    In the same time there are a lot of mix marriages (in spite of the traditions which are not approving this).
    Consequently beside the Gypsies/Roms with a dark skin and bright black eyes similar to Indian ones, we already can meet blond and blue eyes Nordic type.

    From the historian point of view of it is very difficult to make a presentation of this people, since there are not available any usual sources like sculptures, paintings or writing.
    The only things offering an idea about their past are the Gypsies/Roms’ music and their language.
    These are like a living book of their history and culture describing their life, places where they have been and so on.

    It seems that a tribal population living in north of India, one of the poorest among the others was forced to leave this area about 500 years ago and migrated toward the Mediterranean regions.
    During tens of years they migrated in search of a better life and they settled for a time in area called Rumelia where they take the name of Roms or Romanes and in Egypt being called Gyptians, Gypsies
    The faith of the Gypsies/Roms is also more or less similar with the one of the African slaves brought to US same time ago.
    They were slaves and they were sold as property for nearly 3 centuries
    , but even after they became free people they preserved their tribal social organization with chiefs, kings and emperors and nomad way of life.
    These things practically nobody succeeded to change by now.

    Today in Romania major steps are made in order to integrate the Gypsies/Roms people into the general mass of population as a part of a major effort to integrate Romania in the European community family.
    There are representatives of Gypsies/Roms in Romanian Parliament and Government.
    Special schools and sections of the public university have been created where Gypsies/Roms an study they language and culture.
    They have not a characteristic religion but it seems that the large majority of them are Christian believers.
    In the same time they have a large number of superstitions and they believe witches powers too.
    Like in voodoo tradition they have Black Magic spells which can destroy an enemy or even kill him and White Magic which suggest that one can cure any spiritual or physical illness.
    For instance they mix some fresh water with a few flowers adding inside some secret thing together with secret words and even crosses.
    Then you only drink the water and you are cured.
    It seems so easy.
    They are also very skilful in same different fields and each tribe has its own specific abilities.
    They are very good craftsmen. They create very nice objects out of copper, iron, silver and of gold.
    These last ones are of course the richest of all and make them even richer then any other people.
    This is visible mostly during the Gypsies/Roms weddings.
    On the occasion the bride receives as gift buckets full of golden coins.
    The groom receives latest model of Mercedes Benz with a private driver,of course.
    They are very skilful in taming animals: bears, horses, dogs and birds, hens, pigeons.
    Same time due to this ability they get together with the animals, but “forget” to bring them back to their natural owner and sell them for money.
    The Gypsies/Roms who decided to settle down and give up tents and who have enough money have built big houses where they live together with their large family and animals.
    This houses could be recognized by their specific the roof which is decorated with hundreds of small towers, Thailand’s temple stile.
    One can see this houses on the road departing from Constanta to Cernavoda.
    The vocabulary of their language and song text includes a large number of words.
    They are similar to a local dialect in north India, Slavic, Turkish, Arabian, and as well of all the countries they were passing through.
    Presently they are living in all the European countries about 8 mil. in Romania about 400 thds. and in America as well.
    Due to the fact that Gypsies/Roms are very skilled in playing any kind of music most of the time there is confusion between the national traditional etno- folkloric music and the Gypsies/Roms one.
    The Gypsies/Roms’ music has its very own characteristic and is quite different.
    One can notice this thing while cruising Danube.
    You have the chance to attend the ethno-folkloric shows of different people living along its banks as well as original Gypsies/Roms one.
    It is difficult for most of the people to understand the words of the songs as a completely foreign language.
    But one could very easy to recognize the Gypsies/Roms by their costumes.
    The women have very colorful dresses, with many flowers of a very large variety.
    Usually they are bare foots and when someone question what they wear beneath the answer it is: nothing.
    The man likes to wear black pants and vest coat and a silk chemise white or fire red and sometime very large black hats.
    Their musical instruments include the tzimbal, which is very close to an Indian sitar, strings knocked with some small sticks.
    But they are very skilful in playing as well any instrument and tune by hart: the violin, the guitar and so on.

    TOP

    II. Danube a former political and natural border line between Balkans and Central Europe
    (Briefing 45 min plus 15 min for questions and commentaries)
    ** as presented in 2004 - 2005

     

    1.Brief orientation on geography of the Balkan Peninsula and Romania as a historical and a cultural part of the area

    - Brief orientation on geography of Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe,    Romania as  a part 
    - Danube river brief history
    - various empires and powers ruling on here, and their interest in the area:
      Greek - Macedonian, Roman and Latin, Bulgarian, Hungarian,  Austrian  and  Magyars, Ottoman Turkish, French, "white" and "red" Russian
    - the settlement of south Slavs (Yugoslavs) in Balkans

     2 ..NATO and the European Community (EU), perspectives in the area
    - NATO and peace prospects in the Balkans
    - EU as a political and economical organization
    - considerations on position of different existing members and of the future ones to become toward the expansion of EU: Turkey,  and Bulgaria and special references on Romania
    - EU standards to help new foreign investment on less developed countries;
    - Euro money

    3.C
    ulture and religion a reason for unity, a motivation for wars
    -Kosovo, Bosnia-Hertzegovina, Transylvania historical landmarks 
     
    Cruising on Danube we are visiting a huge library in Hungarian town of Kolocsa.
    Here old books in Latin language were arranged according with their sizes; on the floor a big book the size of a PC of our days, it is a story about one historical year, the year when Romans have conquered Dacia 106 AD.
    On a display window another big open book in Latin, and in the middle a map of Balkan Area, the ancient author has marked, like citadels on a territory, with three blue spots: Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Transylvania.

    Few facts about Kosovo.
    The complete name of the province is Kosovo and Metohjia.
    Kosovo land map itself looks like a citadel surrounded by high towers separated by rivers valleys, overlooking far to the South to the sea.
    On the foothills lies a plateau Metohjia, about 10,000-sq. km.
    From long time area is famous for its richness in silver and lead ore minerals. Albania and Macedonian border it.

    In its way from Asia to Europe a South branch of Slavic  tribe, the Serbs has had  finally settled here.
    They become Christians and live here more or less peacefully before the ottoman Turks start their expansion to Balkans and Central Europe.
    The first confrontation in the area between the ottoman Turks and the Serbs (supported by other Christian armies from
    neighborhood) took place in Kosovopolie in summer of the year 1389.
    It ended undecided both the leaders the Serb Prince and the Turkish Sultan have lost their life.
    However Turks claimed and celebrated victory and keep expending to Central Europe.
    They conquered territories in Balkan Peninsula turning them in Turkish Pashalik (a territory governed by a Pasha), today’s Bulgaria, South Slave territories (later one called Yugoslavia) and Hungary.
    In this  way along the Danube they reached the walls of Vienna in central
    Austria.
    Luckily for the faith of Europe nature (an early winter) and North Slave from Poland came to rescue in the fall of the year 1682.
    Turks were finally defeated and pushed back from Central Europe again.
    In 1699 a peace treaty was signed in Sremski Karlowitz a small town not far from Petrevorodin Citadel next to Novi Sad.
    The great powers of the time redesigned the borders of Balkans and Central Europe and each of them took parts from former Turkish possessions.
    After that the Turks released most of Yugoslav territory and kept Kosovo.
    They granted this province to Albanians provided they become Muslims.
    Majority of Serbs left the territory leaded by theirs the chief orthodox priest and taking with them theirs blessed icons.
    Many of them crossed Danube and settled in area called Banat, on border between Romania and Serbia.

    Today after more then 3 centuries there is not a lasting peace in Kosovo.
    The UN peace keeping troops defeat the communities living here, more then 20 out of less then 2 millions inhabitants all together: Albanians, Turks, Serbs, Macedonian, Gypsies/Roms and so on.

    The main territorial dispute is between:
    - A Christian minority of Serbs community who considers its nation birth place here in first millennium, with its major symbols orthodox churches and graves.
    - A Muslims majority of mostly Albanians, 1,5 million local people plus same runaway Albanians from Albania.
    They consider this their own land, since the mighty Turkish Sultan gave it to their ancestors about 3 centuries ago.
    They are prepared to clean the area and even burn and demolish any sign of ancient Serbian settlement to prove their point.
    Unfortunately both communities were encouraged in their non-peaceful, non-tolerant approach of the problem.
    When the Muslim Albanians organized a paramilitary Militia, to fight for an Albanian independent Kosovo territory, or even for a Greater Albania they were encouraged, supported and supplied with large quantities of military
    equipment, guns and ammunition by obscure forces.
    At this stage Serbian leader Milosevici was encouraged in its turn to send army and fight for restoration of law and order, for the country’s unity.
    In the year 1998, during a continuous political fight for a United Europe inside its boundaries, independence of an ethnic territory would have been a bad example for other minorities living in other territories in Europe and a treat to this hard established borders in Europe.
    Later on the Serbian army was accused of ethnical cleansing.
    Albanian population had been on a massively refuge in western countries were they found a better way of life. After all they refused to go back, they become a burden for their temporary hosts.
    On the refuse of Milosevici that time Serbian president to order withdraw of the army, American forces heavily bombed Serbia and Belgrade, for more then 2 month.
    The smell of bombs explosion was easily felt all over Balkans and even in Bucharest at more then 1000 kilometers distance.
    On this occasion the bridges on Novi Sad have been destroyed and the commercial navigation on Danube has been again on hold for many more
    years, a big economical damage for all reverent countries.
    A unique in the area and major car factory and a Chinese Embassy were among other civilian objectives destroyed on the occasion.
    Finally t
    he Serbs army left and UN peacekeeping forces KFOR replaced it.
    Later on Milosevici was brought in International Court in Hague facing accusation of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo (among others accusations).
    Serbs still hope for unity.
    Some of Militia leaders become political militants for an independent Albanian Kosovo in spite of their obscure past.
    KFOR still defeat these days the communities in Kosovo.
    Remains of burned down ancient orthodox churches can be seen in a small memorial museum in Sremski Karlowitz, next to Novi Sad together with those from Croatia, Bosnia.

    Bosnia is the second sad example of the history.
    Full name of the federative state is Bosnia Herzegovina.
    The Bosnia area map has the same aspect of a high citadel with many towers and a high plateau down to South to the sea, Herzegovina.
    A range of mountain surrounding in the East and North like a wall the present day Srebska Republic.
    All together there are about 2 million people on a territory of sq. km.
    Nearly one million are living in Sarajevo, a nice town in the middle of mountains of course. Once upon a time was the place for Winter Olympic, meant to be by theirs creator a symbol of peace, tolerance and understanding among the people of the world.

    This people use to settle here along the history in many small communities resembling a ”leopard skin”. According with their culture and religios believe we could find Serbs which become Orthodox, Catholics, or Muslim and Croats which become Orthodox, Catholics, or Muslim believers, then Muslim Turks and Egyptians, Jews. 
    There were the Serbs tribes of Slav origin arrived from Asia as part of South Slav tribes (Yugoslavs as they called them self) and they joined Orthodox
    Religion.
    In Central Europe the Croats came, they were pushed to Southwest by their relatives Huns and Bulgarians.
    They joined Catholic religion, the dominant religion of the West.
    Later on they melted some how with the Serbs and we had for a long time the Serb- Croat language, and out of the population of former Yugoslavia about 40 per cent use to be mix marriages.

    As already mentioned Turks expanded their territorial conquests over Bosnia, here they offered a tax exemption and many facilities for those joining the Muslim religion.
    Many of the inhabitants mostly the rich one accepted and central area
    becomes predominant with Muslims Serbs, Muslims Croats, and Muslims Turks.
    Due to tolerance showed by the Otoman Turkish authorities many other communities settled here, an important one being the Jewish one previously pushed out from West Europe.

    Along the time the region past from Turkish to Austro-Hungarian occupation.
    After WW I Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Serbia – Croatia, and after WW II was a republic part of Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.
    The attitude of central authorities was tolerant toward those of the Muslim religion during the communist regime.
    In the same time the natural citadel which is Bosnia was a perfect place to fight and resist during the WW II and when this ended to keep the military equipment of one of the largest and biggest military force in the world.
    The area was of a big strategically importance for Yugoslavia.

    At the beginning of 90’s the Republics of Yugoslavia start breaking away.
    The official reason was that they do not want anymore the overrule of the Serbs and they want to be independent states.
    The separation was more or less peaceful, the war broke out at the end.
    It was in my opinion a fratricide war encouraged by different political forces, same time obscure.
    A lot of innocent people died for a cause, which is no more actual in our époque of European unity.
    The Serbs fought for an independent Bosnia republic or for a “great Serbia”, the Croats for a territory which was former theirs when Croatia was part of Austro-Hungary, others for a Muslims Bosnia republic and so one.
    One  story about how the war started is like that.
    The city Sarajevo is crossed by a main boulevard having at its ends square markets.
    In a weekend  it was a weeding in one of the restaurant, the people were happily drinking and dancing but at a point a scandal on political opinion started a fight and a gun shot was enough.
    Everybody run out barricaded on the two sides of the boulevard and start shooting one to another.
    In the beginning Serbs against Croats, Muslim neutrals, then on one of the sides by turn.
    In another weekend in central market fold a bomb, killed a lot of innocent Muslim people, accusation was against Serbs, they were supposed to be much better trained and equipped.
    Public opinion is outraged by the action and condemns them.
    Ten years latter we find out from an English brigadier that the shell was from Muslim army and secret services had known that.
    In one day a school is bombed and a lot of students killed, later one we find out that the students were actually foreign militia training to help the Muslim forces to conquer the power.
    A lot of poor Muslims are on a run away refuge they die or are killed for no reason.
    All this war for what? On whose benefit? Could not be avoided?
    Was this a sufficient historical lesson?
    How they will comment this acts, the generations after 3 or 4 hundred years?
    Finally instead of a big power or part of a big economical and military power we have a small country without localities and a lot of peacekeeping forces to guard the small communities.
    After the war ended most of villages disappeared, roads are dangerous, and if you live the road you can come across a minefield.

    Transylvania or “the land across the forests”

    Above in this chapter talking about Kosovo, and Bosnia Herzegovina, we have presented a lot of history facts with the hope that history has already given us a lesson, for peace, tolerance, and wellbeing after all.
    Fortunately there are not peacekeeping troops and there will be need of such troops in Transylvania.
    Lately the political leaders of our days concluded , wisely, that joining the E U (European Union) the aspirations of people living in this area for centuries will be peacefully fulfilled; and then politicians will have a job other then instigating people one against others.
    Arguments like this territory is our property, since it has been given to us for good by God, Khan, King, Emperor and so one, have no more a sense today.
    Several times I pointed in this lectures that there is an economic explanation after all, for this happening.
    If in Bosnia was simple example: tax exemption encouraged people to become Muslims.
    For the people living in Transylvania I have to present some more stories.
    In Hungary of our days there is a factory somewhere next to Danube bank, the owner is Italian, there are a lot more Italian investments in Hungary then in Romania, maybe because they are of Catholic discipline believes.
    He put in charge of engineering a Romanian engineer of Romanian origin from Transylvania, and hired also a mechanic from Romania, from Transylvania of Hungarian/ Szekelys origin.
    Fact is that that   the latter one is always isolated in social activities and even in working ones.
    The other Hungarian/Magyar workers are even hostile to him. They are claiming a (political) issue of this day saying that he should go fight for Transylvanian autonomy, then he will have were to work, make good money home, and will be no need to take a workplace of a Hungarian/Magyar.
    A job like this one is paid in Hungary from 100E/week and
    in Romania from 25E/week.
    Will regional autonomy of Transylvania change this situation?
    Another story is that nearly 500 years ago, When the Turks conquered the Kingdom of Hungary after a battle, next to river Danube, the central part of
    the Kingdom, Hungary of this time was turned in Pashalihk, western part was included to Austrian Empire and Transylvania, was preserving its autonomy as Transylvania Principate.
    I would like to mention that on that fight the Hungarian army was actually lead by a Catholic Episcope from Kolocsa, since on that times the Catholic priests were not only man of God but army leaders as well.
    Many rich Hungarian/Magyar noble people had run out from Hungary to Transylvania.
    Here they bought land, become associate with local nobility of the Szekelys population (Secui as they are called in Romanian language) and the German - Saxon population.
    They become a burden for the people living here. On that time the locals were hostile to Hungarian/Magyars, asking them to go home and fight for the independence of their country Hungary.
    A huge revolt of a Szekelys is well known of that time.
    We have to mention that along the times, the Kings of Hungary have brought different people and settled them here, in order to defeat their borders in Transylvania.

    They brought the Szekely who seems to have same origin (Turko-Huno-Finn) with Hungarians and later one Magyar tribes.
    They came from Central Asia and settled in Central Europe, but this is another story for Hungarian historians to clarify and explain.
    The Szekelys were very good craftsman, agriculture people but on top of all were terrible ruthless, bloody fighters.
    Like other Asian in history Japanese, Tartars, Turks they were preserving the Asian mentality that anybody life on this earth is worthless so they cut and killed regardless the age sex, fault and so on.
    We find Szekelys  mercenarie-solders in all the battles of the medieval
    époque.

    They also brought a lot of people of German origin from Svabian Austria, Bavarian Germany and even Holland.
    They were also very good craftsmen, and we owe them the development of citadel towns in Transylvania, most of the never conquered by force of arms.

    In the beginning of 13th century a group of Teutonic knights order was also given land in Transylvania to defeat one of the few passages trough the mountains to the South, they built a small fortified Castle which later one become famous Bran’s Castle or better known as Dracula’s Castle.
    Other knights order is offered as well land in the are of Iron Gates cold Severin later one, and assignment to defend the area.
    Another interesting aspect is the Catholic religion fight to impose and to extend its domination on the territories.
    This expansion under an appearance of promoting Gods words has had an economical reason, larger territories means more people subdued, paying more taxes, leaders becoming richer.
    Any mean was good including use of arms, and we recognize in a lot of pictures of that time chief priests, episcopes and even the Pope, wearing a military iron coat armory.
    We have also  a lot of knights religious orders as already mentioned, who under an apparent noble goal to expand the God's word over the pagan world have conquered territories from Jerusalem to North Sea, becoming excessively rich and powerful.
    Felling that Knights activity will ruin their own power The Kings and the Pope of that time encouraged the fight against them and finally disintegration of the militaries knight religious orders.

    Its time here to talk a bit of the history of the religion.
    Is the religious believe a motivation for war after all?
    Or is a motivation for power fight, a motivation to conquer.
    In the first millennium the Roman Empire become Christian and Christianity become a major believe religion in the area.
    When a Roman Emperor Diocletian decided to split the empire in two, offering the next to be Western Roman Empire to one of his sons and the one
    to be Eastern Byzantine Roman Empire to the other son, he did not previewed the split to come in the Christian church.
    The church split in two: Western Catholic Church ("the Universal Church" in Greek language) with its head the Pope, the sole representative of God on Earth, and its headquarter in Rome and Orthodox Church ("the Right One") with its head the Patriarch in Constantinople.
    Before the end of millennium they tried reconciliation and a reunification, but the attempt was ruined by their unexpected actions of the knights taking part to the 4th Crusade.
    The Pope use to organize Crusade , gathering the famous and brave knights of the Europe to go and free the Holly Land of Jerusalem from the hands of Pagans who have settled there.
    Most of them were not successful for different reasons.
    On the 4th one the army of Christian knights choose to travel by land crossing the Balkan Peninsula, through Constantinople then down on the
    coast to Jerusalem.
    But while reaching this capital city of the Byzantine Empire they changed their mind. They have seen in sunlight the golden roofs of the Orthodox Churches, decorated as tradition requested, in one of the richest town of the time.
    They forgot their original noble goal and decided to enter in town and conquer it for them self and robe it.
    They killed most of the population, Christian like them on that time.
    Orthodox Christians have never forgot this action.
    In our day when tolerance is a common word on every body’s mouth, the Pope visiting Greece was not welcomed by the Orthodox Priests and their Patriarch. He has only received an official ceremony for Chiefs of States.
    Later one the Western Catholic Church split itself in Protestant, Lutheran, Anglican, Presbyterian and so one
    .
    The Orthodox Church divided in independent churches with their own patriarch: Greek, Romanian,Serbia, Bulgarian,  Russian and so on.
    But more attempts were made by Catholic Church to extend their domination.
    Just north of Danube on its left bank starting with first millennium the Catholic Kings of Hungary offered their protection or tried to impose it by force to the local rulers.
    One of them who had a lot to suffer a lot and got himself between Catholics and Orthodox was Prince Vlad Dracula whose life inspired the myth of Count Dracula.
    In Transylvania the existence of the Romanian people, who were of Orthodox religion was simply not recognized for few centuries.
    They were not registered in local evidence.
    They have probably not any personal documents as usually every ones first document, the birth certificate  was issued by church, and it was not an official Orthodox Church to issue it.
    This is probably on the basement of the argument that land of Transylvania was empty of population and Attila the Hun’s Han or the God’s Saint King Stephan offered or sold it to today’s ancestors of the Szkelys or Magyars or Hungarians living here.
    Luckily or unluckily the Germans have not the same idea, other way we might have a German republic in Transylvania as part of former Federal Republic of Germany, a republic who would have been already part of E U too. ( smile please this is a joke).

    A final attempt to attract the Romanians people to Catholicism was the creation of the Unitarian church, called as well the Greek Catholic church. Finally this succeeded not to unite the Christian believers as is was its declarative purpose, but on the contrary to crate a dissension among the people in Transylvania, which was maybe its hidden meaning after all.

    And now, few more words about geography and the beginnings of the civilization in Transylvania.
    Transylvania land map is a high plateau surrounded by mountains, the exits or the entrance into this citadel is made by passages created along the rivers who are crossing these mountains.
    In modern times there are more passages and roads  trough but in the ancient time were only few.
    The mountains are covered by very rich forests and in old times this forest were covering all the area down to the river Danube.
    Transylvania was the hart of a big ancient Kingdom Dacia created by the unification of tribes in North of Danube and Central Europe. Buerbista was a famous ruler competing in its time with powerful Cesar the Emperor of Rome, and having the same unhappy faith, assassinated by his next to kin.
    The people living here were called Daci (Gets in Latin) and were part of a bigger population living in Balkan Peninsula South of Danube the Traci (Thracians in Latin).
    Around the year 100 AD (more exactly in 106 AD) the last king called Decebalus was defeated after a series of long wars by another famous Roman emperor Trajan.
    While cruising the Danube, next to Iron Gate are we can see the statue of Decebalus high of more then 40 meters carved in a stone like the Rushmore mountain in US, it guards the river Danube passing through the Iron Gates.
    Across on the other bank of the river there is a “tabula” a memorial marble plate prizing the Emperor Trajan deeds, his victories.
    Trajan is the one who has also defeated beside the Dacian, the Britain and the Germans tribes.
    He succeeded beside his military intelligence with a modern strategy for its time.
    He built roads and bridges in order to keep his army well supplied and in good shape all the time.
    After all he used to bring population, roman citizens on this new territory, to colonize them and to send to Rome the rich products of the area.
    Many of the roman veterans have chosen to settle with their families here in Dacia after they finish their military service.
    They become local agricultural and craftsman.
    The Roman troops and administration pull out after more then 150 years of occupation but the common people did not left.
    Beside its extraordinary strategically importance Dacia, a bastion defeating the border of the Roman Empire against the invasions of barbarous, Dacia and Transylvania has had and huge economical importance.
    There were on that time and still there are in our days after 2000 years of exploitation important richness. Minerals, first of all the gold and silver, an Eldorado of Europe, then salt, honey, crops and wine, and a large quantity of timber.
    When the Romans conquered Dacia, they declared a year of tax exemption for all the Roman citizens; the roman coin was a small one like a copper dime when they left Dacia the Roman was a size of a silver Dollar but made of gold.
    They called the province Dacia Felix (happiness land)

    But from that ancient time the territory of former Dacia and today’s Romania was divided in three equal historical regions.
    The west - central part the land you reach “crossing the forest”( trans sylva in Latin) Transylvania.
    In the south part the land of Wallahs, Walachia which sounds like Walloons in Belgium or like Walkira, myth forest territory of the North.
    Prince Vlad Dracula was its ruler once upon a time. Later one becomes Tara (read: Tzara) Romaneasca.
    The third, the land of free Dacians, the territory, which even Romans, did not succeed to conquer Moldavia.
    Unfortunately Russian occupied half of it nearly 200 years ago and today it is still under the communist Russian domination.
    Religion and culture keep all of them together and after more then 1600 years from the Romans retreat South of the Danube, Transylvania joined Moldavia and Tara Romaneasca in what it was to be from 1918 on, the Kingdom of Romania.
    In this situation religion was the main reason for unity.

    TOP
    III Socialism, communism, fascism, Nazism, and anti- Semitism
    in Europe

    (Briefing for 45 min plus 15 min comments and questions)
    * as presented in 2004 -2005

     1. Brief introduction: the socialism and communism ideology

    • Communist revolutions in Europe
    • International socialism followed by international communism
      ideology (Lenin, Stalin)
    • National Socialism ideology (Nazism of Hitler, Fascism of Mussolini)
    •  Austria between Communism and Nazism
    •  Spain and first army confrontation between Communism and Fascism
    • National Communism (Tito, Ceausescu)
    •  Czechoslovakia and beginning of "human-face" Communism
    • 1989 anti-Communist revolution year and Romania
    •  Socialism and Communism ideology today

    2. Brief historical presentation of Jews’ modern history in Europe: England, Spain, Germany, Russia and Romania

    - Their settlement, life and relationships in Romania
    - Today anti-Semitism in Europe

      

     

     

     

     

     TOP

     



    The Perfect Getaway 

      
    Danube Delta



    Welcome   

    Located in historic area of Romania, the Delta of Danube is the perfect destination for travelers looking for relaxation and comfort or travelers looking for adventure.
    Whatever you are looking for, the Delta of Danube is the perfect  choice for your visit to Romania.

     Young people and the  people of any age do enjoy a  a the natural sanctuary unique in Europe.

    With the help of your personal guide to Romania or by your  self you can discover The Danube Delta in the southeast part of Romania, at the point where the second longest river in Europe (cca. 2900 km) flows into the Black Sea.
    It started to take shape some 16000 years ago.
    Its wild beauty and rich fauna and flora, have been constant attractions to ever increasing numbers of tourists from all over the world.
    One of the most complex such formations worldwide, the Delta has evolved around the three arms of the Danube:
    - Chilia - the most active, flows for some 120 km and has its own micro-delta;

    - Sulina
    - the shortest and most direct with a length of 63.7 km;
    - Sfantu Gheorghe, the oldest arm of the Danube, reaching the sea after 69.7 km. Tulcea represents the main gateway to the Danube Delta, it is also the oldest town in the region.

    Danube Delta 
    mentioned by Herodotus, and later by Ovid, as
    Castrum Aegyssus, and appeared on a map from the 2nd-3rd century as Ad Stoma.
    Attractions for visitors include the Museum of the Danube Delta (displaying artifacts, bird collections and an aquarium with fish living in the river), the Art Museum, the Azizie Mosque (19th century), the ruins of the ancient city of Aegyssus and the Independence Memorial (1879).


    The biodiversity of the Danube Delta is considerable - it shelters over 3400 species of vertebrates and invertebrates, many of them rare or endemic.
    Some 280 species of
    birds have been recorded, with 177 species breeding here, a number of them protected by law including Pelicans, Egrets, Spoonbills, Swans, Black-Winged Stilts, Avocets, Ruddy Shelduck and White-Tailed Eagles.

     
    There are over 160 species of fish, among them the much sought after sturgeons, and several animals, aquatic mammals, such as otters, mink and muskrats

    All of these make the Danube Delta a must for nature lovers and fishermen alike.

    Monument of Nature and Biosphere Reserve

    With the support of UNESCO and also of the famous French underwater explorer, Jacques Yves Cousteau, the entire Danube Delta was declared a Biosphere Reserve in August 1990.
    At present, there are 18 highly protected areas with buffer zones to preserve the process of natural evolution, and specific fauna and
    flora.
    Among these, the main protected areas are
    - Rosca-Buhaiova which shelters the largest pelican colony in Europe;
    - Letea, the ancient forest located at the highest elevation in the Delta, 
    - Sacalin-Zatoane which represents one of the few places in Europe where the Dalmatian Pelican can still be found.
     
    Wild boar, foxes, wolves, bears, hares, polecats and wild cats also live among these marshes, woods and floating islets.
    In all these areas, the approval of any trip (usually limited to specialists and researchers) is required from the Administration of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation.
     
    To see

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    TOP
    .


    1

    3

     4

    5

    6

     7

    10 

    11 

    12 

    13 

    14 

    15 

    16 

    17 

    18 

    19 

    20 

    21 

    22 

    23 

    24 

    25 

    26 

    27 

    28 

    29 

    30 31  

    1 3  4 5 6  7 10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30   June



    1

    3

     4

    5

    6

     7

    10 

    11 

    12 

    13 

    14 

    15 

    16 

    17 

    18 

    19 

    20 

    21 

    22 

    23 

    24 

    25 

    26 

    27 

    28 

    29 

    30 

    31 July


    1 3  4 5 6  7 10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  August

    1 3  4 5 6  7 10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  September

    1 3  4 5 6  7 10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  1 20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  octob

    1 3  4 5 6  7 10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  November

     

    About lecturer SORIN


    SORIN” has probably no actual meaning but clear sunny sky. 

    In his talks, writing, and music, his sensual and spiritual connection to our universe shines through.
    It is Zoran in Slavic, or Soerin in Danish, or Serin in Turkish or only "Sorry, I've forgotten your name" in English (joke)

    His background includes: over 25 years in tourism and travel, teaching in high school and college, information systems consulting, university administration, organizational consulting, loss counseling, and the last but not the least travel consulting.

    He is fascinated by chaos theory ,but the political and economical one, integrated medicine, “healing the healer,” and how the world was peopled. Integration and balance are what he seeks for himself and all people.

    “Peace, love, harmony and laughter – that's what I wish for everyone.”

    related links

    AVOCADO TRAVEL ROMANIA
                       Dubrovnik hotels
    Web Hosting Companies