After a long time of wandering around the world, I have finally managed to get home for the holidays. And one thing is for sure, I have used this opportunity to make it up for all the time spent away!
My lovely Romania received me back, with arms wide open, on the afternoon of the 22nd of December and reminded me that the Christmas spirit cannot truly be felt unless you are surrounded by mountains of snow, cry over your frozen fingers and toes, and transform a simple walk into a true struggle due to the three layers of thick clothes that you are wearing. But oh, how I enjoyed being there and dealing with all that cold! The moment I saw my beautiful and loving family, I entirely forgot about my frozen toes and enjoyed every single second of being next to them.
And since we are talking about Christmas in Romania, there is one thing that definitely stood out – the food!! Perfectly stuffed cabbage rolls, delicious beouf salad with home-made mayonnaise, savoury sausages, tasty pork cooked in home-made wine, sour soup in bread buns, and the cakes! – brownies, traditional sponge cake, lemon cream pastry. I am pretty sure that if I had to come up with a definition of heaven on earth, my mum’s goodies would be part of it.
But it wasn’t all about the food. Even if the cold declared war on me and gave me the worst cough that a human being can deal with, I took advantage of being surrounded by so much snow and went sledging in the mountains – there is no way of describing how much fun that was! Not to mention the amazing views! If you have not been in the Carpathian mountains yet, I would strongly recommend you to go, particularly in the winter (even if in the summer they are just as pretty). Breathtaking scenery, with lots of snowy trees covering the valleys and frozen peaks hiding a cold sun – this is the image that I will always keep in my heart and the image that best captures the beauty of my country. And if sledging was not fun enough, me and a couple of friends have also decided to take over the ice rink and show off some of our best moves. Again, it is hard to quantify how much fun that was!
Knowing that I was home only for a short period of time, I have also decided to visit a couple of the Romanian cities that are closest to my heart. The journey started in Sibiu, where I visited the Natural History Museum and the History Museum, took a walk along the Bridge of Lies, on which everything you say becomes a lie, and enjoyed the goodies of the “most beautiful Christmas market in Romania” (which, I would say, closely competed with the most famous ones in Europe). This is also the city where I spent the New Year’s Eve, drinking champagne with some of my friends, admiring the fireworks, enjoying some concerts, and praying that the -13℃ would not totally freeze me. The next stop was Brasov, where I took a short walk through the city center, along the narrow streets, including Strada Sforii, the narrowest street in Europe, and enjoyed the sight of the Black Church, an impressive building, which got its name due to a fire which covered its walls in black. Last, but not least, on my way to the airport, I stopped for a a day in Bucharest, visiting the National History Museum and catching up with some old friends.
As you guessed, I left home heavy-hearted and promised myself to never again spend a Christmas away. With my little winter wonderland in mind, I came back to the Netherlands and am now ready for new semester. Bring it on!