Sunday, November 13, 2011

Birthday party pictures

HI  !!!! Does anybody want any pictures from eliz  & william 65 birthday party. please let me know . phone 306-493-3010 thank you bernice.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Brenda  asked me to put this on the home page for her, they are moving on oct 1 to codette sask, they  new address is Dale & Brenda  Bernard   Box 323 codette sask  soeopo,  phone number --306-862-3662.  street address  is --305 2nd street north,   Brenda is sending  out change address cards  to  the  family. thank you. Bernice

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Weekend Tour

The last post was written at 4 AM Cluj time because a stupid telemarketer from Quebec phoned at 2:15 and I couldn't get back to sleep. I ate breakfast at 7, emailed the group and said "Let me sleep unless you go touring." The I slept. Two of the guys woke me at 10:30 saying "We're setting up a tour to the Salt Mines - want in?" I said "Yep!" Then I showered and fell asleep again. At 1:30 it was time to go. (The guys asked the front desk if they knew of any tours, and they said "Sure, we'll hook you up." We didn't plan anything. It was awesome.)

The tour guide picked us up and it was great. He told us all about the land, history, past politics, and so on. He even went down into the salt mines which as unexpected - we thought he was just going to drop us off.

The salt mine was amazing. It was started in the 1700s and was actively mined until the 1920s. It is amazing to see how much salt was extracted by hand and horse. I was also amazed to see the colors in the salt, and that it is stable without reinforcement of any kind (Clint, we will need to talk). Yes, there is an amusement park in the mine. Yes, there is a Ferris wheel. Here's the link to the album.

We then went to the Turda Gorge. It was a grueling climb for the first 45 minutes, but it was worth it. The scenery was really nice. Clint, again we must talk about the formation of said gorge. I learned that highland cows are different from lowland cows in that they can't live in the territory they weren't raised in. Random. Here's the album.

On the way back we saw two people pitching hay onto a horse-drawn wagon with pitchforks, and two more were making a haystack - with pitchforks. There are still some very old practices and traditions here.

On Sunday we just wandered around and took pictures. We went to a museum and it was interesting to see that their tools from the late 1800/early 1900s are very similar to those that were used in Canada at that time.

The rest of the week was pretty much breakfast at 8, work at 9 or 9:15 ish, lunch around 2 or 3, work until 6:30 or 7, then go for supper at 8 or 9. Restaurant meals are a bit different too - the servers don't bring the bill until you ask for it, and they'll pretty much let you stay as long as you want. Tonight, for example, was a simple supper of pasta and ice cream for dessert, and it took 2 hours.

Only 6 more sleeps until we fly out. Romania is nice, but it's not home. Can't wait to be back and see everyone (especially my crew)!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Salut from Romania

View from my hotel room
I'm here! The trip was long but uneventful. We left Saskatoon at 6:00 am Wednesday, which means up at 3:30. We arrived in Cluj at 1:40 pm which is 4:40 am Sask time. Getting on the Romanian schedule meant staying up for another 9 hours, for a total of 33 hours of being awake (I couldn't sleep on the plane). I fell asleep within 5 seconds that night :)
New and old

The hotel we're staying at is pretty nice. It's the 5-star Opera Plaza. Five Romanian stars is about 4 Canadian stars, so it's quite good. The staff is friendly and accommodating, and breakfast is good.

The first night a couple of guys from the office met us and gave us a tour before supper. The city has been around since at least 100 AD, so it's old. None of the buildings are that old, obviously, but there are lots from the early 1900s, lots from the 1800s, and a few sprinkled going back to the 1500s. There's also a weird mix of communist-era and modern-era buildings, and they are right across the street from each other. It's an architectural mish-mash.

Huge Calzone!
Church and monument
Things are cheaper, as the lei is about a third of a dollar (or 3.20 Canadian is 10 Lei). Thus, you can eat lunch for 22 lei or $7, and supper for 50 lei or $16. The hotel is about $60 a nite, so that's good too. There's lots of pasta, pizza, sausage, and bacon. There's also lots of beer, and it's cheap and comes in 500 ml bottles :) (or 0,5L)

English is spoken a lot by the younger generation (post-communist), so it's not too hard to get your point across. They teach courses in the universities in English (not English courses, but the regular course delivered only in English). Thus, it's very easy to understand as they are fluent.

Ruins of a building
National Theater
Not sure what to do this weekend, probably just wander and take pics. There's also some salt mines nearby which have been turned into a tourist attraction. I'm told that's a must-see, so we'll see if we can get something organized either this weekend or next.
So far, so good. I'll update more as I have more to say. La revedere!