Hidden Romania --
- Arrive at the airport and be picked up outside the baggage claim area.
- You will be taken to your hotel in the heart of the city.
- Evening introductions and dinner with your fellow travelers in Romania.
Day 2: Friday, May 10, 2024 Photographing along the road to the Maramures (4 1/2 hrs drive)
- We start by traveling to Maramures, the most authentic region of Romania where there will be plenty of opportunities to photograph the daily life of people, beautiful landscapes and local traditions. There will be lots of opportunities to stop and photograph the landscapes dotted with haystacks or people working in the fields.
- En route, we visit the tallest of the famous wooden churches unique to the Maramures. This UNESCO World heritage site is located in the village of Surdesti. At another stop, we will meet a talented potter and photograph him at work in his workshop. He still uses authentic methods from 2000 years ago, crafting the objects from clay and decorating with traditional designs.
- Next, we travel to one of the most charming villages in the Maramures, a place where you can wander through the village and experience the daily life including women taking care of household chores while horse-drawn carts pass on the streets.
- Check in for a three-night stay at a family-run, rural guesthouse in Vadu Izei.
Day 3: Saturday, May 11, 2024 Experiencing the rural life of Romania (1 hr drive)
- In the morning we travel to a train station to watch a steam train preparing to depart and follow the train to photograph it as it passes through the valley.
- A farmers' market provides the chance to photograph farmers with their produce and watch them interact with the community.
- The day will bring opportunities to photograph the Maramures families at work, often using old farming equipment such as threshers, grinding corn using a water wheel and distilling the local fruit brandy called horinca. Another visit takes us to a hatmaker who creates the traditional hats of the region.
- The afternoon light will be perfect to photograph the beautiful wooden monastic complex in Barsana.
- Return to guesthouse in Vadu Izei
Day 4: Sunday, May 12, 2024 Locals going to church services, the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta (1 1/2 hr drive)
- Sunday morning brings locals dressed in their Sunday-best, coming to church in various family groups from families with small children to the elders of the village.
- We will then take part in one of the oldest agrarian customs still alive today, an event that celebrates the first villager to go out and work the fields that spring. The event is charged with symbols related to fertility, a wish and celebration of the new agricultural season. There will be people dressed in traditional clothes, music and celebration.
- The next stop is the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta, with its crosses decorated in lively colors and featuring funny poems about the lives of the deceased.
- Lastly, we will travel to Sighet, a nearby town known for its large Jewish community that lived here in past centuries and for holding one of the largest communist prisons. We will visit the former prison, now a very interesting museum, so you can learn more about the communist times and how they impacted the culture of Romania.
- Return to guesthouse in Vadu Izei
Day 5: Monday, May 13, 2024 Heading to Transylvania (6 hrs drive)
- Leave behind the Maramures and head back to Transylvania, a place known for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful architecture. The drive will be dotted with photo opportunities and sightseeing along the road and a great time to do some photo editing on the bus.
- Stop at the star-shaped fortress in Alba-Julia, a historically significant location of the 1918 gathering of the three main regions of the country uniting to form Romania. This is the largest fortress in the country.
- Along the way, the Turda Salt Mine offers the other-worldly experience of descending into the ground to find a giant open space with salt walls and a small lake, Ferris wheel, amphitheater and mini golf course. Some claim that the salt cleansed air brings a level of health. Can't miss that!
- From the bizarre back to the medieval, end the day in charming Sibiu, elected European Capital of Culture in 2007.
- Check in for two nights in Sibiu
- Enjoy a walking tour of the city that was named a European Region of Gastronomy. The cobbled streets and ancient buildings are a picturesque setting for tasting the smoked meats and country cheeses of the region. Sibiu can be explored on your own, too, as you stroll down the small streets discovering town squares and the towers of this medieval city.
- Photograph in the Open Air Village Museum, the biggest of its kind in Romania and see recreations of rural life from all regions in the country.
- Accommodation in Sibiu
Day 7: Wednesday, May 15, 2024 Biertan, the Roma (gypsy) Culture and Sighisora (3 hr drive)
- During the morning, go to Biertan, a village where we find one of the seven Fortified Churches of Transylvania built by the German-Saxons, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We'll visit the Church, inside and out and enjoy the hilltop view of the area.
- Visit a coppersmith and visit several generations of his Roma family carrying on the traditions and crafts of the gypsy culture.
- Lunch at an organic farm and learn about ecological farming from the family.
- Then, on to Sighisoara, one of Europe's best preserved medieval towns built in the 12th century where you have time to wander the streets photographing the colorful buildings.
- Check in for 2 nights in Viscri
Day 8: Thursday, May 16, 2024 Viscri (2 hrs drive)
- Wake in a charming village in time for a sunrise shoot as the villagers wander the streets pulling their small milk carts or taking the cows to pasture. The people of Viscri are striving to preserve the rural life and the original architecture of the German-Saxons. Many traditional occupations are seen here: bakers making homemade bread, brick makers and blacksmiths applying their trades. We will be able to visit and photograph the people at work.
- See the local Fortified Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum.
- Late afternoon, travel by horse cart to a sheepfold on a nearby hill, visit the shepherds and discover how they milk the sheep and make cheese.
- Accommodation in Viscri
Day 9: Friday, May 17, 2024 Bran Castle and Bucharest (4 1/2 hrs drive)
- On our way back to Bucharest, stop at Transylvania's most famous tourist attraction, Bran Castle, known for its association with Dracula. Learn the true history of how it became known as the setting for Bram Stoker's novel. An inside visit will be followed by an outside shoot of the castle, perched on top of rocks and surrounded by a dense, dark green forest with the mountains in the distance.
- Explore Bucharest in the late afternoon and discover Old Town, a vibrant place with historic buildings, cafes and small shops.
- Accommodation in Bucharest
Day 10: Saturday, May 18, 2024 Bucharest and Time to go Home (30 min drive)
- You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport in Bucharest. Time for your flight home.
Making Fotos, Friends and Memories....
Hidden Romania May. 9 -18, 2024 - DEPOSIT
May 9-18, 2024 — Photo workshop to rural Romania and Transylvania with Dan Burkholder. Explore the charming villages of the Maramures region with its traditional way of life. The full cost of the trip is $4950. Balance is due March 10, 2024. Trip is limited to 10 participants.