Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween in Romania

Halloween in Romania is celebrated around the myth of "Dracula", on the 31st of October. In Transylvania and especially in the town of Sighisoara, there are many costume parties, for teenagers and adults, that are created from the US model. Also the spirit of Dracula lives there because the town was the site of many witch-trials that are recreated by actors today, on the night of Halloween.

Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jewish cemetery in Bucharest desecrated

Unknown vandals have knocked over and, in some cases, destroyed the headstones in the cemetery where at least 35,000 Jews are buried, including victims of the Holocaust. It took place during the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, on October 24th. The vandals also smashed windows in the administrative offices of the cemetery. No anti-Semitic slogans were discovered on the destroyed tombstones, according to police. Jewish leaders condemned the desecration and said the scale of the destruction suggested the activity was organized — rather than random acts by wayward youths. Paul Schwartz, spokesman for Romania's Jewish community, called the desecration "the worst act of vandalism in the nation in recent times."

Source: article by Maud Swinnen published on October 24th 2008 at European Jewish Press

Thursday, October 16, 2008


In the period October 10th-13th, we guided Maryellen Pienta and Michael Minning (US) through Romania. They were the first clients to stay at our Hideaway in Northern Moldavia. After 1250km by car, crossing Moldavia, Bukovina, the Carpathians and Transylvania, our guests had a wonderful time, learning a lot about this country and its people and getting to know some of the UNESCO world heritage painted monasteries: Probota, Sucevita and Humor. Maryellen's roots from around Gura Humorului - her grandfather Jakob Szprowski was an Austro-Hungarian officer's aide who emigrated to the US - will probably bring her here again for a genealogical trip. In the picture, Maryellen poses together with Sister Marcela, our guide Elena Klabin and Michael at the nun's cell in Agapia monastery. You may read Maryellen's impressions on the trip at her blog's article The Catania-Bucharest Connection and watch her travel pictures here.


Between June 5th and June 12th 2008, Hal and Charlotte Hegwer (US) were guided by us from Timisoara to Bucharest, visiting also Craiova. In Craiova they met the head of the local Jewish community and carefully visited the synagogue and cemetery, looking for records of their ancestors. In Bucharest, besides a traditional sightseeing with the main attractions, the Hegwers visited the Jewish museum and had dinner with all of us at the Caru' cu Bere beerhouse (in the picture, from the left to the right: our guide/driver Marinel Sburlea, Mr & Mrs Hegwer, Fernando & Elena Klabin).