Sunday, March 23, 2014

Romania Road Ways Itinerary, Including Vlad III Tepes sites (Vlad the Impaler)

Post dates being put in chronological trip order, with the merger of this Romania Road Ways with the Vlad Tepes sites at Romania Road Ways Vlad Tepes.   Both topics, culture and history and specific Vlad III Tepes are being integrated. Post dates reflect the itinerary, not the dates actually seen. Please be patient with us.

Snagov* -- Lake, Monastery burial of Vlad issues, 
Complex Astoria -- Communist era resort, with rowboats to alleged Vlad burial,
Brasov and Bran Castle*
Curtea de Arges.
Poinari Citadel
Transfagarasan Pass
Targu Mures
Piatra Fontanele 
Prislop Pass
Sighetu Marmetei
Sighetu Marmetei
Cluj Napoca
Alba Iulia
Baiu Mare
Targu Jiu
Rimnicu Vicea

* Sites visited, and that have particular reference to Vlad III Tepes.  Those sites, separated at originally at Romania Road Vlad Tepes, are now merged here.

See also Romania Road Ways, included at our hub site for all trips to Europe (and other political and cultural commentary and research), at Europe Road Ways. 

For a fast reference to Vlad topics, see Vlad Tepes, The Historical Dracula, at

More:  Go to the History of Central Europe at Scroll down to the Romania section. This is the most concise but clear and complete accounting we have found so far.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Bucharest, Count Dracula Club, fried rats to eat

The Dracula Club, Bucharest, Romania
The Dracula Club, Bucharest. Excellent for Halloween. Knock, and a little door in the big door opens and a face peers out. This is a reputable fine food supper club-restaurant, not just a come-on. See  This may not be the place for a romantic proposal, but it served all our other purposes.

Enter and find yourself tightly embraced by the hospitality.

Dan Widing meets Dracula, Count Dracula Club, Bucharest, Romania (on Halloween)

Enjoy the decor.  People, or parts of people, emerge from the walls.

Enjoy the fried rats - looked like chicken breast with dark pumpernickel breadcrumb coating, pimento puree within, and long tails and whiskers of something, perhaps fried angel hair pasta? See what else is offered, at

Halloween was dress-up night. Watch for the really good actor who suddenly descends from the ceiling, seeking Mina, Mina, Mina; and grabbing bites where he can.  You may not be studying for an exam on Dracula, but get the overview on Mina at this crib site,

Who else has visited there? Mwah ha ha.  See Dinner At The Count's at   Fitting an unfortunate stereotype, there was a group of American tour guides there at our visit.  They were rude and intolerant, barely tasting the fine buffet prepared.  This was not a friendly group at all. One even said aloud, in the face of a lavish and excellent variety of hot and cold foods, that she never ate local food.  I hope she chooses another career.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bucharest. Current Events. Romania Draft Legislation. Dolphin Personhood. Recognizing Dolphins as Non-Human Persons. Draft Legislation.

What human qualities, if found in a creature not human, shall afford that creature the rights and protections of a human. Remus Cernea, legislator in Romania, the Black Sea area, city of Constanta, has appropriate ideas. He would afford to dolphins the same rights as people. Personhood, so that killing a dolphin, for example, would be subject to a murder analysis.  Would it be reciprocal? For another day.  For now, whether this effort succeeds is not the issue.  The issue is the effect of raising how we exploit creatures to the level of legislative discussion that is more pivotal to the cause of how we coexist with our fellow planet earth residents over time. See  For Mr. Cernea's Statement, Remus Cernea, and text of proposed legislation at the Draft Law,

This is news in any nation that eats, uses, keeps animals. Dogs have long been excluded from humanitarian considerations in Romania, for example, even when pets. I recall in Romania the hundreds of stray dogs, all breeds, wandering alone or in packs even in unpopulated areas. Dogs forced loose by laws that forbade residents forced out of their homes for governmental purposes from taking their pets with them.  We reminded ourselves, tempted to pet, to talk softly, to coo, hello puppy, to keep hands in pockets, eyes ahead. Our impression was that Romania did not care, or was not allowed to care, about its animals. See

1. So what is changing? Thinking. Thinking as to dolphins, if not dogs. Any nation can boast a politician, a lawmaker, with ground-breaking causes, but this cause should be spread.

Romanians are accustomed to Michael the Brave, who in the the tumultuous 16th C ff, managed to unite disparate interests with Polish, Hungarian, Transylvanian groups at each other. No quarter given to those subject to slaughter. He then lost, with betrayals, brutality ensued, Michael returned, prevailed but was assassinated, see Zsigmond Bathori, ,Michael the Brave, and Giorgio Basta article at Scroll down to 1-753.   It is time for Remus the Brave.  Is that so? Or too melodramatic?

For Remus Cernea, imagine the interests that will rally against his vision. May he, as we say, stay strong and perhaps America can follow.

2. Then ask:  On what ground do humans exploit, dominate, use fellow creatures. Because we can?  Because our religion (whose?) translates taking dominion to domination and not leading gently as a god?  See meaning of dominion, from old texts, at Vetting Roots,  Lead gently, as a god.

3.  Here, Cernea cites the dolphins' high intelligence, relationships within the pod, with other creatures, personality, but all that is only a start.  With equality of right to a life, even if environmentally different, and without ten digits up and down, killing would be subject to the same analyses as murder. The Black Sea rejoices.

Japan is recently in the news for its corralling of dolphins into a killing bay, slaughter of those who cannot escape.  Is it really just a matter of culture, and such deaths not to be reviewed by anyone not of that culture.

4.  How does the draft law look?  This cannot be subject to copyright, so here it is:  Let the Romanian legislature address all issues with clarity and vision. And go to the site and order a T-shirt.

Draft law for recognizing dolphins as non-human persons

Art.1 All species of dolphins enjoy special protection on the territory of Romania, each individual of this species being considered to be a non-human person.

Art. 2 The hereby law defines a non-human person any being that does not belong to the human species, yet posses a developed intelligence, the capacity to form complex social relations, and is the bearer of the following rights:

1. Right to life

2. Right to bodily integrity, and to be free from any acts of cruelty

3. Right to free movement in their own natural environment, not to be captured or hold in captivity with other purposes other than to be offered medical assistance or to be protected from an impending danger.

4. Right to be protected in the own living natural environment, and not to be separated from the group or family he or she belongs.

Art. 3 Any violation of the rights of non-human persons is forbidden and shall be prosecuted with penalties that are equivalent with those stipulated in the Penal Code for violation of similar rights of human persons.

Art. 4 (1) Any current activity involving holding dolphins in captivity and/or using them in various entertaining facilities will cease in no longer than 12 months from the adoption of the hereby law.

(2) During this 12 month period, all dolphins that are considered fit for reintroduction by the specialists will be released into their natural environment populated by the same species.

(3) The dolphins that do not meet criteria for reintroduction in their natural environment will be placed in specialized care for the rest of their lives, and will no longer be used for entertainment purposes on any other purposes that will contravene the status of non-human persons.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Bucharest - Caravanserai

Romania is not a first thought when the old Silk Routes are mentioned.  Still, it was an important stopping point, a gateway into Europe.  Bucharest boasts a fine caravanserai, now offering a restaurant both in the inner courtyard, and in shelter when needed.  The architecture of these structures has remained constant over country boundaries, see AramcoWorld magazine, at  The large square design, two stories on the outer walls, large usually single gate entry, tall and wide to accommodate loaded camels, a well, areas for a mosque, rooms all around, and accommodations for royal travelers as well as those on pilgrimage.
These took money and organization to sustain:  unending need for fresh straw, filled ewers of liquids, even wines for the European trader heading east?  There would be a scribe at the entry, recording your identity, your goods, your route, how many livestock.

The idea dates, probably, from the 5th Century BC, although there are references in Middle Eastern tales, such as Gilgamesh, to a traveler finding accommodation, an inn, 3000 BCE.  Inns, rather ramshackle, called "pandochions" accepted all comers as well, and the Good Samaritan of Bible Story, left the wounded traveler at one of those.  Then came a more refined Arabic "funduq".

In Romania today, there are the spaced hostels, pensions, the "cazare" everywhere (see; and hotelier complexes that recall the huge enterprises of the old days.

 History of Romania's invaders, influences ethnic groups, see

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Bucharest - Ghencea Military Cemetery (Ceaucesu); Museum of the Romanian Peasant; Mogosoia Palace (Lenin)

Ghencea Military Cemetery

We save the capital city for the end of the trip. We aim right out of the airport into the great beyond, wherever that is.  Then, we are not rushed on our way back; or, if we are, it is easier to come back to a major city if we can. City traffic upon first landing is not a good introduction to any country.  Get out of it.

Bucharest is a cosmopolitan city, see

1.  Propellers as markers. Romania honors its war dead in unique ways.

For the air force, those who served are buried with a propeller instead of a headstone.

Ghencea Military Cemetery, Propeller Grave Markers, Bucharest, Romania

The custom of propellers marking graves of pilots is found elsewhere in Romania. For locating well-known graves, go online.  Visit Find A Grave, at

2.  Others who died in the political realm are not so revered, at least in public.  See Lenin statue, toppled, Mogosoaia Palace, near Bucharest.  Lenin's statue is discarded behind the kitchens at Mogosoaia Palace outside Bucharest.

At the Communist Exhibition at the Museum of the Romanian Peasant in Bucharest, however, there is a lower level, creep down in search of the Ladies, and find reverential exhibits, complete with altars, for Lenin and the Ceaucescu, and others.

3.  Nicolai Ceaucescu is buried here, but at the civil side of the cemetery.

Grave, Nicolai Ceaucescu, Ghencea Civil Cemetery, Bucharest, Romania

The Ceaucescus are buried separately at the Ghencea Civil Cemetery in Bucharest, but are some aisles apart.

We looked for a long time before finding either grave, and were carefully watched by guards.

I believe the concern was simple vandalism, and we were not hindered in any way as we looked. Nonetheless, we were watched, watched. Guns ready.
We are not used to that. All we wanted was a look, and a picture. Got them. Got out.

There are tributes on the graves. Candles, objects, even a beer bottle.