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Old September 7th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #201
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Old September 8th, 2011, 01:11 AM   #202
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Interesting, the thread shows the diversity of European cities. And in Krakow, there is a big contrast in the city itself between the shiny old town and the worn outskirts. Good job!
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Old September 8th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #203
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Thank you!

Day 25-26: Arad, Romania (part I)

Arad has a population of 167,000 and is situated in the West of Romania near the border to Hungary. Arad is one of the cities that belonged to the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian empire before WW I and came to Romania according to the peace treaty of Trianon. The majority of the population still speaks Hungarian, you don´t hear much Romanian on the streets of Arad. Although most of Arad consists of the terrible Ceausescu commieblocks that dominate almost every Romanian city, there´s also a nice historic center with baroque and 19th century architecture, though it is in a pretty bad condition.












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Old September 8th, 2011, 04:57 PM   #204
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Old September 8th, 2011, 04:58 PM   #205
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Old September 8th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #206
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Old September 8th, 2011, 04:59 PM   #207
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #208
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Old September 8th, 2011, 05:01 PM   #209
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Old September 8th, 2011, 06:21 PM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malyan View Post
Day 21-25: Vienna, Austria

From Krakow, I took the night train to my home city Vienna where I spent four days but took no pictures for this thread as I already have an own Vienna thread. Then I continued my journey with the night train in direction of Bucharest. I planned to leave the train in the western Romanian city of Arad to travel through the country from west to east from there but fell asleep and missed my station so that I had to leave the train at the next station - Deva, a city of 67,000 in western Transilvania. There I took the next train back to Arad, but I had to wait for more than two hours so that I could take the opportunity to take some pictures of Deva as well. The picture´s quality is not that good as the weather was terrible and I had to take them with one hand while carrying 25 kilos of luggage with my other hand, but I think the pictures though give you an impression of what an average Romanian city without being influenced by tourism looks like. Somehow, it was hard to believe that this is really still Europe and not a third world city.

Day 25: Deva, Romania


Man you people from the west really love to bash Romania SPECIFICALLY! Please re-look at the very pictures you took. How does Romania look any more "third world" than any of the other Eastern European locations you photographed? It doesn't.

The only thing I would say Romania lacks is the large older city centers and that has more to do with the historical fact that under Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman rule Romanians were not allowed an education, to own land, or even to build with brick and stone. That is why we have so many wooden churches and wooden villages all over the country. It is hard to build a large beautiful city center in such an environment, and it is hard to evolve a bright future with such a history. Ultimately I don't blame the Empires for doing what Empires do, in fact I blame the Romanian people for not being better warriors and freeing themselves in the past so that today the country could have had a better future, but that is besides the point. What is done is done.

I'm just sick and tired of this medieval mindset of the West trashing the East especially the way most westerners have picked on Romania specifically. I understand that is an animal instinct for the healthy to prey on the injured, but are we Humans or animals?

I'm not saying that Romania is a jewel. I don't deny that it is poor by Western European standards and no Romanian will challenge that either, but what burns me up is this gang-on-bullying mentality that the west has developed specifically towards Romania. It pisses me off because it is no longer valid. It is a Pavlovian effect otherwise referred to as a Mob Mentality, most likely initiated by what happened after the 1989 Revolution; the violence, the news reports on the orphanages, and the difficult transition in the years that followed. WHATEVER! Those times and years have passed and Romania is no longer like it was between 1989 and 1995 yet most of you still act like nothing has changed. You still see the country trough the Black lens of 1989, and have developed a mentality of; "Lets focus only on the negatives because everyone else is doing the same and we wouldn't dare go against the grain and actually enjoy the positive things the country has to offer". This is the Mob Mentality I'm talking about, and that is exactly what it is, because you can't tell me that traveling to Austria is a perfect experience. Western Europe is not all bathed in White light only. Of course it is more modern, better organized, yet even there one can have bad experiences while even in Romania one can have good experiences, it is just a matter of whether you've been programed to only see the grit despite the good.

Once again I looked at all your pictures and besides the RATIO of communist buildings to classical architecture, their "third world" state is the same across all the Eastern countries. In fact many Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese cities are in even worse shape yet I don't think you would refer to these countries as third world. Please grow up and get over this "third world" obsession. Romania is NOT a third world country, it doesn't look third world, and it only makes those of you who only see the world in Black and White look bad, since we live in a world full of color.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #211
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BlackMarble, I think you´re getting me wrong. In fact, I liked Romania very much and think it is one of Europe´s most beautiful countries with an overwhelming nature, with beautiful medieval towns in Transilvania and a stunning architectural diversity and liveliness in Bucharest. But it is a fact that Romania is the 2nd poorest and one of the least developed countries in the European Union and that the condition of its cities is not by far comparable to anything I have seen in Poland, in Slovakia or the Czech republic. It is just what I have seen and experienced during my travel no matter what I think about it. Romania is on a pretty good way as far as I can see, but this doesn´t change the fact that it is much, much, much behind countries like the Czech republic at the moment.

There were really some things in Romania that were pretty shocking to me at first. First - the infrastructure. I have never seen a rail system that is so bad as the Romanian one. In most parts of the country, it took two or three hours for distances of perhaps 50-80km. In Poland, in Slovakia or the Czech republic, there is nothing that can be compared to this. The same for streets, too - there are hardly any highways in Romania, almost only old, damaged country roads that look really frightening - also not comparable to any other eastern European country I have visited yet. Most Romanian villages I have seen look terrible, in some parts you have the impression to be in the 18th century, especially when you see that horse wagons (!!!) are really a common way of transport in Romania which you also won´t find in any other eastern European country. Also, I never saw so many homeless people, so many beggars and so many aggressive street dogs in any other country. Most residential buildings are in a terrible condition with damaged facades. And, to mention another thing, the segregation of Roma in Romanian cities was also a thing pretty shocking to me.

All these things you won´t find in any other country of the European Union except Bulgaria. That does NOT mean that I didn´t like Romania - as I already said before, I liked it even very much, I enjoyed its nature and think that many of its cities like Sibiu, Brasov, Cluj Napoca and partially even Bucharest are urban gems that deserve much more attention. I think that Romania has a huge potential for tourism and may be Europe´s most underrated country. And I really liked the friendly people of Romania - I am sure I will travel to Romania soon again. But this doesn´t change the fact that many things in Romania look horrible compared not only to the West but also to other eastern European countries like Poland, the Baltic states or the Czech republic.

This surely doesn´t have to do anything with an anti-Romanian "mob-mentality" - it is just what I actually saw with my own eyes during the journey. As I travelled through Romania two weeks and visited nine cites in almost every part of the country, I think that I am able to compare it to other countries I have visited - and among all European countries I have seen yet, only Bosnia and Bulgaria look poorer and less developed than Romania. Which THOUGH is a great, beautiful country with a huge potential that I mainly associate with POSITIVE and with negative things, but the negative sides are though existing.

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In fact many Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese cities are in even worse shape yet
Come on, you don´t really want to compare Romania´s economic development to Italy and Spain, do you?
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Old September 8th, 2011, 07:55 PM   #212
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Arad had a significant role in the history of both Romania and Hungary, but now the majority of its inhabitants are Romanians (about 85%)
Next time you will come in Arad please don't stay too much in the vecinity of the Train Station and take your time to visit the old center because it is worthing and is a little bit bigger than you thought it was.
The factory that you took photos at is one of the biggest train wagons plants in the Europe but your scope was to take photos of the town not of the factory. It is near the Station and it looks terrible, it's true.
Your opinion about Romania is quite accurate. But things are going to get better hopefully. You are welcome to return to see the changes in a couple of years.
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Old September 8th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #213
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Romania needs to get itself together... and they are not alone on this continent in that respect
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Old September 8th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #214
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..

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Old September 8th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #215
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Some nice old buildings in Romania..
In my opinion romanian cities look like Vienna or Prague, but like they stoped maintainig them 30 years ago.
With some money and renovation the cities would look much much better.
Well I think the problem is the money.

In East Germany we had the same problems. Dresden, Leipzig, even (east)Berlin were looking rotten as well. But look at them now.
...so I have hope for those romanian cities.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malyan View Post
Thank you!

Day 25-26: Arad, Romania (part I)

Arad has a population of 167,000 and is situated in the West of Romania near the border to Hungary. Arad is one of the cities that belonged to the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian empire before WW I and came to Romania according to the peace treaty of Trianon. The majority of the population still speaks Hungarian, you don´t hear much Romanian on the streets of Arad. Although most of Arad consists of the terrible Ceausescu commieblocks that dominate almost every Romanian city, there´s also a nice historic center with baroque and 19th century architecture, though it is in a pretty bad condition.
I'm sorry, but apparently you have problems with your ears or you don't know how Romanian sounds like. The large majority of the Arad population is Romanian, and most certainly you can hear plenty Romanian on the streets. I should know, I've visited the city many times.

According to the 2002 census, the municipality of Arad was home to 172,827 inhabitants. The ethnic breakdown of the city was as follows: 142,968 Romanians (82.72%); 22,492 Hungarians (13.01%); 3,004 Roma (1.74%); 2,247 Germans (1.31%); and 2,116 of other nationalities (1.22%).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arad,_Romania#Population

By the way, not all Romanian commieblocks were built during Ceausescu. I hate the guy and what he's done to Romania more than you could imagine, but there's no need to get so stereotypical about this country at any cost. I have to agree with AnOldBlackMarble on this, you seem to be biased against Romania specifically. I get this impression judging by the photos you've taken and posted here and the way you've commented them. It feels like you were intentionally searching for the ugliness around you, although it might have been a subconscious thing like "it's Romania, it must be ugly and dirty". As I told you, I've visited the city many times and I know for sure it's a beautiful town. Too bad you've chosen to focus on the negative side of it.

Last edited by Laurentzius; September 9th, 2011 at 12:14 AM.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 02:39 AM   #217
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Romanian commieblocks are quite interesting and unique, they remind me of some housing from the '90 that we have in Poland. It seems postmodern influences came earlier and were much stronger in Romania than in other Eastern Block countries also the urbanism was very different since most of this commies seem to follow rather traditional street pattern while in eg. Warsaw you have modernist planning even in the city center. Afaik there was no real socrealism in Romania but it seems they had somehow similar style in the '80 which is hard to classify soc-pomo perhaps?
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Old September 9th, 2011, 04:49 AM   #218
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Why do some Romanians act so hostile in here? To me Malyan seems very open minded and fair in all his threads. Yes, he shows both sides in his pictures, the good and the bad. But he treats every city/town the same in this respect. Just look at the Berlin or Warsaw pictures. Not everything is picture perfect there...
And he has the right to share his experience and his opinion here. I very much hope he does so in an honest, unsupressed way. That's what many people come in here for as well, not just for pictures...
You do want people to experience your country, right? So please don't act so hostile to someone who did and now just shares his views with others. So far I never was interested in Romania at all. Yes, it is very underrated! This pictures actually sparked my interest. But the way some of you are acting now is ruining it...so please!

Last edited by Tiaren; September 9th, 2011 at 04:56 AM.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 05:14 AM   #219
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this is one great photo trip.
thank you for sharing them.
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Old September 9th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #220
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@ixpix.
Quote:
Next time you will come in Arad please don't stay too much in the vecinity of the Train Station and take your time to visit the old center because it is worthing and is a little bit bigger than you thought it was.
There will be more pictures of the historic centre today which is really nice, I especially liked Arad´s baroque churches and its late 19th century buildings. I think that the city could have a significant touristic potential if more was done for renovation of the centre and its monuments. I also was especially fascinated by the fact that so many streets with low buildings of the 18th and early 19th centuries have been preserved while in other parts of the Austro-Hungarian empire most of the buildings of this time had been demolished in late 19th century to be replaced by larger historistic buildings.

Quote:
Arad had a significant role in the history of both Romania and Hungary, but now the majority of its inhabitants are Romanians (about 85%)
You´re right, of course. I think I mixed it up with Oradea.

@hmueller.
Quote:
Some nice old buildings in Romania..
In my opinion romanian cities look like Vienna or Prague
That´s true for the cities in western Romania which belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire before WW I. Especially in Oradea, some areas look VERY Viennese, it sometimes looked like the Vienna Naschmarkt with its magnificent Jugendstil architecture.
The cities of southern and eastern Romania look much different, but are also very interesting with their mix of Russian, Osman and even Venetian influences (The buildings that are influenced by the Romanian Brancoveanu renaissance style look really Italian with an Oriental touch).

@Laurentzius.
Quote:
I have to agree with AnOldBlackMarble on this, you seem to be biased against Romania specifically.
Come on, thats grotesque. I surely wouldn´t have chosen to spend two weeks with travelling through the whole country if I was "biased against Romania specifically". As I already said before, I liked Romania very much and think that the country is an undiscoverd jewel and might be one of Europe´s most interesting destinations for tourism if infrastructure increases. I found Romania´s cities to be absolutely fascinating, and its nature is not comparable to anything in Europe except Scandinavia. I am sure that I will come back to Romania regularly to visit the parts of this diverse country I have not seen yet.

But this doesn´t change the fact that there are also dark sides of Romania, especially if you´re used to western European standards and that Romanian cities are in a really very poor condition compared not only to the West but also to other eastern European countries.

Quote:
I get this impression judging by the photos you've taken and posted here and the way you've commented them. It feels like you were intentionally searching for the ugliness around you, although it might have been a subconscious thing like "it's Romania, it must be ugly and dirty".
There wasn´t ANY selection of photos. In every country and city I visited, I had my camera always with me and took pictures of every area I saw. It is a fact that in all Romanian cities I visited, around 70-90% of the city´s area looked pretty run down compared to western cities. So what do you suppose me to do - to take pictures only of the touristy 5% of the inner core of a city´s historic centre and ignore the other 95% of the city? To draw an idealised picture of Romania that has nothing to do with what I actually experienced during my journey?

In all of my photo tours, I mainly want to show how the majority of the population really lives and how real everyday life in a city looks like. Of course, I also take pictures of historic monuments and tourist sights, both because I am very interested in art history and architecture especially and because they also belong to a city. But the few tourist sights are only one of the thousand faces of a city. Run down concrete blocks belong to the life of a city as well as a picturesque baroque church. And in my pictures, you will find both. Look at any of my previous threads and you will see that I am really trying to make a neutral documentary.

Quote:
Too bad you've chosen to focus on the negative side of it.
Wait for the rest of my Romania pictures and then decide whether I was focusing on the negative sides - I think my pictures are neutral and well balanced.

@Illuminat.
Quote:
Romanian commieblocks are quite interesting and unique
Yes, that´s true, there is much more diversity among Romanian commieblocks than among East German or Czech commieblocks, for example. Especially in Brasov and Alba Iulia, I saw some really fascinating towers that might become an attraction for tourists interested in architecture if they were in better shape. And the late Ceausescu monuments in Bucharest with their mix of brutalist and stalinist architecture belong to the most interesting architecture of socialist Europe.
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