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another daughter's homage to her father, i need to get in touch with my romanian origins... in moldavia

another daughter's homage to her father, i need to get in touch with my romanian origins... in moldavia

Old Nov 9th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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another daughter's homage to her father, i need to get in touch with my romanian origins... in moldavia

i just learned that my father, who passed away two months ago, was indeed born in bacau, moldavia, in the eastern part of romania. i must go to my father's hometown to see where he was born,find his birth certificate and also visit what was my grandfather's fruit farm. i'm planning to go next spring, and i would love to visit around! i see most of the wonderful posts here have great ideas for traveling around transylvania, but i don't see anything about the region of moldavia or the city of bacau... please let me know, thanks lavici.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Well, what do you want to know?

Bacau, if we're honest, is a pretty grim place: mostly Ceausescu-era blocks of flats and a few factories.

The extreme east of Moldavia region, where it borders the current republic of Moldova, is quite pretty, in a slightly undulating rural way. Iasi (pronounced Yash), the traditional capital of the occasionally independent Moldavia, has some impressive Victorian buildings, and pretty active student life. And the painted monasteries in the north of the country are worth visiting.

But Ceasescu developed a series of pretty unprepossessing towns - Bacau, Vaslui, Barlad and Suceava - which had adequate industry, but really little to attract visitors, though there are a few pretty things in Suceava, which is rather more nicely situated than the other towns.

I occasionally bump into Jews around the world whose forbears came from the area round Suceava, and there seems to be an unpleasant, and little-documented, history of anti-semitism in the area. Certainly it's striking how quickly locals clam up when you ask them about the recent history of the area.

There are Wikipedia articles about the main towns. We've only found the monasteries worth visiting much as tourists: I've spent a depressing proportion of the past decade or so visiting the area for work, and really can't see much to get interested in. Mrs F reckons Moldova has more going for it.

For genealogical advice, www.familysearch.org has background notes on searching in most European countries. The Vaslui valley is of some palaeontological importance, and you'll find more help by googling Moldavia and palaeontology
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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dear flanneruk: thank you so very very much. my father was born in 1912( was ceaucescu in power?) and it seems my grandfather had a house in regina st in bacau, and fruit farm outside of bacau, either called bratila or on a place called bratila. i had read somewhere that there was a nice part of moldavia with beautiful monasteries ( could you tell me which ones are worth visiting up north?) and a place worth also visiting called the red lake... while most tourists preferred transylvania?
as i need to look up his papers, i will spend at least 2-3 weeks in the country, so i would like to visit around with my daughters. it's an adventure for me, you could say almost a paleontological one to find out more about my fatherīs life and family before and during the war,( i will check out the site you recommend) even though i may not like everything i find. he came to venezuela in 1942, changed his surname and i was born and raised in venezuela as a catholic, but due to the antisemitism, you tell me about and the nazi persecution i understand his reticence in revealing his past.
i gather you live in romania? thank you thank you thank you... lavici
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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hi flanneruk: i found the post with recommendations for moldovia: or is ti moldova the country?:
"Anotehr option - visit Moldova, with the painted churches ,from 16th century - the paintings are on exterior walls.
Visit Agapia, Varatec, Voronetz Monasteries.
Then go to Cheile Bicazului (Bicaz canion) , Lacul Rosu (Red Lake)."
are you familiar with these places? thanks again... from caracas... lavici
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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No, Ceaucescu was not in power in 1912 but then I don't think much remains on foot after WWII and Ceaucescu obsession on BIG and awful buildings.
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 05:29 PM
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thanks kenderina: forgive my ignorance, i have just wikied ceaucescu to find out more about him, as i remember hearing about him when i was a teenager. and unfortunately we are now suffering in venezuela from the strongman's syndrome with our own "president" so...i understand bacau is not very beautiful but mostly industrial. do you know of beautiful places in moldavia worth visiting around bacau? or on our way from bucharest to bacau? thanks lavici
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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You might be interested in my trip report, although we did not go as far east as you plan to.

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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 06:31 PM
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hi michael thanks i need all the help so i will read it ASAP! lavici
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Old Nov 9th, 2007, 10:12 PM
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My cousin and I are planning the exact same thing next April. Our fathers' family is from Falticini, near Suceava. We are looking for places to stay in Falticini right now but having a hard time. But in Suceava it appears there are a lot more choices. We are eager to see what we find.
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Old Nov 10th, 2007, 12:54 AM
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No I don't live in Romania. I've just spent a lot ofthe past 15 years travelling to factories in Moldavia. I really can't claim to be an expert on the area's tourist attractions, because there's really been little time - and people in Moldavia really haven't been that interested in pointing out whatever attractions the area may have.

The painted monasteries around Voronets are in the Romanian region of Moldavia, as are Cheile Bicazului and Lacul Rosu.

If you really didn't know who Ceausescu was, I really, really, think you should update yourself on the past 50 years of Romanian history before worrying about trivia like tourist atractions. Apart from whatever horrors made people flee the country before 1945, the horrors Ceausescu (and his grisly predecessor) inflicted on the people of Romania afterwards has scarred most Romanians. And the country's traumatic reaction to the the overthrow of Ceausescu in 1989 has created - and goes on creating - still more scars.

It's impossible to do anything in Romania without having a reasonable understanding of what practically everyone in the country over 15 has gone through. And if they didn't go through it, they were almost certainly implicated in doing it to their fellow-citizens.
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Old Nov 10th, 2007, 01:01 AM
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I agree with Flanner. Vital to understand the ethnic and economic/political hell that occured in the last 50 years or so. Also pretty improtant to read around basic history from say 1350. Any good travel guide will give you few pages on the latter and put you in context.
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Old Nov 10th, 2007, 10:52 AM
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dear flanneruk: forgive my ignorance, i just wikied ceaucescu to find out more about his regime, specifically the years he came into power and the coup that brought him down. i remember hearing about him when i was a teenager, when he was toppled and the corruption charges that extended to his wife elena and his eventual death. though, not thru my father.
of course i understand what these people went thru, because i'm from a "3rd world country" whatever that means to someone from a "developed country". i was born in caracas during a right wing military dictatorship, that was overthrown when i was only 4 years old, and after 40 years of democracy unfortunately we are NOW suffering again in venezuela from the strongman's "lefty revolution syndrome" with our own "democratically elected" "president CHAVEZ" who wants to change our constitution to perpetuate himself in power indefinetely ceaucesculeninistcastro style. so i know perfectly well where i'm going... precisely that is why i have to go to bacau, to see where my father was born, find out about my grandfatherīs properties, and to find my fatherīs papers to prove he was romanian so I, can obtain a romanian citizenship and passport just in case i need to flee my own country ASAP! it's ironic is it not? that venezuela was the plan B for my father's freedom and new life, and now romania with all it's scars, and potholes from it's very turbulent past may very well soon be mine. so even though i wasnīt sure what years was ceucescu exactly in power, rest assured that i know exactly where i'm going... but it doesn't hurt to try and see the beautiful side of a country that may well prove to be a déja vu for what mine could become. lavici
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Old Nov 10th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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>>> precisely that is why i have to go to bacau, to see where my father was born, find out about my grandfatherīs properties<<<

I understand you very well, but I also doubt very much that you will find what you are looking for. Ceasescu not only built those huge ugly buildings and towns, he demolished old towns before building new. He also demolished farms, and forced people to move into his newly built towns.

I usually hate death penalty and all violence, but I didnīt feel sorry when I saw Ceasescuīs (+ Elenaīs) execution.
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Old Nov 10th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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hi elina... thank you. yes, i know that they demolished the nice old buildings, and built horrid concrete soviet era ones. i'm not expecting to really find them pretty or in one piece, but the fact that i just learned i'm part romanian and i couldn't ever talk with my father about his place of birth. just only now after my father's death i found out he was born there in bacau...it's too emotionally compelling for me.
i'm going to find his papers, and yes,my relatives from canada tell me the communists took the farm away from the family. i just need to go and see for myself what is romania about. i want to smell,taste, see and hear for myself. eventhough my father is buried here in his beloved adopted country next to my mother, i want go with my daughters take his photograph and place it there where the farm use to be, with some flowers. i'm not expecting to find beautiful buildings there, just to feel the place.
i have a venezuelan friend who lived in bucharest for 4 years while her husband worked with a foreign company, and she LOVED living there, made many friends, with whom she visited around the countryside.
everybody talks about how beautiful is transylvania, but i don't read much about moldavia. i will investigate before my spring trip but of course i will welcome any help or opinions or suggestions....thanks again...lavici
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