DAY 9 Sighisoara – Targu Mures – Gura Humorului The AALP Alumni and Friends tour group woke up to wet weather this morning. Despite the rain many of the group enjoyed a walking tour of the old citadel, up and down numerous steps, cobblestones and roadways.
Of note, Vlad Dracul, father of Vlad Dracula (Dracula) lived here in one of the houses, at a young age, from 1431 to 1435.
The tour bus was unable to get through the citadel entrance and so the luggage was transported up the hill by small car to and from the hotel, and the group had to walk downhill to get back to the bus in the morning.
The group's only stop today, other than bus rest stops was at S.C. Semtest, was at the Institute for Artificial Insemination near Targu Mures. They have, as their main activity, the selection, testing and improvement of breeding bulls and boars. Interesting to see them bringing a couple bulls out to show us (and one boar).
Eventually reaching the region of Bucovina, the oasis of Romanian spirituality, housing numerous painted monasteries, included in UNESCO’s Heritage List.
We arrived late in the afternoon at Hilde’s Residence, a guest house in Gura Humorului with light still left in the day and time to enjoy a walk around the town, before enjoying a terrific dinner (as always) in the 4-star guest house.
DAY 10: Sucevita – Voronet – Humor - Tarpesti – Piatra-Neamt The journey continues… today, Sunday, the group took their time departing from the hotel, leaving at 9:00 a.m. The group had the opportunity to visit two painted monasteries nearby which are included on the UNESCO Heritage List. The first stop, the most famous, the (blue) painted Monastery at Voronet which is also known as “The Sistine Chapel of the Ea
st” and then the Humor monastery, with its predominant reddish brown colours. Both were very interesting sites to see.
The group continued on to Tarpesti, where they had the chance to visit a private collection of folk art, antiques and archeological treasures belonging to the Popa family, gathered together by the family patriarch, the late Mr. Nicolae Popa, a self-taught sculptor and archeologist. Lunch was also enjoyed there, in the indoor garden area.
Next stop was the administrative offices of the Comuna Petricani to meet with the Mayor. Generally agriculturally focused, the comuna is comprised of four villages and 6,000 inhabitants. This ‘regional’ government has one mayor, 15 councillors and 28 staff. They look after, manage and control roads and various other infrastructure, schools, policing and tourism initiatives among other things. The term of office for the mayor and councillors, organized within a party structure is four years, and the most recent elections were held in June of 2016.
Travelling on, the group arrived at their hotel in the city centre of Piatra-Neamt, said to be one of the most charming cities in Moldavia Region, in the north eastern part of Romania. Dinner is on their own this evening.