Sunday, December 23, 2007

3, 2, 1... GO!

My Christmas break has just started this morning, when I woke up at 5:00 AM to leave to the country side to spend Christmas.
I hope you all have been good kids so that Santa will drop by with nice gifts and lots, lots of sweets!

Meeeeeeeeery Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

XWiki Iaşi team @ Durău

The last weekend we gathered 'all' the XWiki Iaşi team to go to the mountains, as some sort of goodbye party for JV who left Iaşi this week. Well, 'all' the XWiki team meant, after all, without Marius (who had some school assignments he had to finish until monday) and without Evelina & Cristi who also had some school deadline changed to monday without notice. Finally, the XWiki team was: me, Raluca, Jerome and Jean-Vincent (JV for short) and Petru (who is a xwikier only 'by association').
Friday afternoon was shopping afternoon ('Let's go to the mall, today!'): after a tough negotiation for boots (J and JV wanted the same shoes and are the same size but there weren't 2 pairs available in the shop), and a 'girlie-girl' shopping style from me (3-4-5-6 shops but no boots for me to like :D) we deviced the next day's wake-up plan and went home.
Saturday morning we left Iaşi at 6:00 am and, after a 'niiiiice' 3 hours trip and some sleep (only for some of us) we arrived in Durău: nice fresh air smell and some snow here-and-there. We checked in at the hotel, grabbed something fast to eat and then left for the trip to Fântânele.

From XWiki @ Durău

Once we got there, we had a cup of hot wine, took some pictures with the nice view and, despite the original plan to get to Fântânele, drink, and then return to Durău, decided to go further until we can see the "Izvorul Muntelui" lake and then return.

From XWiki @ Durau

A kind caban dog lead the way towards Dochia caban: he went on and, when we stopped it stopped and returned to see if we all are OK. At 'La morminte' (around 1300m altitude), the path started to be snowy: it was not dangerous (yet) but still, it was a sign that we cannot go further without proper equipment. We went a little further to see the lake, took pictures (to testify that we indeed were there), Raluca gave her share of food to the dog (who was clearly planning to continue the path to Dochia) and then returned to 'La Morminte'. There we had a nice picnic below 0 degrees Celsius with bread and french camembert. We continued our trip back to Durău through Fântânele and then through 'Poiana Viezuri'. In Durău, we had a romanian dinner with 'Tochitura Moldoveneasca' and red wine at the hotel and a very 'personal' interpretation of some famous international songs from the guy at the keyboard in the hotel restaurant.
Although some of us were very sleepy, the night continued with a delightful cards game, romanian Whist and, upon Raluca's request -- who was tempted by the music she heard from outside, with a visit to the 'disco'. And when I say visit, I mean visit, i.e. 30 minutes. The 'disco' was actually a lame 'village club' (you know the kind of club I'm talking about), which made the visit 2 times more fun!

From XWiki @ Durau

The next day, we were supposed to wake up at 6 o'clock so that we can go to 'Duruitoarea' waterfall too. Of course, I only woke up to make a couple of calls to the others and agree that it is better to sleep on and see more about it later, when everybody was up. At 10, we talked about staying some more and leaving Durău in the evening but the unavailability of the bus seats in the evening ruined our plans. The trip ended with a walk around Durău, a visit to the monastery and some more pictures of the surroundings.

From XWiki @ Durau

The trip back was 'spectacular', as usual in Romanian buses (I really need to buy a car!): a lot of people going in and out of the bus, the driver's stops for each one of them, loud conversations, people crushing into each other to fit the size of the bus, and the eternal travelers that know that the bus might be too crowded but never, ever make reservations, etc, etc.
All in all it was a successful outing, and until the next one, we will enjoy the pictures: