Archives for the month of: January, 2012

We met up with our good friends R, K, and RD in Vienna a couple of days after Christmas. Unfortunately we didn’t catch the famous Christmas markets, but the city was still decorated for the season, which was nice. We didn’t have any snow in any of the cities we visited which was really great. Anyway, so Vienna… We really liked Vienna. We mainly just did a lot of walking around, eating, and going to museums. A lot of museums on this trip. Both Curt’s and my favorite attractions were the opera house and Schunbrun palace. But really, it was just fun walking around the city. It is a beautiful city with so much character and so many different styles of architecture. And I think it would be a great city to visit in the summer as well.

The Secession. 1897.

Demel, a really old confectionery shop.

Vienna Parliament 1883.

Vienna City Hall. 1883.

Open market between Linke Wienzeile and Rechte Wienzeile.


We arrived in Bucharest the day after Christmas and flew to Vienna that evening. (Flights are much cheaper from Bucharest than from Chisinau.) Since we arrived at 7:00 am and our flight wasn’t until 8:00 pm, we decided to spend the day seeing the city. Unfortunately because it was December 26, nothing was open. We still had a fun time walking around the city though. I have heard a lot of people say that Bucharest isn’t a nice city, but both Curt and I really enjoyed it, and it was nice that it felt like we had it all to ourselves. One other great thing about Bucharest is the language. The people speak so clearly and slowly. It was SO nice. As volunteers we learn literal Romanian, so it is hard when we get to our villages and don’t understand a lot of what is said. Another nice thing about Romania is how inexpensive it is, especially for being an EU country. They use the Romanian Leu (ROM).

Parliament Palace. 1983. Largest governmental administrative building in the world with 12 stories, 1,100 rooms, 2 underground parking structures, 4 underground levels, and a floorspace of 3,700,000 sq feet.

Romanian Savings Bank. The only bank allowed to do business during the communism period, which ended in 1989.

Kretzulescu Church. 1720. Restored in 1935.

Romanian Athenaeum. 1888. Concert hall

University Library

Carol I of Romania.

Arch of Truimph. 1936.

We spent our Christmas 2011 morning with our good friends R, K, and RD in Chișinău. We received a package from my very awesome brother, sister-in-law and their kids that had a mentos geyser in it, so that was a fun activity for all of us to do, especially RD the 5 year old. On Christmas Eve we played the Christmas tree game (their family tradition) and ate a lot. It was wonderful. We received another package from my other awesome brother, sister-in-law and their three kids with delicious cheese popcorn and chocolate covered cinnamon bears (heaven), so we shared these goodies with everybody. On Christmas morning we read the Christmas story and watched RD open presents. (Curt and I enjoyed our present to each other over the following 11 days in București, Vienna, Prague, Dresden, and Berlin.) Then it was off to church for an hour and back home to make the Adams family traditional Christmas morning breakfast burritos. And at 5:30 we were off to București (more to come!) on the overnight train with some of our PC friends, K and M. While we definitely missed our family and friends back home, but it was nice to be able to spend the holidays with good friends who have been like family to us here.

Merry Christmas!

This eggplant and tomato sauce is one of our favorites in Moldova. It is another great sauce for dipping bread, using for pizza, and over pastas.

8-10 eggplants
7-8 bell peppers, red or light green
6-8 medium onions, chopped
8-10 medium carrots, grated
4-5 kilograms ripe tomatoes, grated

Bake the eggplants and peppers in a hot oven until soft through, usually about an hour. Meanwhile, clean the onions, carrots, and tomatoes. Chop the onions and grate the carrots. Either grate the tomatoes or put them through a food processor to separate the skins. Discard the skins.  When the eggplant and peppers are done, chop the peppers, and squeeze out the innards of the eggplants discarding the skin. Meanwhile, saute the onions in oil until translucent, about 10 minutes. Be sure not to burn them. Add the carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Mix well, and add salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Cook for an hour or two and then can it.

Pofta Bună!