How the RAWMANIA TRAVEL journey started.
I started working on the draft of the Rawmania project in March 2018 and decided I am gonna spend my remaining days of leave for the year and pretty much all my savings on a journey to travel Romania, on a trip where I would create content.
Bear in mind that I had no idea about how much work and effort this is gonna take. I was just excited that the project I was talking about for months will take shape.
Day 1 of the Romania travel journey.
It was the second week of August 2018 when we left my hometown heading to Cluj. It was me and a part of the Blackboard crew. Namely V, Razvan and Alexandra. These incredible people had the patience, motivation and drive to push me into giving my best. Even in those days where I doubted myself. An honest thank you for your support.
The heat outside was almost unbearable. Gone are the breezy summer days of my childhood. I was still recovering from a massive rave at a music festival that took place in Cluj a week before.
I was drunk for about four days in a row.
Even now after a week I had alcohol in my bloodstream.What a blast I had, only that the remaining alcohol plus the heat plus being in a car was not the greatest recipe. I was hanging like a motherflying dog.
We reached Cluj in the afternoon. And started off at the botanical garden. With zero plans and no script. Cause that’s how you keep things interesting and exciting.
The garden proved to be a blessing. The shade and breezy air from the river were a real life saviour. Now, don’t imagine you’re gonna find something like the Botanical Garden in Sydney or Singapore. No. It’s a more raw version, true to Romania’s feeling, but nonetheless enjoyable. You can easily spend two, three hours there away from the hustle and bustle.
Next we hit the downtown. Packed with cafes and restaurants and as we were about to find out packed with tourists as well. Did some shots in the central square, marked by this amazing Gothic church.
Followed a guided tour and goofed around behind them. Talked a little about Romanian food and then stopped for a beer cause we were damn thirsty. Late in the afternoon when we were done with all this and we decided to wrap it up and hit the sack. Here’s the result. Please laugh at nervous me in front of the camera for the first time, I sure did!
Day 2 of the Romania travel journey.
Early morning next day, we headed towards Turda Salt Mine. A mine used about hundred years ago for salt extraction and now turned into a tourist attraction. We went hundred meters underground to wonder at the beauty of this place. But it was not my day. I was quiet since morning. I woke up with my head spinning full of doubtful thoughts.
Am I really doing this?
Putting myself out there? What if people are not gonna like it? What if people are not gonna understand what I wanna do? I should’ve listen to my parents, find a job and mind my life. What are my Romanians gonna say? Are they gonna laugh at me? S*hit, f*ck! Stooop!
This is what was going through my head while shooting at the salt mine. The crew tried to lift my spirits but I far from giving 100%.
That was that. Had a solid afternoon nap. And when I woke up asked myself one question.
But what if it works?
What if I can turn this dream into reality? That and a few shots of “liquid courage” put me back on my mood. Even on a doubtfull day my journey to bring Romania into RAWMANIA TRAVEL looked pretty damn decent.
Day 3 of the Romania travel journey.
We were driving to Rimetea and as I was still quite nervous in front of the camera we decided I’ll stay on my “meds” for the day. As soon as we parked I took a big sip of “liquid courage” and we started shooting.
This amazing village is located close to the heart of the Apuseni Mountains and has the most spectacular backdrop. All the houses retained their original architecture. They were recently renovated with much care by the locals. White facades with green shutters. Gorgeous.
We met a kind gentleman that invited us to see how he transformed his house in a museum and saved the old watermill. We then found ourselves at the village’s well, where some ladies were doing laundry. Think of it as a public laundromat but without the washing machines.
Next we hiked the mountain ridge for a panoramic view of Rimetea. Must say we worked a sweat. But hey, who in their right mind drinks gulps of Jagermeister before a hike?
Me when I’m nervous it seems.
The view from up there is spectacular. We shot some great scenes and then headed back, packed the gear and drove off to Rosia Montana.
Day 4 of the Romania travel journey.
Rosia Montana is romania’s gold capital. It has the largest gold deposits in Europe. Gold mines functioned here since ancient times, the old Roman tunnels stand witness. The mining stopped. Because of a very controversial affair between our government and a Canadian mining corporation. They were planning to use cyanide for extraction.
The whole thing culminated with rallies against the extraction. And a major campaign that involved some of our best known actors delivering a heartbreaking message. You can check this link and also this one to watch the messages. But I have to warn you they are very visual and will get you quite emotional.
After about three hours of driving through some breathtaking mountain villages we reached. Found a place to stay and so we wrapped up the third day.
Woke up early next day and went in search of the perfect set. I visited this place five years back and found this hill with a single bench on it and an amazing view. It looked like something out of a movie set. The plan was that I’ll do my project introduction video there. The only problem was that I couldn’t remember where exactly this bench was.
As we walked around I found myself transported in time. [Talk about a walk on memory lane] Back to my childhood summers spent in my grandparents hamlet. A place that I am very fond of. A moment that the crew managed to catch on camera.
Of course we never found the damn bench, but the hike was such a treat. We found this big rock with an exceptional panoramic view of the village. There we did countless takes till I finally managed to deliver a decent speech. To tell you how nervous I was it’s pointless.
I was nervous. Finding the right words to sum up the purpose of this project was not easy.
Because this was gonna be my first message to you. This could make it or break it. It is far from perfect filming and editing but that is not the most important. The message mattered more for me.
Now you tell me if you get what I am talking about here?
And that is the wrap-up for the first 4 days of the trip. Did you think that is is? No way! Let’s discover together more breathtaking places from Romania.