Maramures – The place where the time stood still

Maramures is a beautiful region that is located in Romania. It has magical forests, beautiful flowers and countless green hills. It is the place where Romanian traditions are preserved and the locals still wear the traditional Romanian clothes. Our good friend, Malik from PG Used Appliances just went and was

Maramures Maramures has plenty of cultural, natural and artisanal attractions. It is the big brother of Bucovina, another beautiful region that was separated from Maramures during the Second World War. This is the place where the ancestral crafts and traditions of the Romanians are well-preserved. The Maramures traditional clothes are unmistakable and the locals proudly wear them. If you’re going for a walk in Maramures you’ll be amazed to see the teenagers are still wearing traditional clothes instead of the common brand clothes.

The richest season in Maramures is the autumn. The freshly grapes are harvested and turned into a sweet grape juice and then into one of the most flavored wines in the country. In Maramures you can also taste their signature beverage, Horinca. The foreign tourists fall in love with the fruity flavored Horinca. The people in this area are the friendliest hosts you will ever meet and they will welcome you into their houses with a warmth that’s specific to Romanians. The tables are rich and tasty and if you ever sit at a table in a traditional Maramures home you’ll have a hard time deciding what to eat first.

The Maramures people are happy people and they have found a funny way to express it. Here, in Sapanta you can find a unique cemetery. The Happy Cemetery is a colorful cemetery where the Maramures people buried their dead. The funeral monuments are wooden carved, colorful and there are funny poems that describe the life of the person resting there. This cemetery is not a place to cry and be sad but rather a place of a serene acceptance of the lost loved ones. The Maramures people are very religious, like most of the Romanians and you should totally make time to visit the beautiful wooden churches from Maramures. These are places where history meets religion since many of them were built by Romanian leaders after they have won a war as a symbol of their faith in God. Close to the cemetery there’s the big city Sighetu Marmatiei a city where you can visit the Memorial Museum of the Victims of the Communism and the Ethnographic Museum of Maramures.

The Mocanita train is one of the oldest steam trains in Europe. This beautiful train that crosses the Carpathian mountains offers the tourists the chance of seeing wild nature that hasn’t been touched by human hands yet.  This train is one of the few steam trains in the world that are still working.

In conclusion, the Maramures region, the green treasure of Romania, is a perfect place for a holiday and it is one of the few regions of the country where traditional habits are still respected. There are many tourist attractions in this region, the landscapes are breathtaking and the food is tasty. It is one of the most beautiful regions in Eastern Europe and it attracts thousands of foreign tourists every year.…

Nine things you should know when you visit Romania

Romania is a beautiful, small country situated in the Southeastern Europe. We got the idea to write about it because of the rave reviews our friend Jock from Enchanted Marketing (www.enchantedmarketing.org) after his recent trip there. It joined the European Union in 2007 and is a fast-developing country that is attracting millions of tourists every year. It is cheaper than the countries in Western Europe and it has plenty of natural riches that are waiting to be discovered. Here’s a list with nine things that you should know when you visit Romania.

  1. visit RomaniaBucharest is Romania’s capital. Often confused with Budapest, Hungary’s capital, the city is located in the southern region of the country. It is the biggest city in Romania and it has many touristic attractions.
  2. The official language is Romanian and the national currency is the Romanian Leu (RON). You can exchange 1 Euro for approximately 4.5 Romanian RON. In Bucharest you can pay using the credit card, but in the traditional villages you should go with cash. Most of the stores are small and do not accept credit card payments.
  3. Romanians are religious people. There are many beautiful churches and monasteries that you can visit in each region. The painted monasteries of Bucovina are truly amazing. The Voronet monastery, Eastern Europe’s Sistine Chapel, is painted with a unique blue paint, called “albastru de Voronet” (Voronet blue).
  4. Romanians are welcoming, warm people that treat their guests really well. In the heart of Transylvania, most of the villages have authentic peasants that welcome their guests in the traditional way, with specific Romanian pie and a shot of “palinca”, a strong alcoholic beverage.
  5. Romanians love to party. In Bucharest the old town is coming alive every night. There are plenty of clubs, bars and pubs where you can have a great time. In the small villages, the peasants gather at the cultural center and organize weekly the Hora, a traditional dance very energetic. The tourists are invited to join in, and a true Romanian party begins.
  6. The scariest forest in the world is the forest Hoia-Baciu from Cluj Napoca. There are many scary stories surrounding this forest and every year thousands for curious tourists and famous paranormal researchers. The scientist still can’t explain the strange and scary events that happen in this forest.
  7. Romania has some of the best preserved medieval citadels in Europe. There are many beautiful cities, especially in Transylvania that have been built around these beautiful and majestic citadels. One of them is Alba Iulia citadel. It was renovated only a few years ago, and it is a real jewel of Transylvania. Every year, on the 1st of December, Romania’s national day people gather in Alba Iulia to celebrate the Great Union of Transylvania with Romania.
  8. The Transfagarasan road is one of the most beautiful and dangerous roads in the world. With many hairpin turns, the road crosses the Fagaras mountains and unties the two historical provinces Muntenia and Transylvania.
  9. Each historical province has fought a different enemy, so you can see strong byzantine influence in Dobrogea’s architecture, strong gothic influences from the Austro-Hungarian imperium in Transylvania, Slavic architecture is present in Bucovina and a mix of these three in Tara Romaneasca.

Tips for Traveling with Your Partner

Vacations are meant to be fun and memorable and even so when you are traveling with your partner. Exploring new places together is an exciting experience that can do wonders for your relationship. It is an excellent bonding experience that brings back life and strengthens intimacy in your relationship. However, it is not natural for you to spend all that time with your spouse some misunderstandings and disagreements may arise. Here are a few tips to avoid unnecessary fights and enjoy an amazing trip with your partner.

  1. Travel with partnerFinances

Finances are a major cause of fights in relationships, more so when traveling together. It can be a headache when you have to decide who is paying for the meal or the activity, etc. The best thing to do would be to plan a budget together with food, transportation, accommodation, activities, souvenirs, etc., included.  Once you are on the same page, stick to the budget faithfully to avoid issues of unnecessary spending arising.

  1. Destination

Both of you have to agree on a certain destination prior to traveling. During the first stages of the relationship, all that mattered was spending time together irrespective of the location. Keep that in mind as you look for a destination. So long as you are together, any place can be made extraordinary.

  1. Transportation

You can learn so much from and about each other when you have a lot of time to talk. You will be on the road most of the times and this is the perfect timing to talk about anything and everything. However, avoid stressful topics like work, or anything that concerns your daily routine.

  1. Technology

Technology has made life and travel, much easier. It can also be a big distraction which beats the purpose of spending time together. Try as much as you can to keep your electronic gadgets away. Fight the urge to communicate or share details of your trip at that very instant with family, friends, or social media. Time spent typing away is a wasted moment and therefore a wasted story. Take numerous pictures instead if you have to use your devices. Pictures or videos will freeze the moments and you can relive and share the stories after your trip

  1. Have Some Alone Time

Traveling together doesn’t mean that you have to be joined at the hip all the time throughout the whole vacation. Sometimes your interests or desires may collide and it’s completely okay to have some alone time to do these things on your own. It actually gives you an opportunity to miss each other more.

  1. Have an Open Mind.

It is okay to plan but not everything will fall into place as planned. Go on your vacation with an open mind. This is also a chance to try out something new and unexpected which adds to the thrill of your trip. Most time, these moments make lifelong memories.

  1. Trial Weekend

If you haven’t spent much time with each other before, probably a night here and there, a mock trip would be a good idea. This can be a local trip in your country for a few days to get a feel of how things would play out. If it doesn’t work out as planned, you should reconsider a long trip.

  1. Have fun, let loose

The purpose of a vacation is to have fun and relax. Taking a break from your daily life routine is good for your health and your relationship. Be on your best behavior, as were the case when you first started dating, but above all, be yourselves.…

Best East Africa Destinations

East Africa comprises of an array of countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. These great African nations are re-known for having great sceneries including wildlife, mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, unique tradition like the Maasai culture among many more tourist destinations. The beautiful ecosystem which has been largely preserved combined with the community cultural diversity incorporating friendly locals to make a memorable destination.

East Africa DestinationsSafari’s meaning a drive, walk, or hot air balloon is an adventure well known all over the world that offers a mesmerizing glimpse of the wildlife and magnificent sceneries. Below are just but some of the must-visit destinations in the east African region.

 1. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Maasai Mara is located in Kenya and is one of the worlds must visit for the Safari lovers. Some of the best wildlife discoveries, films, and footage have been from this destination. The reserve has all of the world’s big five animals including Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Buffalo, and Giraffes among much more wildlife which tourists can see in a single day of safari.

The Reserve is also famous for the Wildebeest migration which happens in the July – November dry season. This event has been termed as a wonder of the world in which thousands of Wildebeest cross the Mara River to seek for greener pastures across the region. Other activities include integrating and learning the Maasai culture and spending time in the Maasai cottages.

 2. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Swathed in mist and beautiful heavy vegetation, Rwanda’s Park is located cavernously in the Virunga Mountains. The Volcanoes National park is the oldest park in Africa and offers excellent sites of the endangered Mountain Gorilla. The Mountain Gorilla is relatively larger than the typical Gorilla, and there are only 800 left in the entire world.

There are other species of animals and an amazing list of birds to be sited in the park. It is a must visit for the ecosystem and wildlife lovers.

 3. Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar is located on the coast of Tanzania. This fabulous destination comprises of one of the beautiful Indian Ocean beaches in Africa. Zanzibar has a rich history of being the first stop for colonial rulers who were trading in ivory and slaves. This unique history is embroiled in the sceneries of the architectural infrastructure of Zanzibar. Stone Town is a frequent destination in the island incorporating beautiful houses, narrow alleyways, and the Sultan’s palace among other amazing features.

 4. Sipi Falls, Uganda

Sipi Falls is located in Uganda and is a top destination for those visiting this beautiful East African country. The fall comprises of 3 separate waterfalls from different directions. There are many activities to keep you engaged in this destination including integrating with the locals, going for hikes around the waterfall scenery, among much more.

 5. Mombasa, Kenya

If you are planning a visit to the East African countries, make sure you visit Mombasa. Mombasa Island is located in Kenya and offers an excellent adventure and sceneries that can only be described as magical. This city has the best Indian Ocean beaches and incorporates other Small islands including Malindi and Lamu. Visit the different historical sites including Fort Jesus.

There are salt Crocodiles parks where you can learn more about the crocodiles as well as enjoy dining in cuisines such as Crocodiles meat if you are curious enough to try. Mombasa also has 5-star hotels, and the locals are very friendly.

For some more ideas, check out this article.…

Tips for Healthy Travel

Travel is a fun experience intended to ease your mind, body, and soul. Ironically, it can sometimes be detrimental to your health and end up giving you a completely opposite experience from your normal expectations. Healthy travel is not something that is often prioritized. However, we can all agree that no one wants to fall sick while on their trip or come back home with some extra unwanted pounds. So here are a few simple tips to follow for optimum health and fitness whenever you travel.

  • ResearchHealthy Travel

The importance of due diligence on your travel destination cannot be emphasized on enough times. Assuming that this is a completely new place, doing some research before-hand will be of great benefit to you. You will get to familiarize yourself with the weather, the different places, the cultures, food, hotels, and all the information you might possibly need before you even get there.

Research helps you prioritize and plan your trip accordingly. It will prevent a lot of inconveniences that suck the fun out of your trip. For instance, if the area speaks in a different dialect, you will get a dictionary for translations which will help you navigate menus, places, etc.

  • Plenty of sleep

Travel is exhausting as most of the times you are moving around from place to place and with luggage. Get plenty of sleep both on transit and when you get to your destination. The recommended hours of quality sleep is 7 to 8 hours. Playtime may get in the way but make sure to prioritize sleep for a healthier immune system.

  • Routine exercises

Chances are that you are going to be less motivated to work out if you don’t have what you need. Packing your gym wear is a convenient way to help you keep up with your workouts. You will have no excuse to skip your exercises and in case the hotel gym is packed you can still follow through with your exercises. Some lightweight equipment like a skipping rope is a great way to also workout on your expeditions.

Taking walks frequently while exploring different destinations is another way to sneak in some exercises without all the pressure. You will be sure to get a glimpse of some spectacular sights, smells, and sounds. For safety purposes, you may want to restrict your walking to daylight and enlist a local travel companion.

Another simple exercise you can do is to breathe. This is the easiest and can be done anywhere. Take a deep breath, hold it, and exhale. Repeat a few times and you will feel different almost instantly. Some 5-10 minute body stretches when you are pressed on time will also leave you feeling refreshed.

  • Eat well

To avoid unhealthy and greased foods, you may want to pack your own healthy meals and snacks. It’s is the surest way to know what exactly goes into your food. It also saves you some money that you would have otherwise spent on unhealthy foods that don’t taste as great.

Be vigilant about the places you choose to eat in. Sometimes it can be hard to tell what has gone into the preparation method. A close bet would be to look at how many locals are at the establishment. That may say speak volumes about the food they serve as you want to avoid a case of food poisoning. If you are allergic to certain foods, make sure you communicate with the staff to avoid putting your health at risk.

For the most part, stick to healthy foods, fruits, and vegetables, and limit your intake of alcohol and sugary foods. Do not skip breakfast, order healthier meals, and whip up your own meals if you can.

  • Hydration

Staying hydrated all through your trip will make a huge difference to how you feel. This is by drinking a lot of water and fluids. Pack an empty bottle that you will use to refill water. Staying hydrated also helps your body to distinguish between being thirsty or being hungry. This prevents you from accidentally overeating.

  • Hygiene and sanitation

The areas you are visiting may sometimes lack adequate water or even soap, for simple hygiene practices. Since you are constantly in touch with people and things all through the trip, some wet wipes or hand sanitizers may come in handy. Make sure to always clean your hands before and after meals and after using the washrooms.

  • Vaccinations, medications, and supplements

Vaccines and medicines are important to protect you from certain diseases you may be prone to while traveling in some regions. Some examples of vaccines you can take include Yellow fever, Typhoid fever, Hepatitis A and B, and even Traveller’s Diarrhea. Other preventive safety measures are carrying your own equipment like mosquito nets.

No matter how hard you try, sometimes it can prove difficult to eat a healthy and balanced diet. If you suspect that this might be the case on your trip, you can carry along your vitamins to supplement your meals.

  • First aid kit

It is a good idea to carry a first aid kit with essential items for general emergencies. You can include items such as pain relievers, laxatives, band-aids, medication, etc.

  • Protect your skin

Don’t forget about your skin especially since most of the times you will be outdoors. This means extended periods of exposure to the hot sun which can cause lasting damages to your skin. Sunscreens with a minimum SPF of 15 should do the trick but you have to keep reapplying after about two hours or so. If you are visiting an insect-prone area, make sure to wear insect repellents to prevent insect bites.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself and let loose.…

5 Best Family Vacation Destinations in Florida

Also known as the sunshine state, Florida features spectacular sunsets, beautiful beaches, wild rides, and miles of coastline which makes it a year-round travel destination. Whether your family has small kids or grown-up children, Florida has got you covered. For small kids, the first things that comes to mind whenever Florida is mentioned is the Disney World. Of course, this a great destination for you to start your trip but there are other places in Florida where you can enjoy fun moments with your family. From quiet getaways to bustling beach towns, Florida is a perfect family vacation destination. Here are the best destinations you must visit in Florida.

Amelia Island

Travelers can reach Amelia Island from Jacksonville International Airport by taking a forty-minute drive from the airport. If you’re looking for a perfect spot which has fewer crowds, this is the place to travel to. Travelers come here to chill out in this low-key beach vacation spot while enjoying other activities such as horseback riding, geocaching, and fishing. With your family or friends, you can as well take an eco-tour on river cruises. This destination features about thirteen miles of quiet and beautiful beaches where you can spend your afternoon together with your kids.

Disney World

We already mentioned that Walt Disney World is the perfect destination for families in the United States. Regardless of the park, you choose to spend time in; you’ll find many options for any vacation. On-site hotels in this place provide fun activities for young children which means your kids will be in good hands when you two decide to hit the bar or a spa. It takes about twenty-five minutes to get to this destination from the Orlando International Airport.

St. Petersburg, FL

Also referred to as the sunshine city, St. Petersburg not only holds the Guinness World Record for being the city with the most consecutive days of sunshine but also allows travelers from across the world to explore a unique blend of urban flavor and traditional beach getaway. The destination features spectacular sunsets, miles of waterfront parks, and sandy beaches. Visitors can spend time here having fun and enjoying different activities including kayaking, camping out, and hiking.

Miami, FL

The first thing that people think of whenever Miami is mentioned is nightclubs and the entertainment in this big city. Well, there’re plenty of things families can do here as well. It’s not just about the white sand beaches and the long coastlines. There’s a wildlife center, a science museum, and a great children’s museum where kids can learn more about the world of nature. You can take your kids to the Venetian Pool for a swim with other kids after spending a couple of days on the white sand beaches here. To explore some wildlife, you can head to the Jungle Island.

Clearwater Beach

The Clearwater beach in Florida is one of the country’s award-winning beaches which features crystal waters and tranquil breezes that provides travelers from across the country with the perfect backdrop for a family vacation of a lifetime. For travelers and families looking for a non-beach activity, there’s the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where children can get to explore different sea animals. You will meet Winter the Dolphin, a star from the film Dolphin Tale. Ig you want to stay for some time, you can travel to St-Petersburg where you can explore the Great Exploration’s Children’s Museum.