6 hidden gems of Romania

 Hi guys! As a proud born and raised  romanian citizen, I decided to talk about a few of the many hidden gems of Romania. In my opinion, Romania is an underrated country. There are so many places to visit here, we have mountains and beaches, we have some great summer festivals… There’s just so much to see around here. So, let’s talk about some of these beautiful places.

  1. Sibiu. Now, I love this city so much. It’s so beautiful, the architecture, the nature around it, it has this really great vibe to it and the people are really nice. The best time to go there though is either autumn because it looks magical with the leaves and in winter because there is this great Christmas fair.

  2. Bucegi Mountains. They are located near Brasov, in the middle of the country. There are multiple ski resorts where you can go in the winter as well as two unusual rock formations known as the Sphinx and Babele. It is a great place for people who love nature and love hiking.

  3. Living fires. The living fires are located in Lopatari, Buzau and are one of the most unusual, mysterious phenomena found in nature. They are right next to a hiking path and easily seen, but a lot of people miss it when they visit Romania.

  4. Merry Cemetery. This one might seem a little dark, but it’s actually quite a happy place where all of the tombstones are brightly coloured because the people there believe in the immortality of the soul and they decide to celebrate since they believe that death is a moment filled with joy and anticipation of a better life. It is located in the village of Sapanta, in Maramures county.

  5. Hunedoara castle. This castle was built in 1446, one of the biggest castles in Europe and figures in the lists of the Seven Wonders of Romania. It is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara (as the name suggests ahaha). It’s also known for their torture room, which is pretty scary if you ask me. 

  6. Curtea de Arges Monastery. In Romania we do a field trip here in the second grade and we are told this kind of a weird story. The story is about Mesterul Manole, hired by the prince to work on the most beautiful in the country. But the building kept crumbling, so the prince threatened him and the other workers that he will kill them if they can’t finish it. One night Manole dreamt that he had to incorporate into the walls of the monastery someone who was very loved by him or the other workers. So they made a deal that the first wife to come with their lunch will have to be sacrificed. Unfortunately Ana, Manole’s wife, who was also pregnant, showed up first. They told her that they will be playing a game building walls around her, but she soon found out it wasn’t a game. She begged to be let out but they couldn’t let her out. To this day there is a red sign on the monastery that marks the spot where she was built in. The builders and Manole were congratulated on their work and asked if they could build another one. When they said they could build a bigger one, the Prince got mad thinking they would go and build something greater for someone else so he put them all on the roof of the monastery. The workers tried to fly off the roof with pieces of wood as wings and just like that they died one by one. There is a well named after Manole that is supposedly marking the spot where he died. I know this is a dark and weird story, but I think it’s important and also kind of interesting.

     Hope you enjoyed it and maybe when you want to visit Romania this will be useful to you. I have a few more posts like this in the making for you guys, so let me know what other countries you want me to talk about. Have a great day,

                                                                                         XOXO,Delayla

7 hidden gems of Portugal

 Hidden gems are one of the best parts of traveling. When you go to a different country, most people just go to the most popular locations. I am not saying not to go to these, but you should definitely check out all of these awesome ‘hidden places’. Since I lived there for 3 years, I am going to talk about some of Portugal’s must see hidden gems.

  1. First we have Livraria Bertrand, Lisbon. This is a stunning bookshop, founded in 1732 in Lisbon that entered the Guinness Book of World records as the oldest functioning bookstore in the world in 2011.  

  2. Next, let’s talk about a city. Coimbra used to be the capital of Portugal in the Middle Ages and has the oldest academic institution in the Portuguese-speaking world, The University of Coimbra, founded in 1290 which is still an operative university and where you can go and visit. Considering it’s so old, the city is full of beautiful old architecture. It’s definitely a must-see.

   3. Costa Nova do Prado is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It’s located near Porto and it’s pretty much a beach but with some beautiful houses around and honestly, I’m just gonna let the picture speak for itself…

   4. Praia de Benagil is a beautiful and unique beach in Lagos, Algarve. It is well known for the stunning cave with a hole on top that is now called – ‘The eye’. It’s so special and a perfect place for taking pictures. It looks like something from a movie.

  5. Another beautiful bookshop is Livraria Lello. This is the bookshop where J. K. Rowling got the inspiration for her Harry Potter books. It’s a magical place and even though it’s a pretty small shop, there are always lots of tourists visiting it. I guess you could say it’s not really a hidden gem, but I think it should be talked about more.

  6. Leiria is a very small city where I lived. It’s not very popular, but I have to say it’s just so nice and all the people are so friendly. There is this really beautiful castle in the middle of the city and the center has all of these really unique buildings. And considering it’s so small, you can walk all around the city. It’s just a really great place to  visit and it’s also right between Lisbon and Porto, so you can just stop there.

  7. Aveiro is another city in Portugal, but it looks exactly like Portugal’s very own Venice. There is this river with tons of interesting and beautiful boats you can ride around the city. Also, just as all the other cities I talked about, the architecture is so unique and cool, you definitely have to visit it. 

 Hope these help you out on your next trip to Portugal and I will try and make this a series so that you can find different, hidden places all around the globe. Have a great day,

                                                                                                        XOXO,Delayla