Listen to Your Inner Queen

{image via ffffound}

Hipstmatic Images

{my littlest girl having a quick sink before bed. yay summertime!}

I love this app for the iphone. Fun 70's style images today. This one is taken with John S lens and Ina's 69 film and a standard flash. Get the app, have some fun!


Transylvanian adventures

{dr. gonzo's garlic mash kept the evil at bay at bran castle. thank you stu for the mash!}

{a trabant, seen often, this one in rasnov}

{a wall in sanpetru}

{sunshine at dusk in sanpetru}

Yesterday's trip to Bran was made more fun with a jar of Dr. Gonzo's Garlicmash. We took the jar from Worcester, Massachusetts where it was made to Brasov, Romania. One of the only gifty things we brought that were actually conceived in Worcester. Vlad's dad is very picky about where things are made and so we thought it would be a great idea to introduce some condiments from the city we are from. The Drunk Stunt Mustard went over well, but the Garlicmash pulled ahead, keeping the evil spirits away at Bran.

Spirits are alive and well all over. The moment we arrived, Vlad's Dad put a red string on our little one. The red string, a talisman is a tradition here for children that keeps the child safe from the evil thoughts and intentions of people that look at them. The tradition is probably derived from the Kaballah, where the seven knots in the red string when tied to the left hand can ward off the evil eye. Like Madonna, my little lady is sporting a red string that she will wear until it falls off, as she did on our last visit as well. I think it's especially important to a grandfather when he thinks his grandaughter is the cutest thing on earth and that people would want to harm her because of the cuteness. I am not sure if it's contemptuous to have the string on, but I do think its sweet that she wears the string and respects that her "Ticu" gave it to her. Usually bracelets don't last long on the wrist of this little spitfire.

Last evening I was invited to visit a tarot reader named Ovidiu. I was promised that he would only tell me the good things in my future. Gypsies, red strings and people staring at you in the eye, making your pulse flutter makes me a little unsettled about Tarot. Yesterday, outside of Bran as we went to the car, a woman sitting in the adjacent car stared at Soleil, blankly, without blinking or turning away when I looked at her. I turned and looked back again and she was still staring at my little red stringer inside the car! Romanian women are strikingly beautiful. In fact sometimes I can't believe there are so many really beautiful ones in one place. This woman had really light blue eyes and they pierced me to the core as she would not take here eyes away or blink for that matter. Many moments passed and I was really happy for the little red string, driving away feeling a little protected. I seriously believe in higher powers, intuition, and mumbo jumbo. I do. I do. Thank goodness for red strings and garlicmash.

We never made it up to the lake yesterday, as Soleil got sick with a stomach bug. This of course was because prior to the red string, people looked at her at the airport. This deduction was translated to me by Vlad from his father, who is a doctor, in fact. I love the absolute belief that people have so much power to affect the world. I think I will use this for good. As of this morning, both of Vlad's parents are also in a bad way, and so with three down, we have decided to stay around the house while everyone is sleeping. We have brought the spell into the house and I kind of feel bad. Two espressos down and I feel like I could type all afternoon. With the soupa on the stove, the apa minerala and the extract of fig flower, anise broth and a little camomile chai...the family will be well soon. "Red strings for all," I say. I am happy to be blogging a little, but feel like I am missing an adventure.

By the way, as a side note, Romanian radio is much like home, they play the same 20 songs over and over. If I hear Shakira's Gypsy one more time...Doamne, Doamne capu meu! It will be the song that reminds me of this trip, I know. Looking forward to a better evening for those of us that have been up all night fighting the belly beast.

Oh, I scored a sweet pair of shoes yesterday on Republicii in Brasov. The dollar is up so shopping is more fun that it was in 2008! 148 lei is not so bad.


Rediscovering Brasov

{the circular flusher makes a wonderland image in my favorite place in brasov, the all new festival 39, the initial inspiration for my blog...even better now! you must come visit brasov}

{images of brasov, romania 2010}

So much has changed in Brasov since my first trip in 2004, prior to Romania joining the EU. The economy has prospered so much, evident in all the new homes, cars and infrastructure. New more efficient roads have been built, diverting most commercial traffic outside the downtown area and keeping the city free of congestion and pollution. Emissions are way down and the mountain air is clear and fresh, and free of litter, which used to be a huge problem. The town itself is popular among tourist groups. Just sitting at the plaza, you see so many who travel the three hours on small roads from Bucharest to see the town once known as Kronstadt, when occupied and built by the Germans. This medieval town is filled with elements of it's former self, most reflected in the city's coat of arms, Brasov is also known as the "crown city", populated now by a large amount of Moldovians as well.

Being from the States, you do not see old buildings like you do in Europe. I think this is the most evident thing I feel when I am here. The history is all over. Walking around town and seeing history reminds me how young our United States are. I feel overwhelmed when I see the dates on buildings and stop to think of the people that would have built them with their hands, much like I do walking in the woods near my home in Worcester, MA when I see old stone walls separating land.

Today we are off to Bran to take our little one to see Bran Castle. A very touristy place to go, but it's close and she is into princesses these days. Little does she know what Bran represents for the world, thanks to Bram Stoker. I am wondering if all the hoopla with the vampire shows in the US have casued an influx of sightseers to Transylvania. We will go from there to Transfagarasan, a long mountain road that leads up to a lake.