It was a great year. A year spent away from home in an adventure I didn't dream of. The few followers of my blog know what it about, but the hope that it will interest someone else forces me to explain in detail what this adventure consisted of. One year living in a city in Romania. Iasi! The historical capital of Romania.
At the same time I have to explain the #travelfeed tag as this blog is not necessarily a travel one ...
However, my long stay was also a long journey!
Every day I learned something new about the city, I discovered new places, I saw places worth visiting.
Romania, unexpectedly I can say, has become a destination sought by tourists. With all the shortcomings caused by the poor administration of the country by many governments, this causing a poor infrastructure, there are many attractions that make the country to be sought by people all over the world. Of course, the internet has also contributed to creating curiosity.
The city of Iasi is one of the most visited cities in Romania.
A city with a history of half a millennium and a university center where young people from all over the world learn. A city not too big so a few days are enough to enjoy its beauty. The Palace of Culture, the symbolic building of the city is considered one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe, especially the night image.
After a year spent in Iasi where I was more a tourist than an inhabitant, the moment of departure also arrived. This blog wants to show the last few hours before leaving, the places I wanted to revisit. By showing this I think I bring enough arguments to recommend visiting the city, it's a travel story.
My story ... the last hours spent in Iasi!
I lived in an apartment on the 10th floor of a block that had a view of the city that I liked very much. It is the thing that I regret and I will miss it for a long time. The night before I left I often woke up to look at the city.
I saw many sunrises that cut my breath. All different from one day to the next, we took hundreds of pictures. These will be my memories!
This last morning, the first rays of the sun awoke me. I have to redo the Sunday ritual, my route through the city, as I want to remember.
Sad that I will leave a place where I used to walk daily through the most beautiful parts for the last time I do this route in the opposite direction. I intend to post pictures with the most important and representative buildings and monuments. An invitation to visit. I start from the place where I worked, a place in the city center. In one of the most beautiful buildings in Romania, the theater and opera building. An almost two-hundred-year-old building and chosen by the BBC one of the most beautiful theaters in the world.
On the opposite side of the theater, separated by only a small park, is the Metropolitan Cathedral. The cathedral is important both from an architectural and historical point of view, being built at the initiative of the first Romanian king. In this cathedral is kept a very important vestige for the Orthodox Christians, the relics of Saint Paraschiva. Every year, in October, I come here for pilgrimage, hundreds of thousands of believers. It is the largest pilgrimage in Romania.
From the Cathedral begins the pedestrian boulevard, the famous promenade place that stops at the Palace of Culture.
Flowers and decorative cars. Many flowers and the two machines covered with ceramic plates, in fact, a mosaic. An attraction, everyone wants to photograph.
Besides Cathedral, very near is a very old church, built more than five hundred years ago. It's my favorite: Three Hierarchs! Unique in Romania as architecture, the exterior walls are covered with bas-reliefs in stone. Initially, it was covered with gold plates but after the conquest of the city by the Ottoman army the gold was melted (they burned the church). In this church are the tombs of two very important Romanian rulers: Dimitrie Cantemir and Alexandru Ioan Cuza. The first was a man of great culture and the second was the unification of the Roman principalities.
Also, in the churchyard is the bust of the national poet, the most important Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu, who lived for a time in Iasi, one hundred and fifty years ago.
Autumn beautifies the landscape and colors the leaves. Behind them is the Palace of Culture!
One feature and attraction of the city is the mix of old and new. Here is an example of a 1480s church, a 1700s building that now houses the literature museum and a hotel built in the 1970s.
I lived very close to this place and because of this, I went at least twice, every day, on the way to work and to return. I will miss these places. A little further, in front of the Palace of Culture, the statue of the most important ruler of Moldova, Stefan cel Mare. A warrior leader, with many victories against the Ottoman Empire, the Hungarians, Poles, and Tatars. He died in 1504.
On the left side you can see the turrets of the church of the Three Hierarchs and of the Metropolitan Cathedral. In the same place, it's the most modern part of shopping, relaxation, and walking: Palace Mall. A special construction declared the most beautiful in south-east Europe.
I don't have time to go into the mall anymore. I go to the place where I felt the best and to get there I cross the park that is between the Palace of Culture and Palace Mall. A favorite place for walking and rest both by the inhabitants of the city and by tourists. A modern and very beautiful park designed by exceptional landscape architects. Also, a place where we went very often, to open-air concerts, to the breweries, and to the walk. As I entered the time crisis I will present only a few photos, without too many explanations. I hope the pictures say everything and no words are needed.
Passing by this garden I reached the place I chose to be the last visited before getting in my car and leaving for Bucharest, home! It's about the cafe called Coffee Story, the place where I drank the tastiest cappuccino and where I made many friends. The place where I felt at home, even better because at home I didn't have such good coffee.
It was somehow like the last wish, a good coffee for a long journey, over 400 kilometers. I want to stay with the image of the cup full of coffee. I drank, I said goodbye ... and so ended the last day in Iasi. I can only say: It Was Nice But Now It's Gone!.