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Romania is a wonderful surprise!

Is anyone planning a trip to Romania? My friends and I just finished a week in Transylvania and would love to share our experience and ideas. Romannia is a beautiful country! My memory will always be of the green forests and high mountains and the many castles. I do not know quite what we were expecting...maybe lots of leftover communist housing, packs of dogs, bad roads and crumbling cities and sour people but we saw none of that. We started in Bucharest with its tree lined boulevards, clean parks, beautiful buildings and a lively old town full of colorful restaurants with good food and excellent Romanian wines. The Bucharest Symphony was playing in one of the city squares. We stayed at the Europa Royale which was an excellent hotel with friendly helpful staff very near the old town just minutes from pedestrian streets filed with restaurants and shops.
Our most important decision was to hire a guide with a car to drive us from Bucharest to Transylvania and on to Maramures. From our research and blogs, we discovered that a guide and driver in Romania is very inexpensive. Our guide took out all the guess work out of our trip. No wrong turns, no bad hotels or restaurants, no tourist traps and no wasted time. Our guide knew the best places to see and took us to small unique villages. Our route was from Bucharest to Brasov to Sighisoara to Sibiu to Cluj Napoca then crossing the Gutai Mountains to Vlad Izei - a village in Maramures. Then onto Sighetu Marmatiei stopping to see the oldest tallest wooden churches in the world and the Merry Cemetery. Our final stop in Romania was Satu Mare before our guide drove us into Hungary to Eger. . Our guide was Daniel Gheorghita who spoke excellent English and gave us an excellent history of Romania. WE would be happy to share the name of the Inns and B&Bs we stayed at. All were terrific.

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Daryl, I am glad it worked out so well for you. We really loved Romania as well. We met Daniel about four years back and were equally impressed. Still looking for that perfect excuse to return. Daniel has spread his wings a bit and is not crossing into Bulgaria as well as Hungary; great guy. Did Daniel take pictures while on the trip? If he did you have to ask him for copies. He's a ver good photographer (we brought him the camera from the states a few years back). His pictures, your pictures, doesn't matter you ought to post them on Flicker or Shutterfly or someplace so you can share them. Your next trip think about Bulgaria. Like Romania it is a very much unexpected treat. Thanks for the post I know Daniel will appreciate it and it opens some new doors to some really wonderful places for travelers.