Welcome to Travel Notes & Beyond, a collection of travel stories, photos, personal opinions and the occasional rants and raves. This is a place where you can learn about beautiful destinations, culture, history, food and the common thread that weaves them together. Hi, I am Anda – a Romanian-born award-winning travel writer and, Read More
A train ride in the little town of Vișeul de Sus in Maramures is quite an adventure. But then this is not just any train. Located in the northern part of Romania, Maramureș is mostly famous for its tranquil villages and well-preserved wooden churches. But if you want to experience something unique, you must go to Vișeul de Sus to ride the Mocanița. Mocanița simply means “Coffee Machine”, and is a term of endearment applied by Romanians to any narrow-gauge steam engine locomotive, whose driving gear is reminiscent of an italian-style espresso machine.
There may be still a few steam locomotives running in the world, but Mocanița is the only narrow gauge lumber train left in Europe, of the many that were constructed in the 1930s to transport timber from the remote forests of the Carpathian Mountains. And Read More
The region of Maramureș in the northern part of Romania is perhaps the most traditional area of the country. Because of its natural boundaries –enclosed by mountain ranges with peaks reaching 2300 meters– Maramureș could keep its own specific character throughout history. For most visitors of Maramureș the greatest attraction are the old traditional wooden churches and monasteries in this area. The wooden churches of the region that still stand today were built between the 17th century all the way to 19th century. One of these beautiful churches in Maramureș is the Moisei Monastery , dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The monastery is set in an idilic place, on a sunny plateau above the village of Moisei, surrounded by Read More
Located along the coast of Southern California, approximately 30 miles west of the Los Angeles city limits, Oxnard is fast becoming a popular destination for people who enjoy California beach vacations.
Inhabited first by the Chumash Indians, the region was later claimed for Spain by the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. During the mission period, the Spaniards established here the Mission of San Buenaventura. Around the 1850s the area was settled by American farmers, who began cultivating barley and beets. Shortly after the 1896 beet campaign, Henry Oxnard, who operated a successful sugar beet factory with his three brothers in Chino, California, decided to build a two-million dollar factory here, creating this way the conditions for a new town to emerge. Ironically the Oxnard brothers never lived in their namesake city, and they sold both the Chino and the giant red-brick Oxnard factory with its landmark twin smokestacks in 1899 for nearly four-million dollars. Oxnard was incorporated as a California city on June 30,1903.