Today I’ve started to read one of the books I’ve bought when I was last time in Romania; it’s Murakami and, as it happens each time I live in one of his stories, I dream about a glass of whiskey, being in a small wooden house, on Hokkaido island. And as I was reading today in the train, the man next to me asked me if the book is in Romanian. He looked Dutch (stereotype: tall, blond hair, green/blue eyes), but he was speaking English with a Russian accent. As it turned out, he was born here, but he has family in Romania and has planned a trip for this summer (he has never been there). And, suddenly, I remember that the first reason I’ve started to write on this blog was to resume my trips in Romania (since I waited a long time to exit the country).
Each summer, end of July – beginning of August, we were taking almost 3 weeks off. In these weeks we were visiting for a few days my family in the North of Romania and we used to spend the rest (usually 10 days) wandering around with the train. After the success of RoTrip 2011, in which we made almost 1500 km with the train/bus and visited so many that I don’t have enough fingers to count, we organized another one in 2012, but this time with more days spent in single locations. The first stop was in Iași – one of the biggest university towns in Romania and where all my sisters went to study and most of my high school friends. Of course, the stop was in order to meet with Ana and her boyfriend, to go together to Colibița Lake, which is in Bistrița Năsăud county. The road to the lake wasn’t in good condition, but the view were amazing. Going through Vatra-Dornei town, we couldn’t say no in meeting with Mariana – this is the name of all the squirrels in the park, it was enough to yell out loud “Mariana” and have some nuts on you: the perfect recipe for squirrels to attack you.
After a long day we arrived at the lake – hidden in the mountains, but not enough: lots of modern houses were starting to appear at each end of the forest. I am not against modernization, but sometimes it doesn’t mean to turn the mountains in no taste and rampant houses. We set up our tents and after some jokes and drinks over a campfire we fell on sleeping. On the next morning I was the first to wake up, perfect to set the wooden snake (especially bought for this) in front of my friends tent. As the fog was starting to raise and the sun to heat the interior, one by one, my friends started to wake. Around us people were gathering for a real Romanian hot Sunday, with some “mici” (grilled minced meat rolls) and “manele” (which I hated all my life), so we had to quit our romantic stay. On one of my Bucharest bedroom wall a picture was laying, remembering the beauty of life, waking up from a tent and seeing the mountains sinking into the lake. With this image in my head we continued our trip to Alba-Iulia.