Brasov, Romania:

A Voyage Enveloped by Mystery and Intrigue

August 10, 2013  |  By Christopher Church, United Kingdom

Brasov, Romania:

Photo : Kazuki Shimada

There is a fine jewel, dwarfed by high mountains; with a heart so big I feel it rise above the Carpathian Mountains. This jewel is called Brasov. This city has the air of a mysterious, beautiful woman. She is an enigma, and you yearn to delve deeper and find out as much as you can. She draws you in with her stunning mix of Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, and glorious highlands. I am truly experiencing sensory overload, awash with sights, colours and smells. Aesthetically, Brasov is very pleasing. Its food is delicious, matched only by its delectable local beers.

My family have been a joy, and have catered to my every need. My fellow volunteers have been fantastic, and I feel lucky to have met such rich, interesting characters. We all follow a different path, and are at contrasting stages in our lives, but we have arrived here together in Brasov, like shooting stars soaring across the obsidian sky. I can tell we are all in agreement over the uniqueness of this place. I have been here only a short while, but already I feel the energy of this place; it is palpable. The stunning century-old buildings send you into a time warp, and you are suddenly transported to a bygone era.

Romania is sheer history, and I desire to know more. I find her guarded, like a true mystery should be. Prior to this trip, I spent time in Finland and Estonia, and just like Romania, I saw mystery in these two countries. One thing that has struck me is the sense of pride I see in Romanian people. They are strong characters, with an ethereal connection to their religion. I am not used to such levels of devotion, but I have found it thoroughly interesting. Romania reminds me a little of London, in that it is a bustling, energetic place, and I feel I could spend the entire day here, walking around, soaking up the atmosphere and the sights. Each morning, I awaken to watch the sun climb above the mountains; it casts a celestial glow over the vast landscape, leaving Brasov looking resplendent. I am but a mere five days into my trip, and I truly feel I am at the beginning of a tremendous journey. I stand at the foot of a mountain of intrigue and adventure. I am relishing every inch I climb, and will feel truly privileged once I reach the precipice.

Our experiences ultimately shape us and inform all that we may become. I feel this trip has already left an indelible mark on me. To awaken very much alone, in a strange city, is one of the most pleasant things in life. Only by continually probing every nook and cranny of this city, will I feel satisfied and truly appreciative of my time here. As Saint Augustine said... “The world is a book. Those who don’t travel, read only one page”

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