Romania - Life As It Used To Be
A Study Tour in association with Wilmslow Guild Centre for Adult Education
Friday 29 June to Thursday 12 July 2012
Come back with us to a bygone age when farmers worked their fields with horses and drew water from picture postcard wells, when hay was stored in real haystacks rather than plastic rolls and when the Highway Code included instructions for horses and carts. Romania is a beautiful, unspoilt country which offers the chance of a most relaxing, interesting and rewarding tour. The Study Tour aims to give a brief history of Romania and to show how the country has developed since the fall of Communism. It will also give a close insight into Romania as it is today, including a large part of cultural and historic Romania, visiting Saxon Transylvania, peaceful Maramureş and the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina.
Our association with the Wilmslow Guild goes back over 15 years and we have been proud to have helped the Guild to develop its programme of specialist tours. Each tour is accompanied by a tour leader who is a specialist in the chosen subject and, whilst they are not strenuous tours, we should mention that they are an educational experience as well as a holiday.
The tour is open to the public as well as Guild members but please note that, since it was designed with the Guild in mind, departure is from Manchester Airport.
Day 1 Fly to Bucharest
Flight from Manchester to Bucharest. Check into hotel, then brief city tour including Revolution Square to learn about the fall of Communism. Evening meal at local restaurant with traditional music and dance.
Day 2 The Transylvanian Alps
Drive north into the Transylvanian Alps. Lunch at a traditional winery includes wine tasting. Visit Peleş Castle at Sinaia, then continue to Braşov for overnight.
Day 3 Bran Castle and Saxon ages
Morning visit to Bran Castle (built 1377), then to Viscri (UNESCO designated site) to see the work of the Mihai Eminescu Trust. Lunch with Saxon family, then drive to Copsa Mare for overnight.
Day 4 Sighişoara
Sighişoara (also UNESCO designated) is the most complete medieval inhabited citadel in Europe. Time to explore here followed by visits to nearby villages with their fortified churches. Lunch included. Overnight Copsa Mare.
Day 5 Traditional crafts, music and dance
Drive north into Moldavia. Visit small private museum near Targu Neamt to see examples of local traditional crafts, music and children’s dance.
Day 6 Painted Monasteries
Bucovina is famous for its Painted Monasteries (again UNESCO), all with interior and exterior walls adorned with Orthodox frescoes painted in Byzantine style. We visit Voronet and Moldovita Monasteries. Overnight Gura Humorului. Lunch and evening meal included.
Day 7 Market Day in Marginea
Visit the traditional local market in Marginea – everything you need to stock your house or farm, including the animals! Then visit Sucevita Monastery before lunch with local family. Overnight in Gura Humorului with dinner.
Day 8 Cross the Carpathian Mountains into Maramureş
Day 9 Steam train on a logging railway
Logging is the mainstay of the local economy and today we ride a working logging railway with steam loco. In the afternoon we drive to Hoteni to a beautiful homestay which specialises in our kind of visit. Packed lunch plus evening meal included.
Day 10 Village life in Maramureş
Today is Sunday and the villagers still dress in their traditional colourful costumes. Visit the “Merry Cemetery” at Sapanta, so called because all the gravestones are hand-painted. Drive to Sirbi to study typical village life (water powered mill, cottage industry and so on). Return to Hoteni for overnight. Lunch and evening meal included.
Day 11 South to Cluj
Day 12 Sibiel and Sibiu
Visit the Glass Icons Museum and have lunch with a village family in Sibiel, then continue to Sibiu, European Capital of Culture 2007. The afternoon is free for your own exploration of this medieval city.
Day 13 On to Bucharest
Drive to Bucharest with lunch en route. If the weather is favourable, the journey will use the mountain route over the highest road in Romania, built by Ceausescu in fairly recent times and open for only three months each year. Evening meal at a traditional restaurant.
Day 14 Flight to Manchester
Transfer to the airport for flight to Manchester.
|Single room supplement:||£250|
|Deposit for this Study Tour:||£200|
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2011