When I first got a mail about a snowboard trip to Romania I instantly thought of gypsies and Transylvania. It struck me pretty fast that I don't really know much about this country. In fact, the whole eastern part of Europe presents like a blurry pulp in my mind. I straight enlightened myself with Wikipedia:
Romania is located in the southeast of Europe with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukrane and Moldavia to the northeast, Bulgaria to the south and the Black Sea to the right. It's rather large territory holds a population of 22 million and the capitol is Bukarest. Also worth to mention is that since 1st of January 2007 Romania is a member of the European Union.
Me, Anton Gunnarsson and Jonas Hagström flew down to be met up with German/Romanian photographer/guide Andrea (www.ancrix.com) who took us to her grandparent's home in the western part of the country. Here we met up with Lolli, Pirmin, Basti Rittig, Thomas Feurstein and Jafar, our guide. We stayed together in a small village from where we started our missions every morning. "Zee Germans" had been driving two Jeeps there, and Jeeps turned out to be a Really good vehicle considering the conditions of the roads.
My first impression of the country was how poor the country seemed to be. Terrible roads, old deserted industries, worn down houses and official buildings. This was, however, what we were looking for in order to make really unusual and interesting snowboard photos. The only problem was the snow condition. Terrible! The places Andrea took us to first, deserted mines, had about 3 cm... The scene was magnificent but there was no way to work. We had to go higher up on the mountains.
The days were really long. Wake up at 8.00 and back to the house at 22.00-23.00. Most of the time we just drove around scoping for rideable terrain. In the end we managed to get powdershots, bombdrops, rails, onefoots, airs, ollies, ledges and so on. Not bad considering the conditions.
When Jonas flew home and "zee germans" had driven back, me Anton and Andra continued east to Sibiu, European capitol of culture 2007, for some tourist action. We ate typical Romanian and saw Romanian culture and historical buildings. Next day we continued to Bran Castle - The official Dracula Castle. After some Wikipedia research I'd found out that Dracula was fictional but based, however, on a true historical figure: Vlad Tepes - The Impaler. Vlad was a Wallachian (Romanian) voivode (nobleman) and is best known for his exceedingly cruel punishments. The castle was mighty impressive but unfortunately not scary. My expectations were higher. Did I mention we happened to be in this heart of Transylvanian horror/gothic/fiction mecca on fullmoon?
Thanks to Skullcandy, Nitro, Andra, Jafar, Owe, Chris and the crew for making it happen. Although Transylvania didn't turn out to be full of bats, capes, wolves, vampires I'm still thoughtful concerning my recent developed affection for necks, coffins and blood....
Music Tip: Danko Jones - Code of the Road. Turned out to be the official Romanian road trip song.