As a travel content creator and travel nurse, I have had the opportunity to explore various parts of the world, but my recent trip to Romania was a unique and unforgettable experience. Many of my friends and family were puzzled when I told them about my plans to travel to Romania, and some even expressed concern for my safety. However, I was determined to look beyond the surface level and explore this country with an open mind. In this article, I share my experiences traveling through Romania, highlighting the hidden gems, fascinating history, and warm hospitality of the Romanian people.
One of the main reasons that drew me to Romania was its fascinating history. From the legend of Count Dracula to the medieval castles and fortresses that dot the landscape, Romania is a country steeped in history and folklore. As a history buff, I was eager to explore the ancient ruins, churches, and monasteries that are scattered throughout the country.
One of the most famous attractions in Romania is Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle. Although the connection between Dracula and Bran Castle is not historical, it is still a popular tourist destination. The castle is perched atop a hill, and visitors can explore its many rooms and passageways. As I walked through the castle, I was transported back in time and could imagine the many legends and tales that have been woven around it.
But Romania's natural beauty is also a major draw. The Carpathian Mountains, which span across much of the country, are a hiker's paradise, offering breathtaking views and challenging trails. The Danube Delta, the second largest river delta in Europe, is a unique ecosystem that is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. And the Black Sea coast, with its sandy beaches and clear waters, is the perfect spot for relaxation and sunbathing.
Another highlight of my trip was visiting the fortified town of Sighisoara. This town is considered one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, and it was a joy to walk around its cobbled streets and admire the colorful houses and churches. The Clock Tower, located in the heart of the town, is a must-visit attraction. The tower houses a museum that showcases the town's history and culture, and visitors can climb to the top for panoramic views of the town.
It was an image on Instagram of a large silver metallic statue of Jesus Christ that brought me to Romania.
Researching this monument was difficult, but ultimately I learned that it is called "Heart of Jesus". What was the location of this figure? Why haven't I seen such a prolific image discussed before? During my next trip to Europe, I made it a point to see it for myself. While visiting London, I took my friend Jovan with me, who happens to be an accomplished photographer as well, to explore a new territory for both of us. As one travels from the airport, one is treated to a variety of natural beauty, ranging from the trees' foliage to the many farm animals that roam the fields. As a result of that early morning road trip lasting a few hours, we found ourselves in Farkaslaka, a small village in Transylvania, Romania. As soon as I presented our driver with a picture of the Heart of Jesus statue, he took us directly there without the need for a GPS. As we drove up a winding steep hill, we finally saw Jesus Christ! On top of the mountain, we encountered locals walking their dogs, riding bikes, enjoying the view, and taking photographs. Among the cool features of this statue is the fact that you can climb inside of it all the way to the top. An opening in the statue's head allows one to see the entire village from above. As I approached the location, I felt curious and eager, and I left feeling fulfilled that my mission had been accomplished.
My passion for creating travel content is obtaining rare visuals from locations people wish to visit and inspiring them to do so one day.
Another highlight of my trip was visiting the painted monasteries of Bucovina. These monasteries are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are famous for their unique frescoes and murals, which depict scenes from the Bible and the lives of saints. The vivid colors and intricate details of the paintings were breathtaking, and it was amazing to think that they had been created centuries ago by skilled craftsmen.
In addition to the historical and cultural attractions, Romania also has some stunning natural landscapes. I had the opportunity to explore the Carpathian Mountains, which run through the heart of the country, and I was blown away by the beauty of the scenery. The mountains are covered in dense forests, and there are numerous hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. I also visited the Danube Delta, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and one of the largest wetlands in the world. The delta is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including over 300 species of birds, and it was a peaceful and serene place to spend a few days
But beyond the history, culture, and natural beauty, it was the people of Romania that truly made my trip special. From the friendly locals who welcomed me with open arms to the fellow travelers I met along the way, I was struck by the warmth and hospitality of the Romanian people. The country may not be as well-known or developed as some other European destinations, but this is precisely what makes it so charming and authentic.
As a Black traveler, I was also pleased to see a growing trend of diversity and inclusion in the Romanian travel industry. While there is still work to be done in terms of representation and access, I was heartened to see more Black travelers and content creators sharing their experiences in Romania and promoting the country as a destination for all.
Overall, my trip to Romania was a transformative experience that opened my eyes to a country and culture that I had previously known very little about. From the stunning landscapes to the rich history and welcoming people, Romania is truly a hidden gem of Eastern Europe. And as a travel content creator, I am excited to share my experiences with others and inspire more people to explore this beautiful and fascinating country.