Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

We finally managed to visit this museum and document our visit through pictures. I didn’t walk so much in ages! My feet are killing me – I’m writing this right after the visit, at a café where we stopped to get some rest. If I don’t get distracted, I’ll post the second part of the blog, next week. Why a second part? Please read on to find out!

We reached the museum by foot from the subway station – it’s some 2 -3 bus stops away? At the entrance there were at least 4 tourist buses, and this meant the place was rather packed with people. The admission fee is 15 lei for adults, 4 lei for students, 200 or 300 lei if you want a guide [fee depends on the language you need the guide to speak], and there were a few other rates but I can’t remember who or what were those for.

As far as I can tell, this is the main entrance. There is also a gift shop on the right, right across from the ticket booth. I really liked some of the stuff there, though I must say some seemed a bit overpriced. Not that I’m familiar with prices for this kind of products.

Sadly many houses were closed, so we couldn’t see them on the inside. Well, A. [my partner] couldn’t enter the houses anyways, though she tried – because of a hay allergy she has. There are also a few rules to follow, such as no smoking anywhere in the museum [though it’s in the open] and no taking pics inside the houses. I would assume it’s because the flash of the camera can ruin the colors of the decors.

Visitors are not allowed inside the house, with very few exceptions. So I entered a couple of houses, but only in the small entrance/hallway of the house, and not inside the proper rooms where the occupants used to live. You can only imagine why: on rainy days bringing in the mud would eventually ruin the floors, while also just stepping inside some of the houses would also cause damage.

I must add that many houses had either a wooden floor either floor made of dried out mud – a building material I noticed in the walls of the houses as well. This was a convenient building material in the 18th century, a place in time most these houses belonged to. I believe this is what kept them so cool and pleasant – there were 27 degrees Celsius [80.6 F?] outside.

If you wanted to go even cheaper, you’d make a half buried house, like the one below. I guess the insulation was better? I do wonder just how cold it was in winter, though? I couldn’t go inside, but I must say the entrance looked creepy and claustrophobic.

There were also many vendors selling handmade things: clothes, home decors, jewelry, dolls, and other stuff. Pretty much what you could find in the gift shop, you could also find at this vendors, and then probably some extra. The prices were equally high, but we bought some cookies – but I only have a picture of one of them.

One of the vendors in front of this buried house was selling traditional alcohol, in special looking bottles. He had several shapes and sizes. While there was nothing wrong with opening the bottle up and drink, many were just for decorative purposes. Clearly, not for houses with pets or kids that can knock them over. The bottle below costs about 10 USD.

Speaking of drinks, there was one vendor selling a very strange summer drink. And what I mean by this s that it was refreshing, but very sweet as well. The drink’s name is “braga” and it is made of cereals – read more about it here and here. I bought a glass, see below. My partner said her mother used to drink it a lot, and liked it a lot as well. My partner doesn’t share the opinion. The drink is good, but like the articles point out, it looks really rustic and must be consumed really fast.

Another vendor was selling copper ware.  I will consider buying some pieces for our future home, after we have it. These copper pieces had a different color on the inside than on the outside, so I’m not sure this is how copper items are. In any case they look beautiful, don’t you think?

Lastly, I shouldn’t forget to mention the last vendor selling beauty products. We received each a sample of a scrub mask. I can’t tell if it was good, but we might visit their shop outside the museum to get a product or two.

Like mentioned before, the museum has many types of houses, a couple of churches, wind and water mills. Most houses had fences, gates, and their original annexes. These annexes include old-fashioned ovens for baking the bread, dog houses, tool sheds, houses for the livestock. Now, on with the pictures of some of the houses.

This yard and house are a unit. This house was not opened to the public, but it had an overall quiet feeling.

I forgot if all these structures above were part of the same household or not.

This was pretty much another household. I would assume its former inhabitants were more rich since the house was build on 2 levels and they also had this carriage. On the left of the “garage” there was an enclosed space – a tool storage unit, I believe.

This house was also pretty big, and the rooms were like a train’s carriages, as you could easily see in the first picture. This was a rare sight though as most the other houses had separate rooms and no way to go from one into the other.

I believe the caption says it all at this point. People were shorter in the past. The doors and gates are short, but the rooms are plenty tall on the inside.

Judging by the time stamp, this extra construction was on the same land as the house.

WOW, What an adventure! Both the visit and writing this – or better said, editing the pictures.

There ‘s a part 2 coming up soon, with the animals we saw at the museum! And in the park surrounding it. I just hope it will be soon enough.  [I hope there aren’t too many mistakes and errors in this entry.]


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

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Shopping trip failure – vlog-

So, as mentioned in last Sunday’s entry, today I will post a vlog video, with a little explanation.

I think YouTube is messing up the audio of the videos. So, if you don’t hear well, blame both the beginner me and YouTube. You get to see glimpses of Bucharest that you don’t usually see in travel blogs and magazines, along with random Romanians going about their way. yay?

As I’m trying to explain in this video, my friend ordered a product online, and she was supposed to go pick it up. I went along and recorded the adventure. It took us some 45 minutes to the [mini]mall where the place [called eMag] was. We were told to wait in line, and after some half an hour they said their server crashed O.O and that it would probably last some 45 minutes to fix it.

And so we waited, as we hoped it would be true. So we tried out this café place with a really nice view. I had a sandwich as I was starving – and it was pretty good. Don’t ask about its name as I forgot it and I don’t even remember seeing it posted anywhere.

My friend went back to the store – we then realized it was a showroom only, and the server worked for some 5 to 20 minutes and crashed again. Some 20 minutes before closing time! (at 9pm – most other stores close at 10 pm) We still stayed, as we weren’t the only people needing to pay for stuff. Of course we waited in vain.

The video ends with me complaining about their customer service and just how generally uncool this [mini]mall was. They were supposed to call her the next day, but didn’t. As expected.

While this shopping trip seemed like a failure, it was actually a disguised blessing. Some days later we found the product she wanted at another store and the full price wasn’t even the one eMag mentioned! They said they were selling it for 50% off – full price being some 190 Lei? The store we found was selling it for just 120 Lei full price [tax included, as in Romania the prices shown on the shelf includes the sales tax].

My friend ended with getting another similar product that was on sale, from the second store. Happy ending!

What I didn’t mention in the video was that while we were waiting in line the first time around, we decided to get a mouse as well – it was pretty cheap. Except the guy told me I would have to go back the next day or the day after to pay and pick it up: they didn’t have it in stock!


©2013-present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Adventures in July

I actually wanted to have such an entry almost every month, but this wasn’t really possible, especially if I had something else to say, or if I didn’t have enough time.

Unlike July 2016, this one was quite full. I had a pretty big task to write at the beginning of the month, and then 2 smaller ones. Well, this is not really something you might really be interested in, so, no pics to show off.

I also managed to stick more to a posting schedule, all thanks to my bullet journal. If it looks messy, it’s because I have yet to discover a journaling method that works for me. Or that looks less messy. An if you think this is not a proper bullet journal notebook, you’re right: it is an agenda used as a daily planner with no monthly spreads, with dedicated pages for each day, so on. It might serve better as  a diary, if you were to write every day, a single page. I use the date written on the page, as page-number.

What stood out the most, was Ciel my pet crow being more active, coming to me to play, and all that jazz. I was really scared that he might be depressed, but I guess he’s not. His favorite things to play with are items that are long and thin – line pens, pencils, drinking straws. He likes to play with pens so much, he learned where I keep them and goes to them to steal them. It’s actually quite hilarious!

He knows which pens I don’t want him to play with, and those are the ones he wants the most. Of course! Last night, when we returned from a stroll in the park, I found ALL the pens missing from their place, a bird dancing on the table, and the floor covered in pens. That was quite something to clean, HAHA!

This video is from the first day he started playing so much.  I thought he’s hilarious! He would keep on coming back for more pens! And, yes, I have several looking identical, for no good reason.

We also went out to have ice cream. And we did it as often as we could. What you need to know is that we found a few places selling really good ice cream. For instance, Ana Baking has one of the best salted caramel ice creams! Guys! You HAVE to go there if you ever visit Romania. Just don’t order coffee or coffee based drinks: our tasted like something nasty, and we won’t get that again.

Another awesome ice-cream we had was at this place called Caffeol. The ice cream came in a cone, dipped in a milkshake! We ordered the coconut flavor one which was inspired by the Raffaello bonbons. It even had one bonbon on top! Guys! One such drink is more than enough for 2 people! Sadly, if you want to order soy milk in your drink, you have to pay more 😦

up close: Raffaello Maddness. picture by @calinescu_alexandru on instagram.

This place also sells some lemonades: some 5 flavors? there is classic lemonade, lemonade with melon, with strawberry, and I forgot what else. I managed to order a melon lemonade without lemon [say that 3 times fast!] and it tasted so good! It basically contains melon or strawberry, orange and lemon, so you can give up the lemon or orange if you really want. My partner has a sensitive stomach and citrus fruits, especially lemons are REALLY bad for their stomach.

that’s one of their lemonades and a Snickers Maddness frappe. pic by @foodofromania on instagram

Sadly I lost my pictures of the drinks, so I had to search them up. Caffeol has 3 locations: one in the Historical Center of Bucharest – where we went, one in Brasov and another one in Ploiesti. Check them out if you visit Romania!

We wanted to go to the pool, however we didn’t manage to get around to it. Hopefully, this month, we will go there. The thing is, we have a couple water parks, and lake sides where we could go to swim or relax, however it is not safe to go there, health-wise. Those waters are not as monitored, and since so many people go there, the waters are more likely to be contaminated with all sorts of bacteria and viruses. Going to a pool club of sorts, is more fancy and safe as far as your health goes. Here are a couple of pictures from 2 years ago.

This is actually a health center with a gym, sauna, swimming pool, and there is a restaurant as well. The place is located by a lake, but the pool is covered and not connected to the lake. It’s really quiet and peaceful. Too bad the entrance fee is rather high in local currency.

This month also marked the first time I wrote something in Chinese, all by myself. I’m so proud of myself: I started studying Mandarin last year, but I was never consistent about it. However I do have something to show for it. Maybe I will post a separate entry with all the characters I DO know. Until then, this is what I wrote:

In all fairness, the “nice to meet you” line [the one before the short break] I wrote by looking it up and I have yet to learn how to say it without looking at the pronunciation. I can post a comment with the reading and translation if you want, just say so below 😉

There is one more thing that happened, right on the last day of July, but please stay tuned for that one, as I have a vlog about it. I will post it separately because this already became too long, and I need to write a few more explanations for the vlog.

Until next Sunday~~


(c) 2013 – present  The Owner Travels To. all rights reserved.

Exploring Bucharest

This blog entry is LONG overdue. And I mean, 1 year overdue! wow! So, everything you’ll see here was recorded in 2016, but I never got around to do anything with all this material. Today is a good day to show you all that I gathered.

I like looking at old buildings and imagine their history – what did they look like when they were new, what did people think of them, the lives of those that lived in them as well as what did they think of the construction they called “home.”

Some buildings are nicer than others, but I rarely discriminate – I’m usually able to see beauty in the weirdest places and forms. All the images are from Bucharest, but you won’t see them in any travel guide as they’re generally from residential areas. The video will show you both sides of the river splitting  the city in half and was recorded in early spring – March, and then a few weeks or a month later.

The next few houses cannot usually be seen by tourists. Well, I forgot where exactly they are located, sorry.

I know where this one is. On a very quiet street, uptown, in a very posh and expensive area. The street has 2 lanes, one for each direction. In my opinion, the picture doesn’t make it justice, or maybe my memory is bad. The roof covers the sides, like a mountain house. I remember it was love at first sight when I laid my eyes on it the first time around.

The next one must have looked really good at first. I really like that patio in the “tower” – it must be my favorite feature of this house.

I wonder if anyone bought this next house. It looks really bad, but I see a lot of beautifying potential in it. Since [I’m pretty sure] it was on a quiet street, the possibilities are quite many for it.

Next, is an old and rather ugly apartment building. I believe its facade was redone, but it simply is not as impressive in my eyes. I forgot why I took a picture of it – perhaps the creepiness factor was what drove me to it. Maybe it looks better in real life? Anyways, you can easily see this one downtown as it is on one of the main street tourists are taken on a double-decked bus.

I also like mosaics. The one with blue tiles can be seen downtown in Unirii Square, in one of the fountains. I’m not sure if all the fountains have the same mosaic design, because I never really paid close attention. Perhaps they’re just similar? The brownish one was the floor of a shop uptown, in an old building. That’s all I remember.

And if you made it this far, maybe you want to take a short bus ride with me? Tourists don’t really get to see this scenery.

You should let me know if you want more posts like this one. I still have some unpublished pictures.

Until next time, stay safe!

[ps: i just started learning Chinese, so please don’t be too harsh on me]


© the owner travels to 2013-2017. All rights reserved.

March adventures: flowers, art, and recycling!

Because I don’t plan on posting everything I do on a daily basis, I’ll just update you with some highlights… from March. I skipped February because nothing special happened: I was just waiting for the snow to melt, the weather to become nicer, and my mood to improve. Because March just ended, I can talk all about what happened.

I haven’t talked about this yet, but I ordered some stuff from wish.com – I will write a review about this experience later on.  So in March, I received all the stuff – with one exception. Below you can see the items I did receive:

Then, somehow spring came, and we were surrounded by trees in bloom! and not only. I really like early spring flowers, much more than those of later spring and so on. The early spring flowers are so fragile and pretty, almost like life itself. No wonder Japanese people have a cherry blossom viewing festival in April.

                             their scent is sweet but subtle. i love it!

 

 

                                                                                  the same type of tree, but not the same tree.

On a nice sunny day, we went to have some ice cream. It was really warm that day – some 22 degrees Celsius! we wore short sleeves even! this is amazing because i can’t recall any March till now to have been so warm! We had Italian ice cream [or gelato] and we selected different aromas. We got coffee, kiwi, something nutty … and i sadly forgot the other 2 flavors. I don’t even have pics of them 😦 the biscuit on top is extra and for free!

Then, at a certain moment my friend suggested we went to some galleries to see some art. said and done. except we only managed to see two of them. And one of these wasn’t even that impressive: it had only 6 or 8 pieces of art displayed. To their defense, it looked as i they were still arranging the place, but who knows – maybe this was on purpose?

Must point out the painting here were unsettling. The starry eyes made me think of the darkness many people try hard to hide. At the same time, I remembered reading somewhere that the human eyes contain something in them that can’t be counted: it’s more numerous than the stars in the universe. Should search again to see what that was.

The second gallery had more stuff to offer, and I even liked and kinda understood the artist’s view on things. This artist’s paintings had titles as well, and would go well in an office, or a house with an industrial, modern, futuristic, or minimalist look. This art would clash badly with classic, heavy furniture.

The second painting is called ‘information overload,’ i don’t have the name of the third painting. The last painting is called ‘anxiety amplifier’ and i can see why. I also don’t know the name of the paintings in the first image. I’m sorry about that.

This second gallery also has a boutique where you can buy various stuff: clothes, jewelry, paintings and wall decors, as well as some accessories for your home and games. Below are some examples of what you can purchase. If you’re ever in Bucharest, you can visit this gallery at the following address: C.A.ROSETTI NR. 2-4 street, sector 1.

                 this crown was heavy! were the kings wearing such heavy crowns?! maybe heavier?

I also got to see some cute art on a wall! you can’t really call it graffiti, or can you? as you can see it is really cute and i saw this on a wall next to a cafe, right before entering the first art gallery.

                                                                       a flower shop front

This month i tried to do some cleaning in my closet. I took some clothes I didn’t wear anymore at H&M and they gave me a 5 lei coupon discount for a future purchase of at least 40 lei – from the new collections. Apparently they reuse these clothes to make other stuff. The items I took there were not wearable anymore, and I didn’t want to just throw it away.

On other news, below you can learn what happens to me when I try to recycle other stuff, like papers, plastics, and what not.

This is all for now. See you again next week!


©2013-2017 TheOwnerTravelsTo. All rights reserved.

5 Romanian etiquette rules

In my previous post I mentioned I would make an entry related to etiquette in Romania. So, here it is! These are stuff I either saw myself or was told.

1. Shoes – on or off?

In Romania, you take your shoes off when entering your own home, or the home of those close to you – friends and family, unless told otherwise. It helps with keeping the house clean(er).

You keep your shoes on when you go visit people you’re not very close to – say, if you meet the parents of your partner for the first time. Some of these people you don’t know very well, might ask you to take your shoes off when entering their home.

  • why should I take my shoes off? If it rained, chances are your shoes are dirty and your host doesn’t want their floors or carpets to get dirty, especially if the house looks as clean as a 5 star hotel room.

2. Bring something when you visit someone

In the past, when paying a visit, it was a sign of good manners not to go empty handed. People were usually bringing something symbolic, like flowers, something sweet, or something to drink. The “something sweet” was something home made, but bought stuff were also OK. A casserole of home cooked food also works well – remember this is something symbolic. If the younger generations do this these days, it must be because they grew up seeing their parents do it.

While this habit might seem weird for some, consider that Romania used to be a communist country and during the regime the living conditions were harsh. For some people it would have been a financial burden to receive and entertain guests, so the guests were considerate towards this effort by bringing something to the “party.”

3. Greet your neighbors when meeting them

This applies for when meeting them in the common areas of the apartment building, as many Romanians still live in apartment buildings. If you happen to meet any of your neighbors, they will say “hello” and the polite thing to do is to reply. Easy, right?

When visiting friends, you might encounter their neighbors and they might say “hello” even if they don’t know you. It costs nothing to reply back with a “hello.” Greeting random people they see waiting around their building is not that weird since many Romanians are renting out their apartments. Your friend’s neighbors might think you’re renting a place there and you’re new.

4. Greet your cashier

All cashiers I went to, would say “hello” to all their customers, me included. They would also say “bye bye” after giving them their change and receipt. The client is supposed to answer to both greetings. This gesture sure doesn’t cost nor time nor money. I generally say “thanks” before leaving. I sometimes add “have a nice day” as well.

5. Speaking of the change… Don’t expect it full

Let’ assume you’re supposed to receive 7.37 … well, let’s just say you’ll receive 7.35 instead, and demanding the extra 0.02 is nowadays considered a bit weird, if not quite rude. The cases when you’ll receive your full change is rare (I only saw it happening at one supermarket- Kaufland) The coins of the 0.01 value (1 ban) are generally disregarded by most people. I don’t think the 0.05 coins (5 bani) are too popular either.

Don’t ask me how much money I lost this way. However, you’ll be surprised to learn or see just how many Romanians simply leave all the coins in their change to the cashier. They might take the 0.5 coin (50 bani) but not the 0.1 coins (10 bani).


disclaimer: i don’t own the pictures in this post, they belong to their respective creators. i just found them online.

©2013-2017 TheOwnerTravelsTo. All rights reserved.

Snowy January in Bucharest

It is March already, oops. wanted to post this at least in February, but if you read back my posts, you know why this didn’t happen.

So, December, as you might already know, was super cold. But we had no snow. Snow came in January..

I took this picture at night and the only edits I used was cropping and the writing on it. I can use the #nofilter hashtag too. That night we were watching a Korean horror movie. I must say the movie was pretty good. However, at a certain moment I was wondering why is there so much light, even though it was about 3 am.. The answer was rather shocking for me: it was snowing like crazy. The snowstorm continued for a day or two, I believe. In any case, this wasn’t the first snow of the year, but the first snow wasn’t as ferocious, so to say.

Here are some pictures I randomly found on my computer. They are taken last year, still in January. There isn’t much difference if you ask me.

I really wanted to build a snowman. this year. I never got around to. Somebody else build the one you see below. Too bad the wind blew its hat off, as you’d better see the mop as hair.  Like thi, we see the hairstyle is specific to the 1990s era (any Backstreet Boys fans out there?).

In any case, the snow didn’t last very long. The video below will show you what the snow looked like after a few days. The worst part was the ice that formed like magic, as if hoping we would fall and break our feet. Luckily this didn’t happen to anyone I know. I recorded the last part of the video at night, and it seems the light was worse than I thought.

  • [disclaimer] I didn’t record these videos after the same snowfall. We had about 3 in total, this year. I just edited them in the same video to make it easier on myself. I also don’t remember which of my smartphones I used to record.

  • I recorded this video in January 2016. I always wanted to post it on my blog, but I don’t think I did. In any case, this is what it looks like to walk in snow, in Bucharest. because the mayor of the city doesn’t care to send people in the streets to remove the snow.

At a certain moment in January [of this year], me and my friend were walking downtown. I forgot why I decided to do that. Perhaps I just felt the need to move, to feel more active. In any case at a certain moment we came across this stand with bikes for rent.  I didn’t go too close to have a better look, to see how the system works, however I thought it was pretty neat to have this in Bucharest. You can also see the snow, and the lights from the bike stand and bikes themselves looked quite nice as well.

On a different evening, I asked my friend to go out somewhere. We went in the Old Town area – it’s filled with cafés, restaurants, and bars. I have no idea how we stumbled across a sorta steampunk looking café, that seemed to want to take us back in time.

Sadly, the lights weren’t too good, and we couldn’t take much or better pictures. I had a hot tea and my friend had a café latte. Or this is what I remember it being. We weren’t impressed much with the drinks, but we promised we would go again. We have yet to go again. I believe the owner of the place was the bartender there (for now at least).