100 Reasons Why You Should Visit Romania Part I

100 Reasons Why You Should Visit Romania – Part I

On 1 December 2018, Romania will celebrate its centennial anniversary. To mark this moment on my travel blog, I am publishing a two-part article containing 100 reasons why you should visit Romania, my home country. 

Though everyday life here can sometimes seem tedious to me, I recognize and appreciate the fact that I was in born in a country with so many natural beauties. And, despite recent-history events from the political sphere, I still believe that my home country is a place you (or anyone!) should come to. So here are the first 50 reasons why I believe you should visit Romania.

1. The Danube Delta

100 Reasons Why You Should Visit Romania - Rezervatia biosferei Delta Dunarii
The Danube Delta

To the South-East of Romania, at the border with Ukraine and, for a very brief length, the Republic of Moldova, the Danube finishes its journey into the Black Sea. The river forms a delta when splitting into three arms: Chilia, Sulina and Saint George (Sfântu Gheorghe). On the little ground left in-between, humans live a simple life, depending on fishing and tourism to make a living. There is much to see in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, from beautiful carpets of waterlilies and luxurious vegetation, to colonies of migratory birds and various fish. The Danube Delta is not only the home of over 360 bird species and more than 45 fish species, but also that of the wild horses in the Letea Forest.

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Why Travelling Alone Can Be A Life-changing Experience

Why Travelling Alone Can Be A Life-changing Experience

We’ve all been on those family holidays where you rely on each other to make the daily decisions of where to go, what to do, and what time to do it. You know that someone is always there to talk to, to laugh with, and to share the dinner bill. And while that’s a nice thing to fall back on, it can sometimes take away from your surroundings, as you’re more focused on making sure that everyone else is happy, rather than just doing what you want to do.

Being out there alone gives you the chance to wander, and sit and relax, really taking the time out to watch the world go by. Lying out by the pool in some of the luxury villas in Canngu, and thinking about just how perfect this very moment is. Mixing with the locals as a single traveller is bound to introduce more conversation and interest too. You see, a lot of people are fearful of travelling alone because they assume that they’ll get lonely and nervous and anxious because they don’t have anyone by their side. But you’d be surprised as to just how social it will be, if not more so now that you’re riding solo.

Here are some more benefits. Continue reading

Roman Holiday Itinerary, Days 6 and 7: Surprising Places in Rome

It was a rainy Tuesday when we found ourselves close to the end of our Roman holiday. But the sad weather didn’t stop us: we took the subway to Termini and started to look for an umbrella. There were still some surprising places in Rome, just waiting for us!

Oh, I think I forgot to mention this: you know how there are some people, like myself, who collect magnets from the places they visit? Well, Mathieu collects umbrellas. So he is very excited when he gets a rainy day when he is travelling: new umbrella!

From Termini station, happily covered by a large rainbow umbrella, we headed to visit yet another building of the National Roman Museum: Terme di Diocleziano. Continue reading

Roman Holiday Itinerary, Day 5: What (else) is there to do in Rome?

As we were getting closer to the end of our Roman holiday, we had more time to spare for unplanned things.  And we ended up wondering what is there to do in Rome after all the places we had already been to.

So on Monday morning  we were back on the subway, heading to Ottaviano once again. When we visited the Vatican, we walked by Museo Leonardo Da Vinci Experience, and I promised Mathieu we’d go back to visit it before we go back home.

Museo Leonardo Da Vinci Experience

In Rome, you’ll find more than one museum about Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions. After checking out some reviews, we considered this one was the best fit for us. It’s not very large, but it’s nice that you can play around with most of the replicas and see how they were supposed to work. You can see some of them in this photo collage: Continue reading

Rome's Piazzas - Roman Holiday Itinerary

Roman Holiday Itinerary, Day 4: Discovering Rome’s Piazzas

Day four of our Roman Holiday was for discovering the Eternal CIty by visiting Rome’s piazzas. Therefore, we started our morning away from the centre of the Italian capital city. We took the subway to Piazza del Popolo, where we  wanted to enjoy our breakfast while admiring the twin basilicas and doing some people watching.

Breakfast in Piazza del Popolo

Having breakfast in Piazza del Popolo was kind of a bad decision. We left the terrace of Canova starving: we waited a long time, yet nobody came to take our order. So we went across the piazza, to Rosati. Here, we managed to eat. But we spent 30 euros on a small breakfast. At the place we went the days before, breakfast went up to around 8 euros, coffees included.

But I guess when you’re going to a terrace in one of Rome’s piazzas, you’re mostly going there for the place. And since the request is high, it also makes sense that the prices are elevated, as well.

Luckily, the beautiful things we got to see in the area quickly made us forget about the less than perfect beginning of the day!

The Basilicas of Piazza del Popolo

As you enter the Piazza by Porta del Popolo, you see a church on your left: Basilica Parrochialle Santa Maria del Popolo. Unfortunately, when we visited Rome, this basilica was under restoration, so we skipped it, missing Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Peter and the Conversion of Saint Paul.

From the Porta del Popolo, if you look ahead, you can see Rome’s Piazza del Popolo in perfect symmetry:  you have the twin white basilicas in the background, separated by the obelisk in the middle of the circus. Aligned with the obelisk, you can see Fontana del Nettuno on the right, and Fontana della Dea di Roma on the left. The following image depicts part of this beautiful symmetry: Continue reading

Roman Holiday Itinerary, Day 3: Exploring more of Rome’s Historic Centre

Although we started the third day of our Roman holiday early in the morning, it was in no way as intense as our second day. However, it was every bit as wonderful. After all, we were about to explore some more of Rome’s historic centre!

The plan was to start with the Pantheon. But, surprise-surprise, we arrived before it opened. So we had some time to slowly wake up and truly become all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

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Vatican City to Trastevere Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday Itinerary, Day 2: Walking from Vatican City to Trastevere

If you thought we covered a lot on the first day, think again! The second day of our Roman Holiday was the probably the toughest, but also the most amazing. We walked from Vatican City to Trastevere, starting early in the morning, and finishing after nightfall. We had plenty of breaks, though, to enjoy the beautiful views over Rome, to grab a bite or to have a drink.

Vatican City (Citta del Vaticano)

We left the place we were staying at early in the morning and bought some tasty pastry products on the way. Then, we got on the subway to Ottaviano, then walked a bit, passing by Piazza del Risorgimento, and ending in Piazza San Pietro.

Vatican City to Trastevere Piazza San Pietro St. Peter's Square in the morning Roman Holiday

Vatican City: St. Peter’s Square early in the morning

Though it was before 8 in the morning, there was already a line to pass the security check for Basilica San Pietro and its Dome. However, it was short and it was in the shadow. While we were waiting for our turn and enjoying our breakfast in line, the queue got larger and larger, all the way to the entrance in the Piazza San Pietro, if you’re coming from Via Della Conciliazione.

All in all, I don’t think we spent more than 20 minutes waiting. Then, we went through the security check and decided to start with St. Peter’s Dome.

So remember kids: the early bird catches the worm! It’s worth making an exception and getting there early, even if you’re not a morning person. 🙂

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