Posted on

Take a Danube River Cruise to Picturesque Romania

If you’ve been looking for a way to kick back and enjoy a vacation without all the usual hustle and bustle of shopping, tourist attractions, and bouncing from hotel to hotel, then a river cruise is exactly what the doctor ordered. On a floating mini-resort, you can enjoy all the luxuries of hotel life and the delights of a cruise without ever leaving the shore far behind.
Ready for a magical river cruise? Consider floating down the legendary Danube river. No matter where you start, the beautiful river flows eternally toward the Black sea and your tour is likely to end in the Danube Delta. Here, you’ll find a combination of islands and complex aquatic ecosystems that make Romania the ideal place to end your river tour. In the shadows of the Caucus mountains, you’ll enjoy fine dining, cozy hotels, pastoral vistas, and a rich history.
No matter what you’re looking for, from ancient stories to relaxing spas, you’ll find it at the end of the Danube River in beautiful Romania.

danube-river-germany-worldvia
Danube River in Germany

The Delta is Alive and Ancient

The Danube is one of the oldest rivers in the world. Traveling down it, you are likely to encounter signs both of ancient civilizations and timeless nature. When you reach the Delta, expect to see a strange collection of landmarks. While much of it will be decorated with the familiar reeds and tall river grasses, there will also be several stretches of sand dunes, often surrounded by natural growths of beautiful white lilies. Where there are trees, keep an eye out for the thousand-year-old oaks, most of them more than 90 feet tall. Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring the river and the surrounding areas.
Swimming in the Delta, you’ll see incredibly numerous and diverse populations of fish as fresh and salt water mix to form a complex and rich aquatic ecosystem. One of the things the delta is known for is its huge (and delicious) sturgeon population. These sturgeon provide caviar and delicious fish-based entrees to numerous local restaurants. If sampling local caviar is something you indulge in on your water-side vacations, you won’t be disappointed.

All the Castles You Can Climb

Romania is an ancient land and has been building beautiful stone architecture for a very long time. There are elegant castles and estates still in use and open for tours. Additionally, there are dozens of ruins around the countryside that have since become historical relics. If you want to explore the legendary castle of the real-life Count Dracula, or Vlad Tepes the Transylvanian war hero, be sure to check out Bran Castle. This beautiful monument of white stone and red roofs are built directly into the surrounding mountain stone. But Romania holds more stories and secrets than Bram Stoker ever dreamed of, so don’t limit yourself to this tourist hot spot.
After your Danube cruise, branch out and explore the variety of impressively fortified churches, impenetrable fortresses, and sweeping gothic castles. The wealth of Romania’s history is available to explore in the form of ruins, castles, and more. Look out for local tours and delight in the ghost stories of the region as you imagine the elegant medieval lives that must have taken place there. Whether you love palaces or ruins, Romania has a wonderful tour that will delight the historian in you.

romania-overlooking-city-worldvia
Romania

Walking Tours of Picturesque Cities

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the beautiful sights and quaint charm of authentic Romania. With a low crime rate and a strong belief in local hospitality, you will find comfort walking around picturesque Romania. With brightly painted homes, flowers in the street, and plenty of local shops, you can quickly immerse yourself in the culture and positive attitude of the Romanian locals. Take a walk along the Danube or go on a walking tour.
Walking tours allow you to leave behind the pressure of finding a rental car or worrying about tourist taxi prices. Instead, pack a good pair of walking shoes and your GPS app and simply take off in a promising-looking direction. Get adventurous and stop in local cafes to try unfamiliar dishes when you get hungry. And don’t be shy about interacting with vendors on the street. You’ll find vendors selling handicrafts and tasty warm snacks, among other typical Romanian items.
Romania is safe enough savvy travel tactics and situational awareness is enough to keep you out of trouble. Even so, you should still be cautious of the usual sprinkling of pick-pockets and scam artists.

Try the Local Cuisine

Something unique about Romania is that it’s not quite like other European countries, which you can tell from the food. Romanians have a strong preference for things served with sour cream, local cheese, pickles and various forms of cabbage. But don’t let this list throw you off. The Romanians know what they’re doing and the local cuisine is absolutely delicious. Traditional dishes include Sarmale (sort of like egg rolls but with cabbage), Michi (long meatballs); and a mix of fried porks and thick bacon dishes. For dessert and sweet snacks there are Papanasi, which every restaurant does differently. Cozonac, which is a delightful form of walnut sweet bread, and “Placinta cu Branza Dulce si Sstafide” which translates to fried sweet-cheese pie with raisins. It is often served warm and sprinkled with sugar.
Taking a river cruise down the Danube is a delightful way to start a vacation and give you the opportunity to end it in beautiful, historic Romania. From tasty treats on street vendor carts to legendary castles, you can find anything you’re looking for.

Posted on

An Insider’s Guide to Summertime In Boulder, Colorado

Hiking in Boulder Colorado

From the first significant snowfall, folks begin arriving, from far and near, to enjoy the world-class ski slopes high in the Rocky Mountains. The stunning beauty of the snowy mountains along with the variety of winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice climbing, compels several people to choose Colorado their winter vacation destination.
Colorado can be gorgeous in the summertime also. The little city of Boulder, Colorado—nestled along the eastern “front range” of the Rocky Mountains, at a modest altitude of 5,300 feet—is an absolutely glorious place to be from late-May through September.

Iconic Boulder Summertime Destinations

Walk the Pearl Street Mall

This four-block brick pedestrian mall will delight you with its fountains, street performers, and abundance of gorgeous flowers (tulips of every imaginable color; and other varieties later in the summer). Not to mention all the charming restaurants and small businesses that line it: a discerning shopper’s heaven! But really, simply strolling down the mall on a sunny summer afternoon has persuaded more than a few visitors to become permanent Boulder residents.

Take in a Bands On The Bricks performance

Every Wednesday evening from 7:00-9:00 pm, June through August, you can enjoy a couple hours of free music and dancing, beneath the Colorado sky. Bring a blanket to spread on the courthouse lawn, purchase a microbrew or margarita in the beer garden, and put on your dancing shoes. If you’re not in the mood to dance yourself, you can watch local street dancers do their thing.

Walk or bike the Boulder Creek path

This sweet 5.5-mile paved path is peacefully shared by walkers, bikers, joggers, and skaters. As its name implies, it runs parallel to the Boulder Creek. You can get onto it right downtown (e.g. near the Dushanbe Teahouse) and then travel west toward the mountains (and a bit beyond the Boulder city limit), or to the eastern parts of town. Both directions are beautiful. Additionally, you can raft the river itself—a great option, in particular, for super-hot days.

Enjoy Boulder Open-Space hiking

Much of the western edge of Boulder, Colorado is designated “Open-Space” that are intentionally kept free from commercial development. There are many great hiking trails around these designated areas, just a stone’s throw from central Boulder. Some of the best ones are:

  1. The trails emanating from centrally-located Chautauqua Park (onto Green Mountain or the Flatirons)
  2.  The more northern Mount Sanitas
  3.  The magical Shanahan Ridge trailhead—at the far southern end of the city—which links up with the spectacular Fern Gulch trail, which will take you to the summit of Bear Peak.

Visit the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

This might be the most beautiful teahouse you’ll ever see and it has a fun and inspiring history as well. It came in the mail, piece by piece, as a gift from Boulder’s sister city, Dushanbe (the capital and largest city of Tajikistan). The hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels were all lovingly crafted by Tajikistan artisans. There’s a fountain in the middle of the teahouse, tables inside and out (with the Boulder Creek running nearby), and a bar counter from which you can order a cup of award-winning homemade chai. Whether you come just for tea, or to share a lunch or dinner with friends, the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a place you cannot miss!

Boulder Restaurants & Colorado Cuisine

Sherpa’s Restaurant

With authentic Nepalese, Indian, and Tibetan cuisine, Great momos (Tibetan stuffed dumplings) among other things, and delightful decor, Sherpa’s Restaurant is a must see. It is located just west and a block south of the Pearl Street Mall.

Sushi Zanmai

Visitors can find excellent Japanese food at Sushi Zanmai, with great happy hour prices for lunch (11:30 am – 2:00 pm) and dinner (5:00 pm – 6:30 pm). Right downtown, a block north of the Pearl Street Mall.

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

This is the place in Boulder for awesome, elegant vegan and vegetarian fare, just a half-mile or so east of the Pearl Street Mall.

Boulder Farmer’s Market

For a sampling of authentic Colorado cuisine, check out the farmer’s market on Saturday morning or Wednesday afternoon. It sits in front of the Dushanbe Teahouse and some of the native favorites that you’ll find there include:

  • Palisade peaches, and a variety of melons– The climate is perfect for producing luscious peaches and melons—not to be missed!
  • Trout or striped bass–caught fresh from one of Colorado’s many rivers
  • Roasted green chilis, and various hot sauces–The scent of roasting chilies is something you’ll encounter frequently in summertime Boulder. Elk, venison, bison or wild boar, in the form of steaks, sausage, or burgers. Wild game roam freely in the mountains and plains, and their meat is a Colorado delicacy.
  • Rack of lamb–Colorado is one of the nation’s leading producers of lamb, and it is known to be especially delicious.
  • High-end granola–Boulder is a mecca for endurance athletes as well as outdoor enthusiasts (campers, climbers, hikers, etc.). The high demand for high-quality granola means we have a vast variety to choose from. Yum!

Charming Boulder Bookstores

The Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe

The Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe is great for poetry-lovers and literature buffs. This sweet bookstore is “on the hill” in the middle of the University of Colorado campus. It is a great place to have a cup of tea or coffee while reading some new or old favorite poems.

Lighthouse Bookstore

A staircase takes you from the busy Pearl Street Mall down into this basement hideaway, that features a great array of metaphysical and spiritual titles, along with an in-house psychic and tarot readings. Classic Boulder.

What To Do On A Rainy Day In Boulder

Take in a show at the Sommers-Bausch Observatory
If there happens to be a special multimedia show–in the observatory’s circular auditorium–you’re in for a real treat.
Enjoy a performance or art show at The Dairy Arts Center
The movie theater, array of galleries, and performance spaces provide inspiring options for art, dance, and theater lovers.
Music compliments of the Chautauqua Concert Series
Get tickets for a concert at the Chautauqua Auditorium or Community House: beautiful venues nestled at the base of the Flatirons.

Awesome Day Trips From Boulder

Brainard Lake Recreation Area
A 30-40 minute drive from Boulder, this recreation area features jaw-dropping gorgeous alpine lakes and high-mountain forested trails. The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is open to hikers only during the summer months and is well worth the drive.
Nederland’s Carousel of Happiness
A half an hour drive through the stunningly-beautiful Boulder Canyon will place you in the quirky yet charming Nederland, which can easily be explored on foot. The Carousel of Happiness–with its beautiful hand-carved animals–is definitely worth a ride, or two.
Whether you’re just passing through, or enjoying a more extended visit, Boulder, Colorado in the summertime is sure to delight you!

Posted on Leave a comment

An Insider’s Guide to Summertime In Boulder, Colorado

Iconic Boulder Summertime Destinations

Walk the Pearl Street Mall

This four-block brick pedestrian mall will delight you with its fountains, street performers, and abundance of gorgeous flowers (tulips of every imaginable color; and other varieties later in the summer). Not to mention all the charming restaurants and small businesses that line it: a discerning shopper’s heaven! But really, simply strolling down the mall on a sunny summer afternoon has persuaded more than a few visitors to become permanent Boulder residents.

Take in a Bands On The Bricks performance

Every Wednesday evening from 7:00-9:00 pm, June through August, you can enjoy a couple hours of free music and dancing, beneath the Colorado sky. Bring a blanket to spread on the courthouse lawn, purchase a microbrew or margarita in the beer garden, and put on your dancing shoes. If you’re not in the mood to dance yourself, you can watch local street dancers do their thing.

Walk or bike the Boulder Creek path

This sweet 5.5-mile paved path is peacefully shared by walkers, bikers, joggers, and skaters. As its name implies, it runs parallel to the Boulder Creek. You can get onto it right downtown (e.g. near the Dushanbe Teahouse) and then travel west toward the mountains (and a bit beyond the Boulder city limit), or to the eastern parts of town. Both directions are beautiful. Additionally, you can raft the river itself—a great option, in particular, for super-hot days.

Enjoy Boulder Open-Space hiking

Much of the western edge of Boulder, Colorado is designated “Open-Space” that are intentionally kept free from commercial development. There are many great hiking trails around these designated areas, just a stone’s throw from central Boulder. Some of the best ones are:

  1. The trails emanating from centrally-located Chautauqua Park (onto Green Mountain or the Flatirons)
  2.  The more northern Mount Sanitas
  3.  The magical Shanahan Ridge trailhead—at the far southern end of the city—which links up with the spectacular Fern Gulch trail, which will take you to the summit of Bear Peak.

Visit the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

This might be the most beautiful teahouse you’ll ever see and it has a fun and inspiring history as well. It came in the mail, piece by piece, as a gift from Boulder’s sister city, Dushanbe (the capital and largest city of Tajikistan). The hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels were all lovingly crafted by Tajikistan artisans. There’s a fountain in the middle of the teahouse, tables inside and out (with the Boulder Creek running nearby), and a bar counter from which you can order a cup of award-winning homemade chai. Whether you come just for tea, or to share a lunch or dinner with friends, the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a place you cannot miss!

Boulder Restaurants & Colorado Cuisine

Sherpa’s Restaurant

With authentic Nepalese, Indian, and Tibetan cuisine, Great momos (Tibetan stuffed dumplings) among other things, and delightful decor, Sherpa’s Restaurant is a must see. It is located just west and a block south of the Pearl Street Mall.

Sushi Zanmai

Visitors can find excellent Japanese food at Sushi Zanmai, with great happy hour prices for lunch (11:30 am – 2:00 pm) and dinner (5:00 pm – 6:30 pm). Right downtown, a block north of the Pearl Street Mall.

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

This is the place in Boulder for awesome, elegant vegan and vegetarian fare, just a half-mile or so east of the Pearl Street Mall.

Boulder Farmer’s Market

For a sampling of authentic Colorado cuisine, check out the farmer’s market on Saturday morning or Wednesday afternoon. It sits in front of the Dushanbe Teahouse and some of the native favorites that you’ll find there include:

  • Palisade peaches, and a variety of melons– The climate is perfect for producing luscious peaches and melons—not to be missed!
  • Trout or striped bass–caught fresh from one of Colorado’s many rivers
  • Roasted green chilis, and various hot sauces–The scent of roasting chilies is something you’ll encounter frequently in summertime Boulder. Elk, venison, bison or wild boar, in the form of steaks, sausage, or burgers. Wild game roam freely in the mountains and plains, and their meat is a Colorado delicacy.
  • Rack of lamb–Colorado is one of the nation’s leading producers of lamb, and it is known to be especially delicious.
  • High-end granola–Boulder is a mecca for endurance athletes as well as outdoor enthusiasts (campers, climbers, hikers, etc.). The high demand for high-quality granola means we have a vast variety to choose from. Yum!

Charming Boulder Bookstores

The Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe

The Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe is great for poetry-lovers and literature buffs. This sweet bookstore is “on the hill” in the middle of the University of Colorado campus. It is a great place to have a cup of tea or coffee while reading some new or old favorite poems.

Lighthouse Bookstore

A staircase takes you from the busy Pearl Street Mall down into this basement hideaway, that features a great array of metaphysical and spiritual titles, along with an in-house psychic and tarot readings. Classic Boulder.

What To Do On A Rainy Day In Boulder

Take in a show at the Sommers-Bausch Observatory
If there happens to be a special multimedia show–in the observatory’s circular auditorium–you’re in for a real treat.
Enjoy a performance or art show at The Dairy Arts Center
The movie theater, array of galleries, and performance spaces provide inspiring options for art, dance, and theater lovers.
Music compliments of the Chautauqua Concert Series
Get tickets for a concert at the Chautauqua Auditorium or Community House: beautiful venues nestled at the base of the Flatirons.

Awesome Day Trips From Boulder

Brainard Lake Recreation Area
A 30-40 minute drive from Boulder, this recreation area features jaw-dropping gorgeous alpine lakes and high-mountain forested trails. The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is open to hikers only during the summer months and is well worth the drive.
Nederland’s Carousel of Happiness
A half an hour drive through the stunningly-beautiful Boulder Canyon will place you in the quirky yet charming Nederland, which can easily be explored on foot. The Carousel of Happiness–with its beautiful hand-carved animals–is definitely worth a ride, or two.
Whether you’re just passing through, or enjoying a more extended visit, Boulder, Colorado in the summertime is sure to delight you!