You probably know that Europe is filled with tiny, tight, narrow streets where small cars can barely fit through, and more often than not these streets are also crammed with other vehicles parked on the sidewalk; that these streets are delimited by gorgeous colorful buildings, loaded with detailed architecture, which shows the passage of time and attests the strong, timeless history and influences that define each town, region and country. Romania is no exception.
Adrian and I are originally from Transylvania in Romania. Both my city, Arad, and Adrian’s, Oradea, are located on the border with Hungary, and for centuries were under the authority of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. This is well reflected in the architecture, traditions and food. Walking on the streets of our cities you can smell, see and feel the history that shaped our beautiful towns.
One of the more recent events in the history of our country was the revolution in December 1989, which marked the end of the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu. The revolution only lasted for a week but the impact is still visible over twenty years later. You could still see the bullet holes in the outside structure of many buildings throughout Arad for years after the revolution. It was only a few years ago that those bullet holes were covered up and that some of the buildings were restored. Until then, every time you walked on the streets (even on mine) you could feel the revolution alive and those times of turmoil still present.
But let’s forget about those times long-gone. When we arrived in Romania in April right before Easter, we were surprised by how cold it was and how grim everything looked. It felt as though winter was stubbornly refusing to make room for spring. However, Easter came and went, and then with every day that passed by things started happening; flowers started to bloom, and trees started to show their first green buds. The nature was finally awake. In no time, there was a subtle scent of jasmine and chestnut in the air, while all along the river bank it smelled of freshly cut grass. And the town was back to life!
And, after the food coma at Easter, it was a blessing in disguise to go out to an open terrace for a refreshing salad, homemade zesty lemonade in a ginormous one person pitcher,
and a cappuccino.
It was a pleasure to forget for a second about the succulent and rich lamb, lamb haggis, lamb ciorbă, and colorful sweets. In fact, it seemed as if everyone was out and about, walking off those Easter calories, getting a breath of fresh air, or filling up the restaurants in search for something different.