“I believe in getting lost and being found, I believe in going barefoot, and in laughter! My religion is to laugh at myself, whenever I can! I believe in the sunlight and in grey skies with big, beautiful clouds!”
It’s that time of the year — golden leaves are on the trees, a chill is in the air and Halloween has us excited for all spooky things. Time to get your spook on. Trick or treat ?
Halloween, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is celebrated on October 31 each year, primarily in regions of the Western world; the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly between geographical areas.
It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. The Celts celebrated their new year on November 1st. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred.
In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween.
Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.
Straddling the line between fall and winter, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition.
In Romania, the Halloween is celebrated around the myth of “Dracula”.
With its dreadful reputation, Romania ranks as one of Europe’s most charming and untouched regions, charming its visitors with a stunning Gothic architecture, wild forests and friendly people.
The most successful Halloween Party in Transylvania takes place in SIGHISOARA, the citadel where Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula) was born. Now imagine being there, when the clock ticks midnight… on Halloween!
BRAN CASTLE, built around year 1377 as part of the Transylvanian defense ring, belonged to Dracula’s grand father – Mircea the Old – and was constantly disputed by Vlad Dracula. The castle is a real “must see” !
Don’t miss the best of all Halloween parties at the Mystery Night at Bran Castle. With witches, dancing, music, darkness, crimson wine from the castle and ,of course … the one and only Count Dracula.
HUNYAD CASTLE, also known as Corvin Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara, in the region of Transylvania, Romania. Built by King Charles I of Hungary, the castle was finished sometime around the year 1315. During the mid-14th century, it became the residence of Transylvania’s ruler, Iancu de Hunedoara.
POIENARI Fortress, is a ruined castle in Romania, notable for its connection to Vlad the Impaler. The castle is located on a cliff, near a canyon formed on the Argeş River valley, close to the Făgăraş Mountains.
The real Vlad wasn’t a vampire, of course (oppss, do you still believe in Santa and fairies?!), but he did enjoy impaling enemies on stakes.
Sixty seconds is barely enough time to compose a short post. So how about fitting the whole world into 60 seconds?
I bet our wanderers will fall in love head over heels with this idea.
So I dare you to take a coffee break and watch these great videos to see how the magic is done. Discover what the world has to offer in just a blink of an eye.
What’s all the commotion? Three simple, stunning, single-minute takes translated into three powerful concepts – three words in three minutes: MOVE, EAT, LEARN. And three amazing glimpses of how travel inspires us to do, dare, and discover what lies beyond the consolations of our comfort zones and the safety blanket of our rooms. An epic trip! That kind of “around the world” odyssey you and your college buddies always dreamed about embarking on but never had the courage to even get started planning.
3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage ! They did it ! Watch your dream taking shape under your eyes ! Enjoy our world !
I hope the films stimulated your natural curiosity and wanderlust. So, who’s ready for a vacation?
Excerpt from the interview with Rick Mereki. I hope you’ll find it inspiring too. 🙂
Q: After 11 countries in 6 weeks, what has travel come to mean for you?
A: The more you travel, the more you become attached and connected to the world as a whole. I think that if a greater number of us spent time outside our comfort zones and immersed in other cultures, even for a little while, it would help reduce the “Us vs. Them” mentality that still exists in the world. People will always naturally base their beliefs and opinions on what is best for their family, their city, their country…but I think travel helps create mindsets that are more global.
Q: What is your top travel tip:
A: Open yourself up to everything and leave all your personal/cultural baggage at the door.
“Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth: ‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with a love like that… It lights the whole sky! ”
Watch nature’s own theater unfold above you as the most spectacular light show takes center stage: The northern lights with you in the front row!
I’d like to send a special thank you to our great photographer (Cristina Ene) who captured the amazing Northern Lights, seen here from Keflavik, Iceland. Cris, you’re fabulous! 😀 I’m looking now at these incredible pictures of yours and I can feel the chills down my spine only remembering how it felt watching the whole show live! It really was stunning, jaw dropping… definitely one of a kind !…
And last but not least, I want to thank the whole team! Thank you Andrada, Mihai, Diana and Cris for being there with me and sharing the same dream! I had such a blast!
“Always travel in hope, rather than expectation, of seeing the Northern Lights. Base your holiday around daytime activities so the Aurora itself comes as a bonus.
For the best chances of seeing the lights, head north – but not too far. They are most frequently visible between about 66°N and 69°N.
Also avoid heavy light pollution from towns and large ski resorts.” Alistair McLean, Founder of The Aurora Zone (theaurorazone.com)
The science behind the magic
The Aurora Borealis has been fascinating travelers for generations, but what is the science behind the Northern Lights? It is the sun that lies behind the formation of the Auroras.
During large solar explosions and flares, huge quantities of particles are thrown out of the sun and into deep space. When the particles meet the Earth’s magnetic shield, they are led towards the magnetic North Pole, where they interact with the upper layers of the atmosphere.The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. The energy which is then released forms the northern lights. All this happens approximately 100 kilometers above our heads.
Each appearance of the northern lights is unique. Auroral displays appear in many colors although pale green often with a hint of pink along the edge, and occasionally with a deep violet center are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported.
The lights appear in many forms from flickering curtains or rolling smoke, to scattered clouds of light or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.
A living legend
As you might expect, the northern lights’ spectacle has given rise to as many legends as there have been people watching. The northern lights were traditionally associated with sound by the Sami, the indigenous people of Norway. Linked to the Sami shamanistic drum ritual, the phenomenon is known as Guovssahas, which means “the light which can be heard”.
Likewise, during the Viking Age, the northern lights were said to be the armour of the Valkyrie warrior virgins, shedding a strange flickering light.
In Roman myths, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn.
In medieval times, the occurrences of auroral displays were seen as signals for war or poverty.
The Maori of New Zealand shared a belief with many northern people of Europe and North America that the lights were reflections from torches or campfires.
The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin believed that the lights indicated the location of manabai’wok (giants) who were the spirits of great hunters and fishermen.
The Inuit of Alaska believed that the lights were the spirits of the animals they hunted: the seals, salmon, deer and beluga whales.
Other aboriginal peoples believed that the lights were the spirits of their people.
One of a kind experience
When dreaming about seeing the northern lights, you must remember that you are at the complete mercy of nature. The northern lights love to play hide and seek. Be patient, stay in the northern lights area, preferably far from cities or crowded resorts, pray for good weather and a clear sky and you will be rewarded with an unforgettable dancing colors show.
“More than anything, this place feels familiar. I bury my hands in the sand and think about the embodiment of memory or, more specifically, our natural ability to carry the past in our bodies and minds. Individually, every grain of sand brushing against my hands represents a story, an experience, and a block for me to build upon for the next generation. I quietly thank this ancestor of mine for surviving the trip so that I could one day return.”