Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 7, 2008 we arrive in Baia Mare to meet Alina's family

Then up the hill to Victor's (Alina's father), big 10-year old house with a huge garden and orchard behind the house just at the foot of the mountains.

The BEST sweet, dark cherries you can imagine.

FIRST we had a fantastic, all home-cooked Romanian meal with Victoria, Alina's mother. Her top-floor apt. in the city of Baia Mare (it means 'Big Mine' for the ancient gold and other heavy metal mines going back to Roman times) has views of the Carpathian mountains. This was a strategic center for millenia.

shopping mall (Chuck helped develop) to break up the drive

Sighisoara, June 6, 2008 second overnight toward Baia Mare

We celebrated Alina's birthday in the charming, early town of Sighisoara. As picturesque as any in Europe, its fame today rests largely on being the birthplace of Vlad Tepes (made famous in the 19th c. by Bram Stocker as 'Dracula'), though the house to which that honor is attributed was built long after his birth! Dracula fans don't seem to mind this tiny discrepancy...

Alina's birthday cake. We ate in the pretty courtyard of the Sighisoara Hotel.

Louie at the top of the student steps, built in 1642 to serve the hilltop church and school. It's quite a hike at 172 steps!

Scottie at the bottom of the student steps near our hotel.
Given winters in these mountains, it's such a sensible idea.

The lower, more modern town

Alina, Christie, Andrei at the top of the Clock Tower overlooking the higher hilltop church & school

Our room at the Residence Fronius-recently renovated, gorgeous 1609 house

courtyard of the Fronius Residence