Monday, September 15, 2014

7 Quick Takes- Romanian Summer

1- The Byzantine Catholic Church in Romania was legalized in 1990 after losing all their churches to the state church under communism. Most churches have not been given back, so they are constructing new ones. The icon screens are usually much simpler than in the old days.
2- Romania is well-known for its use of wood. Here are the little ones playing with a wooden slide at a trout hatchery restaurant.
3- Girl #1 is posing at the well at the middle of the Orthodox monastery in Barsana. She took the same photo four years ago- time flies!
4- We climbed the 'secret staircase' at Bran Castle, supposedly Vlad Tepes' castle (of Dracula fame) but really a fortress and then the palace of the royal family in modern times.
5- Boy relaxes on the balcony on the eighth floor in his grandparents' apartment in the 'new center' of the city.
6- We are lucky to attend the feast day Divine Liturgy and celebration of a friend's village in 'Historic Maramures,' northwest Romania close to the Ukrainian border.
7- Girl #2 loved all the kittens she found in the barns- heaven for our cat lover!
Bonus cuteness: our 5 year old cutie-pie

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pretty Funny Happy Real Romania

 at an open-air museum with country houses from different regions of Romania
happy- mama bunny at great-grandma's house gave birth and raised 12 babies in one litter!
funny- It was about 100 degrees and high humidity the day they helped grandpa with his 100 hives of honey bees. Funny? Probably not- but we are enjoying the honey now!
real- Compare the concrete plaza of the 'new center' of our city in Romania (population 140,000) with last week's pool/heaven complex photos of  'my' Austrian village (population 4,000). This is what communism and poverty does. This sidewalk was like this ten years ago. I'm not sure that anyone is really bothered by it- Slavs would say, "Je normalny." (It's normal), and Romanians say, "Asta e viata." (That's life)- As a privileged, middle-class American, their resignation peeves me, but "asta e viata!"
another way that Romania is 'real'- one is not separated from food sources. Even if one lives in a city, most likely milk, eggs and meat are bought from country contacts or family.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Austrian quick takes

Here is the chapel in Gaming, Austria with its 'new' ceiling; the photo below shows the original Gothic ceiling. One just has to climb 144 stairs to see it! They are standing on the Baroque ceiling. I was based here in gaming for four years, yet I had never seen this well-known secret. Sometimes it is nice to be tourists in a familiar place.
 the beautiful Byzantine Catholic chapel under construction at the International Theological Institute
 at the children's museum at Schonbrunn Palace
sorry Mozart! I know the US dollar is weak, but we didn't change enough money into Euros! 
Party of 5 at the oldest public zoo in the world- We enjoyed sharing some schnitzel and dobos cake in this beautiful folly at the old center of the zoo.

Pretty Happy Funny Real Austria

pretty- Every time you turn your head, you will see beautiful things in Austria- Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque
above- St Stephen's Cathedral (1160) in Vienna below- Schonbrunn Palace
happy-The girls got to visit the campus of the International Theological Institute, where they hope to study between high school and finishing their university degrees. God's will be done!
funny- The funny little ones are now 7 and 5, and I was proud of them during this summer of travel. They needed to adapt to lots of change- from the food and drink being different not to mention different languages and cultures.
real- There is a lot of history in the 'old world,' and much of it is sobering. Below is a photo of a 'plague column' in Vienna. This statue praises God that the black death is over; the plague occurred from 1346 to 53 and took around 100 million people, at least one third of Europe's population.
above-The Ringstrasse houses the government offices in Vienna and also was the site of Hitler's  triumphant display of power after he invaded the country and entered the city in March 1938. below-  at St Stephen's in Vienna- The original icon of Our Lady of Mariapoch (1696), taken from its original place- the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic icon screen in Mariapoch, Hungary.
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