“The antique silver and gold of Romania”- an inspiring exhibition

First of all, the exhibition I am going to talk about below is happening in the Museum of History Dambovita, in Targoviste (one hour away from Bucharest), until the 25th of February. After this date, I think it will travel to Bucharest and other cities in Romania, but stay tuned for news.

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The Museum of History

“The antique silver and gold of Romania” exhibition brings together over one thousand archeological pieces of great importance, made out of silver and gold, discovered on the territory of Romania. These pieces are evidence of people’s lives on Romanian land,  from the Neolithic period to Medieval Times (from Millenium V B.C to the VIIth century A.C).

I admit I didn’t go to see this exhibition because I had a historical interest in it but simply because I love jewelry.  Simple, raw, minimalist jewelry is my thing but my eyes sparkle at sophisticated pieces also.  So, in this exhibition, you see them all.  Symbolic beautiful pieces that were worn by the Getae-Dacians people, our ancestors,  to more sophisticated pieces from the Roman period. Apparently, the rich Dacians loved to adorn their bodies and clothes with jewelry so they were masters in working with gold and silver. The most popular shape met in the jewelry they produced was the spiral, a symbol for infinity. The bracelets below were discovered in the area of Sarmisegetuza Regia (the capital of the Dacian state, its ruins can still be visited in Grădiștea de Munte, comuna Orăștioara de Sus , Hunedoara county, Romania).

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In this exhibition, you can find also the already famous Pietroasele Treasure (or the Petrossa Treasure) found in Pietroasele, Buzau, Romania in 1837. This is a late fourth-century gothic treasure that included some twenty-two objects of gold, among which this fibulae below, a sort of a broch, adorned with precious stones.

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I really liked this piece that is said to be a Valcitran disc, which has many interpretations. Some say it could be an umbo (the centerpiece of an organic shield made of wood or leather),  a decoration for the walls, a percussion instrument or the lid to some big pot used for celebration rituals ( similar lids were used in the Orient).  The disc is made of gold and silver and it belongs to the first period of the Iron Age, the VIth century B.C.

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And here are some cups from the Dacians, I wonder how their wine was. Hmmm…

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The pieces below were discovered in the city of Craiova and apparently, they were part of an aristocratic funeral ritual.  In antiquity, the lion was a symbol of courage and power, lions still existed in the Balkan Peninsula in those times and hunting them and fighting with them was a high privilege of the aristocracy.

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I will end this post with some jewelry I especially enjoyed.

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Hope some of you get to see this exhibition!

 

 

The magic of Tullynally castle

In Ireland, visiting a castle is not a big deal. It’s almost like everyone here has a castle or a medieval ruin in their back garden. And most of those castles come from the times of the Anglo-Norman invasions. In very few words, the invaders had to protect against the Irish rebels so they build castles and fortresses and so left a great heritage to modern Ireland. Well, it’s the least they could do.

Now, many of the castles that are still standing are privately owned but nevertheless, opened for the public to visit. Such a castle is Tullynally castle, in Castlepollard, County Westmeath, with its lovely gardens and Tearooms.

“The present owner of Tullynally, Thomas Pakenham inherited the estate in 1961 at the death of his uncle, the 6th Earl of Longford. Thomas, after producing three large history books (The Year of Liberty, The Boer War and The Scramble for Africa – all still in print) turned to writing about trees – starting with Meetings with Remarkable Trees in 1993 – and has become a passionate gardener. In recent years, he has brought back seeds from plant hunting trips to China, Tibet, and Sikkim in Northern India. Most of his planting has been in the Forest Walk, in the gardens of the castle. His most recently planting has been a collection of rare magnolias at the far end of the Upper Lake.”

Besides the magnolias and rare trees, in the wonderfully kept Tullynally gardens, there are also apple trees that stretch along the walls, greenhouses with weird looking flowers, llamas running in their own private yard, lakes and bridges and charming wooden houses.

And after a lovely stroll on the Forest walk and the Lake walk, you can visit as well the inside of the castle and have tea or a glass of wine, in the Tearooms.

But I will tell you more about all of this, in pictures:

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One of the entrances in the castle
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What used to be the stables of the castle is now turned into lovely designed tearooms!
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Hahahaa. Good advice.
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The Victorian washing room. Now the ladies back then really knew what hard work meant!
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“If in the Georgian era the kitchen used to be in the basement, in the Victorian epoque, the servants had this beautiful kitchen to work in, with a garden view”, the castle guide told us.
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Another part of the Tearooms.
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Outside the Tearooms, in the backyard of the castle, having Latte and Lemon Meringue pie.
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I found these carvings on trees very creative and great to capture kids’ imagination.
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The black sky over a building claimed by nature.
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A place to hide from the rain.
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How cool is this fountain covered in moss and surrounded by vegetation?
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Never have I seen an apple tree growing on a wall.
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Dalai Llama!
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Nicely build greenhouse.
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I don’t know what creatures those are but they look like smth I’d like to have as a home pet.
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A little Buddha, meditating in the forest.
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Big tree, small man, and house.
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Look at the shamrock shadow the sun makes on the wall!
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The grote and it’s beautiful interior architecture.
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A Tibetan inspired place.
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The biggest lilies I have ever seen!

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The loveliest little railway trip

There are many wonderful and exciting stories fueled by trips on the railway, from Orient Express to Darjeeling limited (see the movie),  but this here post is about a different railway trip, short, charming and family friendly, called Waterford Suir Valley, in Ireland.

The train station in the discussion is located just outside the village of Kilmeaden, 15 min car drive from Waterford city. Once you get there you’ll see a restored railway carriage that serves as the ticket office and shop. You buy your ticket and then get on board of a period, partially open, carriage, that goes only 15 km per hour along the picturesque banks of the River Suir. On the way you get a glimpse of the world-famous Mount Congreve Gardens and my favorite part, you get to make a wish while passing through The magic wood. They say fairies live here (small wooden houses similar to birds houses have been build in trees to prove it) and apparently the fairies will fulfill your wish if you are pure at heart! Anyways, this is an area rich in history as well as stories and is only accessible by train.

And here are some photos:

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The Decluttering Lifestyle Trend That Is Taking Over

I have discovered a very interesting article on Forbes, that I want you people to read . It explains quite nicely why this new millennial generation is going for a more minimalist, simple and meaningful life, and why this lifestyle is more than a trend because it is actually based on solid values.

I am one of the people that embrace this lifestyle, even though my love for antiques and beautifully made things make me find it very hard to stick to basics in my wardrobe and house. What I do is try to keep the things that I really really love and spotlight them. For example, if I want a heavy, nicely crafted piece of furniture in my house, I try to leave space around it, to keep it minimalist in the rest. My style is a mix of, let’s say, 70% minimalist, 30% amazing clutter.

But I’ll say no more and let you judge if this is a sustainable lifestyle for you and how you would personalize it to make it comfortable and suit your needs.

 

 

 

Meet your new best friends.

Meet Kelli and Daniel here. They are the founders of fitnessblender.com, yes, a site about fitness but none of the usual routine that I’ve seen around on the Internet or in the gym, their programmes are actually diverse, easy if you choose too- you get to choose from 10-minute programmes to 5-day challenges- and fun! They really will become your friends.

I’ve already done the 5-day challenge twice, in the last two months, and I try to do some 30 minutes workouts three times a week, you can try as well  10 minutes, daily, if you don’t have time for more and you want to start really easy. Fitnessblender.com even has programmes for “people who get bored easily“, that would be me,  and I know there are a couple of others like me out there, as well.

Besides the programmes, they always give free advice on nutrition, which proves very helpful. You really should try this, I am not very organised nor am I a very sporty person but since “meeting” those guys, I’ve really felt like taking more care of my body,  and now it feels stronger or at least strong enough, like in Cher’s song. 😉

You can do it!

Hometown holiday special

First of all, a little history. I was born in 1983, in a small town surrounded by hills, called Moreni, Dambovita. In 1861, Moreni became the first place in Romania (and third in the world) where oil was extracted so it became quite famous for that. Until it had me, of course.

So every Christmas of my 32 years old existence I have returned back to this wonderland to refuel (pun intended) and basically get mom to cook for me and allow me to have afternoon naps, snacks in bed and cheesy movies marathons.

And every Christmas since high school I go back to the same old bar called Roata (The cartwheel). This is what I’m going to present in this post. The owner and architect of this place, Radu Priscu, is this genius man that used to be an engineer during the communism period and inventor of some machines that apparently made life easier for his co-workers back then. After communism, he built Roata as a workshop for his art (he is also a great painter) and eventually turned it into a bar.

Now here is a small video (I’m no pro in filming, but you’ ll get the picture)

 

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Radu Priscu, the Renaissance man (inventor, builder, artist, etc)

 

What I missed to say in the video is that I love the squeak of the old wood floor upstairs and the old rock music they play at nights, and I hope you’ll visit this bar if ever in Moreni, Romania!

And last but not least, Happy cosy and fun holidays people!

PS: Thanks dad for lending me your camera!