Saturday, December 22, 2007

happy holidays!

My friends, in case I didn't reach your blogs to wish you happy holidays, I take the opportunity to do this now.
Best wishes to all of you, regardless what your celebration is: Christmas, Hanukkah, Bajram or whatever else...
I said I will conclude 2007's posting on Sunday, but I am tired, I have a thousand things to do, and I'm preparing my trip to Austria too.
So, thank you all for visiting and thank you all for your wonderful photos. Looking forward for more in 2008!
Stay focused!
A big hug,
Lara
PS: I am celebrating Christmas in its true meaning. But since Santa Claus has been for so long a part of our lives, let's allow him to be present too...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bucharest snapshots: at night

Three Bucharest landmarks: The Romanian Athenaeum, the Central University Library (destroyed 18 years ago during the revolution, but rebuilt now), the Intercontinental hotel (typical discussion of Bucharest inhabitants: "Where shall we meet?" "How about Inter?" "Oh, great idea!". Apart from this, "la Universitate" (at the University) or "la Romana, la coloane" (in Roman Square, next to the pillars), are also two typical answers for setting a meeting point).
Holiday is close, Sunday will be the last post for this year. I need a good shot for that :).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bucharest snow

So many things to do, so many pictures to post, and so less time. This snow is from Sunday noon. I think it deserves a post: it was wonderful, reminding me of childhood...
Thanks everybody for your comments on the previous post!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

entertainers

Hectic in the office at this end of year, I can hardly wait for the holiday. Here are some nice folks responsible with the entertainment at the fair in Piata Universitatii (University Square) in Bucharest.

Monday, December 17, 2007

the Bucharest Christmas tree

I have no idea if I prefer a natural Christmas tree, or an artificial one. Slightly ecologist, I go for the artificial one, provided that they will re- use it last year. Hm, that I mentioned the word re- used, some people argue that they saw this year's Bucharest Christmas tree last year in Lisbon... Quintarantino, any clue?
So much controversy for this tree... Some people argue it was too expensive. Also some say it is the tallest in Europe with its 76m, but some others argue it is few meters shorter...
Truth is that when its lights were turned on for the first time on the 1st of December, a huge crowd gathered: more than 100,000 people wanted to see the wonder. Resulting from this, huge chaos, traffic was blocked, not even the subway could swallow the tree-gazers, round 50 kids were lost in the crowd (lost and found later :) )... Na ja, what can I say? I am glad I wasn't there :).
Have a great week everybody!
PS: The area where the tree is, is called Union Square (Piata Unirii). And aparently there was a whole bunch of policemen out in the streets that night (check out the previous post too :) )

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bucharest snapshots

Today starts a series of photos from Bucharest. Last night I rambled around the city center, bumping into old friends I haven't seen in a year (it's a small world after all...). The quality of the photos is not great, but I hope it gives you the feeling of the Bucharest winter. These pictures are from University Square, where, in front of the National Theatre they strated last night the "I believe in Santa Claus" fair (bringing together actors, singers, and retailers :) ).
This is the small tree of Bucharest. The big one will be shown tomorrow (with details about the scandal... oh, my...)
Huge traffic, policeman on duty.
It was just the first night, so the goodie-houses are still closed.
Happy Sunday everybody!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ploiesti

Good Saturday morning!
A photo from Ploiesti now, a city 60 km North from Bucharest. A little bit kitchy in my opinion, but hey, better than nothing :).
As for me, after so many weeks when I was waiting for this cold (announcing itslef by random headaches and sneezing), I finally got it - and it's no joy: shiverring with cold (but something like 27 C in the room), sore throat, headaches, totally under the weather... Even the coffee tastes bad...
PS: check also this archive to see Ploiesti last December. This way I remembered the race for Vienna for last year. Yes, I am counting now too: a week left till again in Wien. Hurray!

Friday, December 14, 2007

a Brasov treasure

From Piata Sfatului, follow the signs towards the St. Nicholas church. It's just a short walk away. Anyways, we'll take you there in August during the Romanian Language Summer School - it's a place where one MUST stop.
Why coming here? Apart from the beautiful old church, monument of art and architecture, you'll find the first Romanian school - dated back in the 14th century.
And as long as in Romania they say that it's the man making the place holly, we found a wonderful curator of this museum, a university Professor, with an inimaginable passion for Romanian language and it's history, a treasurer of these wonders. A treasure by himself. Too bad the authorities don't care about this, there are no money invested in this museum, nobody even knows about it (asked all my Romanian friends, going often to Brasov - no clue. And they are philologists too).
A group of young students from the Republic of Moldavia were visiting the museum and the church that day. We listened fascinated the lecture of the Professor, in the centuries old school room.
To much of our shame, after we left we realized we didn't ask him for his name. But I think the Professor suffices for now...
Thank you Professor, for teaching lessons they have not even heard in the university I attended...

PS: courtesy of Mr. Ro_Pumpkin, the name of this wonderful Professor is Vasile Olteanu. And I also forgot to mention he is also a priest, and he is pursuing now his second doctoral degree!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

keep warm

Socks anyone? Handmade and warm, look like the ones our grandmother used to knitt for us as children. Nostalgic...
The location is the same as yesterday: Piata Sfatului (Council Square) in Brasov.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

multi-kulti

We are still in Brasov. In Piața Sfatului I bumped into these really nice puppets, a great expression of multiculturalism if you take a good look: different costumes prove different ethnicity.
It's Wednesday already, mid of the week, holidays are coming, and hopefully this weekend I'll get some decent sleep too. Oh, my, did I say weekend?! Long time till then :).
Stay happy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a new Romanian series

Why is this season so busy? And why we all get crazy? I have an ongoing fight over email with a gentleman that I had a nice cooperation during the year. All of the sudden, he goes ballistic over I-have-no-clue-what! I fight back, trying to be polite, but on the other hand he is saying bad words about my personnel, AND I HATE THAT! Because my people work hard and I know they do a great job. And if at times they fail in doing something perfect, it is just because they are not machines!
Huh, thanks for listening to me, let's go back to nicer things. For a while we'll travell back to Romania, so you'll see some photos from Brasov, from Ploiesti and from Bucharest in the days to come. We start today with Brasov, also as hello to Mr. Ro_Pumpkin (feel free to click HERE and visit his blog, it's wonderful). These photos are something like a week old, they were still decorating the tree. If you want to see how it looks now, with the lights, click HERE (courtesy of the same Mr. Ro_Pumpkin).
Have a great day, everybody! I really enjoy travelling your blogs!

Monday, December 10, 2007

busy-ness

In front of the Stephansdom. Busy as always.
Have a great week everyone!

PS: 3.20 PM, the first break for today. Thanks everybody for visiting and commenting. These weeks before Christmas are totally crazy, so many things to do, so many things to solve...
The photo for today is, as mentioned above, next to the Stephansdom. In various other angles you saw this over and over again on my blog, like HERE, or earlier this month with rote Puenktchen... because it is one of my MUST STOPs in Vienna.
PS2: hurray for MOI's exam! well done, girl!

ANTIWAR. Check HERE why.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

hungry?

This post is neither for vegetarians, nor for people fasting for Christmas: lots of typical Austrian meats. As you might know, Austrian kitchen is not vegetarian at all...Most of the goodies you can find in a Heurigen, served with black bread (that is another thing that I love in Austria!). Also, they add some really nice cheese spreads, mixed with paprika, or different aromatic herbs. These images are from the Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz.
Next to a cup of Punsch, a sandwich with one of these wonderful things can make your tummy happy for the evening. You don't have to eat the whole stand (you might go bankrupt on this. The Advent fair is not the cheapest place to do you shopping...).
Have a great Sunday! I'm trying to resist the wonderful aromas flooding from my kitchen. Don't ask, I don't cook, I just eat :).

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Heurigen

For today, a quick look at the Heurigen, the typical Austrian tavern. This one is in Grinzing - outskirts of Vienna. Wonderful places to come and enjoy live music, as you see in the second picture, as well as traditional Austrian food (involving lots of meat - you'll see tomorrow what I'm talking about...) and only house wine. The shadow in the middle of the second photo is the waiter - in here you really don't have to wait long for the waiter :).
For more on Heurigen click HERE.
Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, December 07, 2007

on Friday I have a sweet Lebkuchenherz

Friday Friday lalalalalalalaalalaaaaaaaaa.... Friday Friday lalalalalalalalallallallallaaaaaaaa... I am in a holiday mood. I.e. no mood to work anymore :). But I do work. In fact, when I start working things stop looking that bad. Anyways, Friday Friday lalalalalalalalalalalaaaaaaaaaaa... You get the point :).
Another photo from the Christkindlmarkt- again with some of my favourite things: the Lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread hearts). All sizes, different inscriptions. They make a nice gift for someone you love.

Have a great start of the weekend, everyone!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

rucksacks in the snow

Still raining here, and it seems I have got a cold, since my head aches terribly... Anyways, still some work to do, no time to sleep.
These two girls I chased on Mariahilferstrasse in Vienna, to get a better look at their identical rucksacks. My friend A. said I was verrueckt (crazy), but hey, I need to blog!
All the best for Sf. Nicolae, or for Krampus day today, or whatever else you might celebrate today. Anyways, we got gifts in our boots last night, if we were good kids. Apparently I was :).

PS: answering to Fenix - got some sweets (I am still slim, but sport is a must) and a pair of nice gloves and some other small cute gifts :)).
PS2: to Leena and all the others in Finland celebrating Independence Day, have a great celebration and enjoy it! It seems a nice, festive day today...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

cuddling

Looking out of the window I only see grey and ugly. Yesterday we had so much rain (again, I am currently in RO) that I got to the office soaking wet (as in down to my socks!). Nevertheless, there is no room for feeling depressed, with the wonderful people around me, and with the virtual travels that I get thanks to you, my fellow bloggers. So, in case you are experimenting the same ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh weather, here are some cuddling photos...
Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

sweet as honey

Good morning! I am starting really early today - and I feel really sweet. So dear all, have a really nice Tuesday - enjoy the Lebkuchen (gingerbread) house (round 1m high), the huge Schaumrolle and the other sweets...
PS: more on the Pirker's Mariazell Lebkuchen HERE.
more on Mariazell HERE. The only thing that stops me from eating all these is the thought about the nice clothes I currently have :).

Monday, December 03, 2007

people at work

The weekend is over, a new working week is already started... Since yesterday we were relaxing in Stdtpark, by the lake, what better start for this week than work pictures :), to give you courage! I took these photos from the window of my hotel in Vienna, in two different mornings. Enjoy the day and the week!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

relax

First of all, as an answer to Dan's question from yesterday, the Romanian National Day is on the 1st of December to celebrate the union of the three countries: Valachia, Moldavia and Transilvania into a single one: Romania. This took place on the 1st of December 1918, and it was the only moment when, even if for a brief period of time, Romania was at its peak from territorial point of view, uniting under one ruler all historical territories inhabited by Romanians.
A map of Romania at 1918 here.

Back to Vienna, a relaxing photo from Stadtpark...
Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

rote Puenktchen bei unserem Stephansdom

Red dots by our Stephansdom.
I have to admit this is again one of my favourite spots in Vienna: Stephansdom (always make a stop here), with the square, Manner shop near by, Haashaus...
Have a great weekend everyone, I just want a good sleep :)...
PS: Romania's National Day today. La multi ani!

PS: Danke sehr Ratze, ich spreche ein venig Deutsch, ich lerne viel, aber ich brauch immer noch Lektionen :)...