April 25th – May 2nd 2020
Our photo tours focus on taking you to places, which have a unique appeal to photographers. We seek the beauty of landscape and seascape, the heritage of cultural diversity and the bustle of street and marketplaces. Effectively, photography through geography.
Our tours will seek the best moments, light and opportunities to compose shots, which reflect upon those inimitable moments. We feel it is of value to immerse ourselves in local culture through, not only people and landscapes, but also, where feasible, through culinary experience and accommodation, which is culturally sympathetic.
Interaction and understanding and, where feasible, spending time with people, makes moments and images more meaningful.
‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see’.
Transylvania and Maramures regions in Romania hold some of the last truly rural places in Europe. Step back in time and capture the life of people in bucolic villages and the charm of old medieval towns of Transylvania. While wandering the country you will also get the chance to photograph beautiful countryside and landscape and to get in touch with artisans who carry on centuries old traditions.
Alternative Visions with Light Motives Traditions through Time in Transylvania Tour April 25th – May 2nd 2020
Day 1 Saturday, April 25, 2020
You will arrive in Bucharest and be transferred to a hotel located in the heart of the city. Depending on the time of your arrival you can have dinner and relax or you can explore the older part of the city. You will also meet with your photo tour leader, local guide and the other photographers participating in the tour.
- Accommodation in Bucharest
Day 2 Sunday, April 26, 2020
Today we travel to Sibiu where you will spend the entire day, walking on the cobbled streets of this beautiful Saxon town with historic buildings and eye-catching roofs. The town was built mostly by German Saxon settlers starting with the 12th century so besides interesting street photo opportunities it is also interesting to learn about its history. During the golden/blue hour you will have a photo shoot in the old center of the town.
- Accommodation in Sibiu
- Drive time: 4h30
Day 3 Monday, April 27, 2020
We start the day with a visit to a glass making factory to see how they make glass objects by the old blowing technique. Then we visit a forested area to see traditional charcoal making. Here we see how charcoal is made by burning wood for a long period of time and have an opportunity to interact and photograph the workers.
In the evening we arrive in Viscri, a well preserved traditional village from Transylvania and a UNESCO World heritage site. Viscri is a favorite place of HRH Prince Charles of Wales who owns a house here and visits regularly.
- Accommodation in Viscri
- Drive time: 2h
Day 4 Tuesday, April 28, 2020
We spend the early morning on the streets of Viscri village as it is an interesting time of the day, when people start their activities. Local farmers with milk carts and cows are gathered and led to the pastures by a herdsman. In the middle of the village, we visit a fortified church built by the German-Saxons in the 13th century, a place of prayer for the villagers but also of shelter when enemies attacked the village. Photographic opportunity abounds.
We also pass by the bakery to see how traditional bread is made in the region. The method is quite unique as they let the bread burn in the oven until the exterior gets black and then beat the bread with a stick in order to remove the burnt crust. We also meet a black-smith whose working is still in demand in the area and we may see and photograph him while shoeing a horse.
- Accommodation in Viscri
Day 5 Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Today we travel to Sighisoara, a very well preserved and beautiful medieval town in the heart of the country, built by the German-Saxons in the 12th century. We wander the narrow-cobbled streets in search of the best perspectives to photograph the colorful historic buildings. Here we get an insight into gypsy culture as you we visit a Roma family and learn about their unique traditions. The man is a copper-smith and you will be able to photograph him and his family.
In the afternoon we will travel to Maramures region in the Northern part of Romania. Historically, Maramures used to be part of the wider region of Transylvania.
- Accommodation in Ieud
- Drive time: 5h30
Day 6 Thursday, April 30, 2020
We travel to Sapanta to see the Merry Cemetery. Here the wooden crosses are decorated with poems telling the story of the deceased. We will also meet the man that makes the crosses and visit his workshop. We discover more of the traditional rural life and people of Maramures region in the village of Sarbi. We visit a brandy distillery to learn how the locals process the fruit to obtain the strong horinca (fruit brandy), a natural whirlpool, an old mill and a thresher operated by a water stream which still functions today. At returning to Leud we visit the wooden church of the village, which typifies the Maramures region.
- Accommodation in Leud
- Drive time: 3h
Day 7 Friday, May 1, 2020
We start the day by traveling to Viseu de Sus where we photograph one of the few steam trains still functioning in Europe. As the train travels through the village, forests and by the river we will have a few different opportunities to capture it in motion.
We then travel back to Transylvania to the city of Cluj-Napoca.
- Accommodation in Cluj-Napoca (Transylvania region)
Day 8 Saturday, May 2, 2020
Transfer to the airport from where you will take a flight back home hopefully with some good memories of Romania (Transylvania and Maramures) and great pictures on your camera.
- Accommodation for 7 nights in standard double room (with private bathroom), breakfast included:
- 1 night in Bucharest (25-26.04), at 4* Hotel Capitol (https://hotelcapitol.ro/ ), has elevator
- 1 night in Sibiu, Transylvania region (19-20.04), at Hotel Casa Luxemburg 3* (http://www.casaluxemburg.ro), 8 rooms, no elevator
- 2 nights in Viscri, Transylvania region (26-28.04), at Viscri 125 3* rural guesthouse (http://www.viscri125.ro), 11 rooms, no elevator.
- 2 nights in Leud at Casa Traditiilor rural guesthouse (http://casatraditiilor.ro/ ), 11 rooms, no elevator
- 1 night in Cluj at 4* Hotel Beyfin (http://www.hotelbeyfin.com ), has elevator.
- We choose to stay in rural guesthouses as they offer a more traditional experience than large hotels and they are closer to better photo opportunities. The rooms are comfortable and clean and have en-suite bathroom.
- The difference between a rural guesthouse and a hotel is that at a rural guesthouse usually there is no 24h reception, meals are served as a set menu (not a la carte), there is no bar, in some places internet only works in the dining area, towels are not changed daily or the room is not done daily, there is no AC (not needed since they are in mountainous areas), no elevators. By staying in these places, we feel like we are in Romania, not in any generic hotel (apart from the hotel in Bucharest and Cluj)
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner (starting with dinner on day 1 and ending with breakfast on day 8)
- Meals normally include a soup or a starter, main dish, a desert, water and coffee and a drink (a glass of juice/soft drink). For the last dinner wine is also included.
- Entrance tickets, including the additional fees for taking pictures:
- Sapanta Merry Cemetery
- Leud wooden church
- Viscri fortified church
- Visits to craftsmen, workshops and communities mentioned in the itinerary
- Private transfers from the airport to hotel on the first day and from hotel to airport as guests come in and depart, even if they are arriving or leaving at different times.
- English speaking tour guide services throughout the program (accommodation and meals are included).
- Transfers and all transport around Transylvania
The cost of the tour is €2500.
To reserve a place there is a deposit of €500
The single supplement is €150. Based on 4-6 people travelling.
Payment is also possible by Bank Transfer and also by PayPal, in this case an additional 5% will be added to cover the transaction fees (PayPal).
The final balance is due three months prior to departure.
Services not included/additional costs
Alcohol and your own retail therapy!
You will also need some extra money for tips for drivers, local guides etc. This shared between all participants.
I will send out medical forms, gear lists, additional information on the tribes, travel liability forms at a later stage.
If you have any questions please contact me by email or telephone firstname.lastname@example.org +353872825851