Sunday, 29 May 2016

Bușteni 2

May 29 2016 Again, too many pictures for one blog, so here are a few more and then a few comments at the end.
As I mentioned, there were many campers in the ecological area that forbid campers, all about this size. Many had their own porta-potty tents. 

This was the Peleș castle in Sinaia, just down the road from Bușteni. It was built in the late 1800s by a Romanian king for his German wife. Even back then, it had indoor plumbing and electricity. 160 rooms in all. It was on the top of a very large hill.

Another view of the castle.

2 views of the waiting hall, fancy wood and much ornate decorations and paintings.

This is a place Bren would love, knights, swords, armor, etc. The kings had over 3000 weapons on display.

About this room, we were informed that to take pictures would cost an extra 32 lei , or about $10. I quit at this time. We have the idea.

These next 2 pictures show all the tourist stuff for sale on the walk up and back. There were gypsies selling fruit, mainly strawberries and cherries. Actually quite cheap and tasty

Some of the hand work was incredible, but pricey.

Okay, Mette , this is for you. We saw fields of poppies in Romania. They have become like a weed, but they certainly give color to the countryside. Twice we have picked them, twice they are dead in 12 hours, petals off and all. If you can see, there is also some nice blue wild flowers here 

They are really pretty, this field had multiple photographers all in the field , taking pictures.
So we came back from our conference, having had a nice break. We stopped in Ploești for Church, mistake because all four of us got to speak. Much of the branch was away at a wedding.  Beautiful country for sure. The weird thing was, as we crossed the border back into Moldova, it felt like coming home. It was just odd. 

Bușteni 1

May 29 We have just got back home from a conference for Institute teachers in Bușteni, Romania. It took about 10 hours to get there and about 8.5 to get home again. Going out, we found out at the border that one needs to purchase insurance for Romania prior to entering, for a short term period. This added an extra hour at the border, because one still gets checked on both sides, Moldova and Romania. The good thing, everyone was having to unload their cars. We had travelled with the Cooleys and he told me to use my charm on the border patrol lady. I am not really sure what charm is, but we were the only vehicle not fully unloaded. I suspect it was because we were old harmless people, but maybe it was the charm. In any case, the country side was beautiful. We took the northern route there, thru Brașov and it  was breathtaking. First many old villages then hills and mountains, intermingled with fantastic crops on productive farmland. Bușteni is a resort town, 30 km south of Brașov on a busy narrow road. There are ski resorts there and it was a nice town, nice to visit and relax. We stayed in a Vila Cătălina, an unpretentious place for sure. It was a bed and breakfast without the breakfast or soap.But nice. I will explain further with pictures. Anyway our week was with a zone conference on Wednesday, teaching some lessons with the missionaries, lessons, a visit in Orhei and working like crazy on finalizing our English lessons for the missionaries. There has been many downpours all week, a lot of people getting sick and so far, we have avoided all . Okay, so the news in pics.
As we went thru some villages near Brașov, there were a number of storks and nests. The nests were all on top of poles and sometimes had a base provided to help them with support for the nest. 

This one is just starting a nest, all the poles around it were full of nests

One more picture of storks

Town sign of Bușteni, just down the street, yes, those are blue jeans after a long drive.

Notice the Honda driving down the sidewalk?

View just out of our bed and breakfast.

This place reminded us a bit of Banff, but also of Fernie, beautiful mountains. Elevation of the town was about 850 m, the mountains about 2500 m

Nice European type buildings, narrow highway. Main highway north and south, narrow two lane

Cross on the mountain above Bușteni

A nice old church down the road from where we were.

These were some wild donkeys up in the hills near Bușteni. Deb thought them cute, I thought them rather ugly.

The donkeys really need a shave
We went into an ecological park above the town, with a big sign that said no camping. Just like homein the Castle area, people ignore it and set up campers for the entire summer. People everywhere just like to ignore the law. Each trailer had to also have a fence, even if only string. This week will continue next blog.

Sunday, 22 May 2016


May 22, 2016  This is a continuance of the last post, mostly pictures. I will finish the balloon activity and then show a few of the branch picnic.
These balloons survived a few more minutes until popping began

Artie with a hair style or a hat, hard to tell.

At least it was original.

Sister Covali and daughters, the youngest , Erica, will finally let Deb hold her.

The picnic site, beautiful, but the table there we hauled from home. In an Opel

Nina, always the card, but one of the joys of our lives.

The Vogelsbergs, looking over the city. 

So this is the anniversary picture of us oldies. As you can see, we had a wonderful view of the city, all to our north.

Over my Left shoulder, way off in the distance, is Ciocana, where we live. It was about 8 km as the crow flies. Did I mention the crows?  No, not us.


May 22 It is the day after our anniversary, which was May 21. Not that we are counting, but that makes 39 years we have been together, does that make us old? Probably. It has been another busy week, working to help support the missionaries, having Institute, arranging a branch barbeque and even surviving. What did we do for our anniversary? Good question, we went and arranged the branch barbeque. It was on a hill in the south of Chișinău, where Moldova was dedicated 15 years ago by Elder Ballard. It is a beautiful spot, and is a park. However when we say park and they say park, it means two different things. Access to this park, think quad trail , up a steep hill, then think no tables, no facilities except trees, nothing but trees, grass and goats- domestic. Ah, the road. I went up fast enough Deb could not tell me to stop and let her out, only bottomed out once, I stayed between the ruts. Our poor little Opel was loaded with food, meat, 3 small barbeques, briquets ( that are more partly burned wood), bags, people, in other words, we had to get up that hill. And we did, amid gasps of horror. It was a beautiful place. So what do people barbeque here? Pork mostly, and Ruslan Stepanenco helped me. We got meat of the front shoulder of the pig, called ceafa, and marinate it in onions, salt and pepper. You slice it thin so it will cook, 1.5 cm is thick here. Then you barbeque it. It was very good. We also made pasta salad, which is rare here and gets eaten very quickly. We had lots of meat, enough for another BBQ. So it is all done over a briquets like coals, but is very good. I was a skeptic, but verily, now I believe. We also had a YSA activity with balloon sculpting and then cupcake decorating with much sweetness ( yes, more than the Edwards) We had a great turnout as well for this. Wednesday we were in Bălți and had 13 for Institute, it is hard to describe how great it is there. All in English and response in Russian, and we absolutely love it and them. Now I will say we took cookies and banana bread and now they even love us. Today was my first meeting at conducting Sacrament in Romanian, it is sooo slow in coming to me. But I did nothing too embarrassing, so it was all good. The weather is beautiful, we just love having to drive out in the country, seeing the people working the fields. There are so many old people in the fields working, and leading animals by ropes, this really is an agricultural place. Okay, back to the original thought, what did we give each other for our anniversary? Ice cream at Andys. Anyway, too many pictures for one post, so half are here, half on the next.
The poppies are in bloom everywhere. At first there were just small one, but now the big red ones are out. We picked a few, they do  not survive that well.

A few more, literally thousands along the road.

This purple flower is out now as well. They are lupine like, but are probably some type of weed. Pretty anyway. My granddaughters would go nuts here.

Country side , a field of early corn.

Small village on a hill, Orthodox church in the middle. Everything is green and beautiful.

We have been seeing a few storks from time to time, only one nest so far. These were busy getting bugs in the fields, I do not know where they left the babies.

Okay, we are into the balloon sculpting contest. The designs were not that great, each group  had 30 balloons, tape and free rein to create. As you can see, all had fun, missionaries and  friends.

Sevghi on the left knows the mission president has her mission call, she gets to open it next Wednesday. Tough to wait!

Deb and Sister Cooley getting toppings ready for the cupcakes.

The winners, well not that great, but fun. From L, Elders Jerome, Broberg, Boud, Alex, Nina, Eldes Brown and Paterson, Valeria, and sister Draper

From L, Tolic, Nik, Sister Brinkman, Elder Seiach and Brownell, C.- member in 3 weeks, waiting until she is 18. Maxim is trying to get out of the picture

Nik, Trifon, Maxim and Tolic