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Enchanting Iasi

"Magia baloanelor" is what brought me here. I volunteered at the festival. This way I got to meet Raluca, the person behind this beautiful initiative. "Magia baloanelor" is a festival with hot air balloons, the only event of this type in Romania. This year is the second edition. The festival is held in Razboieni, a village near Iasi. Yesterday after the meeting with all volunteers I had the chance to talk over a coffee cup with Raluca. My first question was: How did you come up with this idea? And she said: "Two years ago some friends came back from their holiday from Cappadocia and shared their experience with hot air balloons. I was in maternity leave at that time and I couldn't travel abroad with small children to experience that. And then it hit me: If I can't go to a hot air balloons festival, let's have one here". It's not easy to organize this kind of festival, but this doesn't stop her. The weather here is not very favorable for flying, and there is a risk for the flights to be cancelled and people don't understand all the time. She was telling me: "People are the biggest challenge". More insights from the festival in my next post.
Another wonderful man I met in Iasi is Mr. Dumitru Grumazescu, the owner of  an antique shop on Lăpușneanul passage way. The entrance is guarded by a big dog and a smaller one. My first instinct was to go back but the voice of the librarian assured me they will not harm me. Once you're inside you loose track of time. I made myself comfortable in an armchair and searched through boxes full with postcards.
Two cats are keeping company to the dog-watchers.
One of the cats in the spotlights
Mr. Grumazescu was very kind and offered me a piece of "cozonac" and in return I listened to his stories. He has sight problems since childhood and doctors forbade him to read. One day he found a book in the hospital with poems of Eminescu. That's how the passion for Eminescu blossomed and now he has an impressive collection with him. He used to charm the ladies with poetry under Eminescu's Linden Tree.
 At the end of my visit I had the opportunity to see his collection of miniature books.
Enough about wonderful people, it's time for magical places.

I will start with the apartment I rented. I will let the photos talk for themselves.
A warm welcome 😻😻😻

Books, books, books 

Friday 7.30am - Windstorm, Somewhere on the left side is The Culture Palace

2pm - snow starts to melt down
5pm Junimea Park - Bye-bye winter! Spring is coming.
I did one stop to Fika to take a warm tea. Nice and cozy coffee shop. They accept credit cards and you can enjoy your drink inside.
Unirii Square with Alexandru Ioan Cuza statue. Clear sky

A sidewalk from Lăpușneanul passage way

More books on Lăpușneanul passage way
The next morning I had the meeting with the volunteers near University. On my way there I stopped to a coffee shop (of course).
No one was hurt!

@Prajitorul din Oz
Uuu.. Some stairs. I wonder where they will take me? Râpa Galbenă or  Esplanda Elisabeta is the passage from Copou Boulevard and Train station.
And then I got lost on this hallway...
Sabin Bălaşa Frescoes Gallery at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University
One corner of the same university. Sun is up!
Then I made a stop in "Cuib" for a healthy lunch.
Carrot cream soup, vegan tart and a delicious muffin with apples. This was the daily lunch option and it's only 17 RON, all with natural ingredients.


Smiley flower pot!

A few minutes later, a curious cat is watching inside
View towards National Theater Park from  Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt Boulevard

In front is The Culture Palace. View from  Ștefan cel Mare și Sfânt Boulevard

Inside The Culture Palace
 Views from the Clock's Tower:

View towards Palas Park

Bahlui's Left bank -  in front, the Stone bridge 
The next day I went back to the Palace to visit the four museums: Art Museum, Ethnographic Museum, 'Ștefan Procopiu' Science & Technical Museum and History Museum. The lady from the counter made me a discount cause she didn't believe me I am an adult. 
Stained glass inside the Palace

Wedding Crowns and Rings @ Ethnographic Museum

Grape stomping. The tradition says the wine tastes better if  barefoot virgins are stomping on grapes.

1st floor of the Palace

Street organ @ 'Ștefan Procopiu' Science & Technical Museum

Coffee machine @ the same museum 

Public phone from Iasi Rail Station around 1900.

The remains of a citadel @ History Museum 

Courage! There is no escape. You have to cross the glass.
And here ends my story.


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