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
Romania is a country of many customs and traditions where Christmas is undoubtedly the most tradition-filled time of the year. Although some customs may differ from region to region, Christmas in Romania is celebrated in the same way throughout the country.
During the Communist era the religious meaning of Christmas was banished. “Christmas Time” became “Winter Celebrations,” and “Old Father Christmas” became “Old Man Frost.” Romanians however continued to secretly celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in their families and observe the old Christmas customs and traditions.
The Christmas season in Romania is kicked off by the arrival of St.Nicholas (Mos Niculae) on December 6. This is one of the most awaited holidays of the year by children who receive small gifts in their boots from St. Nicholas on this day. But only if they are good! Otherwise, instead of presents they receive a stick.
On the evening of December 5 every child must clean a pair of their shoes and leave it by the door, hoping that Old St. Nick will leave a present for them. The gifts are usually small and symbolic, like crayons, or watercolors, often just oranges or chocolate. But children enjoy them just the same. Read More
Did it ever cross your mind that you could freeze on a tropical island? Well, if you don’t think that’s possible try a road trip at the summit of Haleakala Volcano on the island of Maui at 4 o’clock in the morning. But is it really worth driving up the winding mountain roads for a couple of hours in the dark, just to catch a glimpse of the mighty sun showing its first rays behind the crater?
We asked ourselves the same question the first time we went, especially after struggling for over 15 minutes to find a parking spot. But a few minutes later, as the sun peeked through the horizon, all the discomfort and the inconveniences we experienced have been forgotten. The feeling was so uplifting, Read More
Stockholm is a metropolis of islands. The 700 years old Swedish capital spreads across 14 different islands connected by 57 bridges, so you can enjoy great views of the water wherever you go. This beautiful, clean and historical city is nothing short of a marvel. By virtue of its location on the shores of Lake Mälaren, Stockholm is considered one of the most beautiful European capitals, although it never raised to the fame of Paris or London.
Stockholm is really beautiful. It’s stylish and sophisticated with impressive buildings, grand boulevards, charming historic alleyways and relaxing green spaces. Architecturally wise, Stockholm is a mixture of traditional Neoclassic and modern architecture that seems to blend seamlessly in most parts of the city. Read More