Monthly Archives: august 2007
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Operating Systems design homeworks from the Automatics and Computer Science Faculty, UPB, 4th year, prof. Octavian Purdilă. Themes: system calls, UART driver, file system driver, firewall, RAID software.
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Versiunea română aici.
You can get from Bucharest to Sighişoara on E60 (DN1 until Braşov – 160km, then DN13 to Sighişoara – another 115km). The road is quite perfect, with the exception of the Ploieşti Ring and some parts of Prahova Valley. From Braşov to Râşnov and Bran you have to use DN73 (E574), which is in a pretty bad state.
Alternative route from Bucharest: Ploieşti – Predeal – Pârâul Rece – Râşnov on DN1 and DN73A. Be advised, DN73A will soon be repaired. The work is set to take 2 months, although some say it can’t be finished in less than 1 year.
Unfortunately, you can’t get to Bran or Râşnov by train. However, you can make the Bucureşti – Braşov – Sighişoara trip by train and then rent a car.
There are many villas and hotels in all the cities. The prices (especially in the Bran-Moeciu area) are a little higher than in other parts of the country. My advice would be to choose Braşov for the night, as it is in the middle of our target area, but any other town will work just fine, as you won’t have to drive more than 200 km.
The city of Braşov began building its fortress in 1395. Each guild built it’s own tower and in times of war, it was responsible for protecting that tower and the surrounding area. Braşov was, for a long time, the most powerful city in Transylvania. Today, only a few towers and parts of the wall remain, like the White tower and the Black Tower. There are also numerous old inns and churches.
The Black Church is the biggest Gothic cathedral east of Vienna and perhaps the best known tourist attraction in the city. You can find the 38m high church next to Tâmpa, the mountain overlooking the city. It’s known as black from 1689, when it was damaged in a big fire.
Sighişoara is THE fortified town. Home to the Medieval Festival (in the last weekend of July), the city has gained an enormous popularity both in Romania and abroad. The old (fortified) part of Sighişoara is actually made up of two parts: the Upper Town and the Lower Town.
The Clock Tower (currently Sighişoara’s history museum) is the biggest of all the towers of the former fortress. The view from upstairs is impressive. There is a fee if you want to use your camera in the museum, but it doesn’t apply to the upper balcony. Tickets cost 5 RON for adults and 2.5 for students.
There are about 10 smaller towers dating from the 13th to the 17th century. Other museums (there is a common ticket for all of them): The Torture Chamber (where you can see various torture instruments from the Middle Age) and The Weapons Collection.
A remarkable construction, the biggest of its kind in Transylvania is the „Covered Staircase” which gives easier access to the High School and „The Church from the Hill”, especially on winter days. Today, only 175 steps remain. The ocher-colored house named „Casa Vlad Dracula”, where the Vlad the Impaler was born, is now a cozy restaurant. You can find inside Gothic-style furniture and serve good soups and traditional Romanian dishes.
In the Upper Town, you can admire the church with it’s beautiful statues and cemetery.
The Citadel in Râşnov is special because it was built by peasants on a hill next to the village. It had houses for every family, as well as a church and a school. This way, the peasants could live there for a long time in case of a war.
It was recently restored by an Italian investor, but has now returned to the Local Council’s ownership. The entry fee is 10 lei.
In the museum, you can see some interesting things discovered in the fortress, from old weapons and torture instruments to old coins. If you’re lucky, you can have a free tour from one of the supervisors. He will tell you much more about the place than you need to know 🙂 Outside, there are some preserved homes, but unfortunately none has the interior restored.
There are lots of legends about the place. One of them states that the fountain was built by two Turkish prisoners in the 17th century. They were promised freedom if they finished the fountain, but were nevertheless killed after 17 years of hard work. Actually, the digging of the fountain (134 m deep) was decided in 1625, after the fortress was forced to surrender to Gabriel Batory in 1612 due to the lack of water. It was finished in 1640 and abandoned in 1850.
The Bran castle is so well known for it’s link to Dracula that it doesn’t need an introduction. It was built as a customs point for the area by the town of Braşov in the 14th century. In the 20th century, it was owned by the Romanian royal family. During this period it was restored and modified to fit the taste of Queen Maria by the architect Karel Liman. Besides the Castle, you can also visit the Customs House and the Village Museum, both in the castle’s courtyard.
If you have the time, you might want to visit the Feldioara Fortress (21 km north of Braşov on the E60), Făgăraş Fortress (70 km east of Braşov on the E58), the Haller Castle in Horghiz (50 km north of Braşov on the E60) or the Racoş Castle (10 km south of Horghiz).
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Versiunea română aici.
Prahova Valley is on DN1 (E60), between Bucharest (120-140 km) and Braşov (25-45 km). The road is excellent, the only problems are on the Ploieşti ring and in Azuga. The speed limit is 70 km/h in the cities and 100km/h on open road. Beware, there are speed cameras all along the road.
You can also get there by train, from Bucharest Nord station.
There are some hotels in the region, and most of them have 3*, but you can find anything from 1* to 4*. If this is what you are looking for, here are some links for you (some websites are in Romanian): , , .
However, there is a much better way to spend a pleasant weekend on the Valley. For 20-30 â‚¬ you can get a double room in one of the many villas in the region. Most of them offer a private bathroom and clean sheets, but little more.
Cascada Urlătoarea („The Screaming Waterfall”)
You can get to it from Buşteni. The trip takes about an hour from downtown. The first 30 minutes (until you leave the city) are easy, but then you have a steep climb ahead of you. The last 15 minutes are a walk in the park…err, I mean wood 😀
The waterfall is impressive, and if you want to talk, you really have to scream. The sad part is that there are just too many tourists in the area, and the bottom of the waterfall is polluted by the beer cans kept cold by some local sellers, which, by the way, are the same people who should be looking after the waterfall.
Babele (Old ladies) and the Sphinx
Babele and the Sphinx are some rock formations on the Bucegi plateau, at almost 2000 m. You can get there from Buşteni by cable car or by foot (a 4 hour trip, closed during winter). If you go by foot, make sure you have the proper equipment for a (very) steep climb.
Images from Wikipedia.
The Caraiman Peak and Cross
The Heroes’ Monument (Crucea Eroilor Neamului) is a 28 m-high cross build on the Caraiman peak (2291m) to honor the Romanian heroes killed in the first World War. It’s an hour away from Babele.
Şapte scări (Seven Ladders)
There are many other interesting things to see. You can find below the maps from Pârâul Rece (near Predeal) and Buşteni.
Peleş and Pelişor Palace, Sinaia
The two palaces are just a few minutes away from downtown Sinaia. They were built for the first Romanian kings, Carol I and Ferdinand, along with a chalet (Foişor), which isn’t open to public. The ticket prices are 15 lei for Peleş and 9 lei for Pelişor, with a 50% reduction for EURO<26 card owners and 2/3 reduction for Romanian students. If you get there by car, there is a 10 lei parking fee, but the parking is almost a km away from the museum.
Hunting Museum, Posada
The museum is placed on DN1, between the city of Comarnic and Sinaia. It holds many different collections, from stuffed animals to hunting trophies, most of them belonging to the Ceauşescu family.
Black Church, Braşov
The Black Church is the biggest Gothic cathedral east of Vienna. You can find the 38m high church in the city of Braşov. It’s known as black from 1689, when it was damaged in a big fire.
Ialomiţa Cave and Monastery
The Ialomiţa Cave is on the other side of Bucegi from Buşteni. The is a cable car line from Babele to the cave. If you prefer walking, you can make the descent by foot. The monastery, which is just at the entry of the cave, dates from 1818, when it replaced a previous wooden church.
You can also get there by car, from sinaia to Cota 1000, the Cuibu Dorului chalet then on a forest road to Ialomiţa valley. A longer but better road is through Moroieni – Cabana Padina – the cave.
Other Monasteries and churches
If you like churches, you might want to visit: Sinaia Monastery, Caraiman Monastery (from Buşteni, near the cable car), the Holy Trinity church in Azuga, dating from the early 20th century, the chapel built on the Sorica mountain in Azuga, the 16th century Lespezi Monastery in Posada, or one of the many gothic churches in Braşov.
Other points of interest
There are many more things to see on the valley, from the memorial houses of George Enescu and Cezar Petrescu to the Sinaia Casino or the monuments dedicated to Romanian heroes in each city. Just search a little on the internet to find all you need to know.
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Today I feel like expressing my sincere hate for:
- Quelle Romania – it took them 2 month to deliver a very simple order. I understand that the goods had to be shipped from Germany, but even if they brought them by boat, it’s still too long;
- The council of Giurgiu county – because of the pitiful state of DJ601 from Bolintin to Videle. The craters on the road can very easily destroy a small car – like mine. It seems that the guys that should worry about the roads in the county are more interested in getting rich.