People know different things about my country. For some Romania is a former communist country, an “exotic” destination with communist buildings to “admire” and famous People’s House, world’s second largest building after the Pentagon. For others it is Dracula’s country. Some love the medieval cities – especially Sighisoara -, while others love Transylvania.
As I was reading an article on how some people organize trainings to help some Swiss hotel representatives and other travel related people to be more hospitable, I realized that Romania is known and appreciated – and if not all the people know this by now, they should – as THE land of hospitality.
You can come to Romania and, especially in the villages or mountain areas (but even near the sea side), have no pre-arranged accommodation and you’ll still be able to find a room in someone’s home. Yes, not only the pensions, hostels and hotels will give you a room, but many people too. They will actually give you all they have – including nice and healthy meals, made out of the products coming from their garden and from their animals. You’ll have milk and cheese from cows, sheep or goats, fruits and vegetables cultivated on their property.
When we took our vacation in the Apuseni Mountains we already had an arrangement at a pension. We were travelling then with our dog, so we had to know for sure in advance that we were going to have where to stay all of us. But in the village we were, there were people offering to hosts us all in their houses.
In fact, when going to see Scarisoara, an ice cave and the oldest glacier in the world, we met a couple in their fifties who were travelling in the same area and were moving daily and yes, they were staying in people’s houses or at pensions – wherever they found a free room.
Yes, you might not have the comfort of a five star hotel in any house – you can discuss with each person what they can offer you in their houses – but the fact that someone is willing to let you in their house says a lot about my people.
Romanians are warm people. If you want to know them, interact with them, they will be open. Don’t treat them with condescension and you’ll actually win some true friends.