Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Bicaz Gorge

As I mentioned in the previous post, the past weekend we took a trip to Sighişoara. We left Iaşi Friday evening at about 18:15, all happy and joyful (except for Cati who was a little nervous). According to Cati's calculae, it was a 345 km trip, which meant about 5-6 hours and yes, we were supposed to do the last part of it in complete darkness but we all fully trusted the superdriver Cati, although she had never been to Sighişoara before and didn't know the places. We equipped ourselves with all the things necessary for camping (because we didn't expect to find any rooms in a hotel on Friday night, at the end of the first day of the festival).

The main attraction of the trip towards Sighişoara was the Bicaz Gorge, at the midpoint, which we would reach somewhere around 21:00 (maybe I forgot to mention that I love mountains :) ).

From Trip to Sighişoara

We divided the tasks: Cati drove and watched the road, Edy was the guy with the map and, together with us, watched the side of road for signs to guide us: since we had never been there before, we were cautious not to get lost, especially inside the towns where we had to watch out for the right turn.
In Roman, Edy was the guide since he grew up there;

From Trip to Sighişoara

in Piatra Neamţ, although we missed the road we had the chance to realize it in time and turned around,

From Trip to Sighişoara

and in Bicaz the road was properly marked (you could not miss the signs even if you tried).

Suddenly, as we were approaching the gorge, Cati noticed that her car makes a strange noise... She lowered her window and we all heard well the concerning noise... We had no idea what it was, but we realized that it wouldn't be wise to continue the trip, as it was getting darker and darker... We returned in Bicaz (when this happened we had only passed it for 3 km or such) looking for a car service. We found one as we (re)entered Bicaz, but it was closed and we had to call the guy and finally go at his house for him to take a look at the car. Unfortunately, he couldn't tell what it was and his suspicions were not restful. Since it got very late (22:00), the smartest thing to do was to spend the night in Bicaz and contact the official car service in Piatra Neamţ the next day. We found some sort of pension there where we ate the sandwiches we brought from home, played some cards, saw the medieval festival on TV (some piece of news showed how happy was everybody visiting Sighişoara) and took a nice sleep.

From Trip to Sighisoara

For the next day, we planned to split: me and Petru would stay in Bicaz and somehow visit the gorge we were so anxious to see and the rest would join Cati to the service, and if the car was fixed in the right time, they would continue the trip and pick us on their way (no, this wasn't the case).

The next day, we found some bus to take us to the entrance in the gorge and then took a 7 km walk to Lacul Roşu, in the middle of the gorge, and back. I'll shut up now, because the pictures are worth a thousand words (each):

From Trip to Sighişoara

All in all, I can declare this a successful weekend: even if we didn't get to the festival we saw some very beautiful places – if you ever get the chance to go to the Bicaz Gorge, don't use a car to pass it, it's not even a long walk and it's really impressive.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Danube Delta

As I announced in the previous post, the past weekend we took a trip to the Danube Delta (Synygy's team building, again). We have never been there before (shame on us, a natural monument in our country and we waited more than 20 years to visit it) so it was a nice experience and a lot of new and fine places to see. Since I was refrained from taking the laptop with me (it's a vacation!!!) I only had the 512MB on the card for pictures. I also realized that my camera is pretty lame: 3x optical zoom is not enough to capture the details of the wonderful nature and it can not take pictures when the sun goes straight at it (it produced some completely white images).

We left Iasi at about 8 o'clock in the morning, had an 8 hour trip until Murighiol

From Danube Delta

then took the boat to Uzlina

From Danube Delta

where some of us visited the pool first, even against their will

From Danube Delta

We checked in on "Cristofor, the floating hotel"

From Danube Delta

had our fish-based dinner (actually, we ate fish the whole 3 days)

From Danube Delta

and then ended the first day with a nice sleep.

The next day we took a trip on the canals with the boat and saw some wonderful places (seeing the clear blue sky from land to land -- as opposed to "from building to building" -- always makes me feel good):

From Danube Delta

This whole days, team-building polo was everybody's favourite activity:

From Danube Delta

In the night, we also did some classic team-building treasure-hunt game

From Danube Delta

which eventually required a swimming contest to decide the winner (my team lost)

From Danube Delta

The next day we left Uzlina and returned to Iasi with a new 8 hours trip

From Danube Delta

In the mean time (this week) I became a proud M.Sc. student in Distributed Systems at FCS (classes starting in october).

This weekend, thanks to a great idea from Cati, we are going to Sighisoara, at the medieval festival (actually leaving in a couple of hours so I must hurry). I'll be back with pictures, as usual.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On vacation

No, I haven't quit blogging (though I haven't posted anything in the last month). It is partially because I'm enjoying myself and take (some) advantage of the summer vacation:

Fourth will be coming this weekend: I'm going to the Danube Delta and I will be back with pictures.

  • Fourth and a half, I've recently become a happy listener of Mika and Leonard Cohen (which I have rediscovered through the wonderful soundtrack of NBK).