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April 2019

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Romania has many breathtaking natural sceneries and a long list of attractions that make it worth exploring on your next holiday. If you’re looking for a destination where the entire family can have fun and learn something new, Romania will surprise you with plenty of great places and a variety of things to do that you can’t find somewhere else and will keep your kids entertained. From medieval castles to waterparks, from national reservations to museums that kids will love, here are the top Romanian destinations to include on your family vacation:

  • Visit Dracula’s Castle

This list couldn’t start with anything other than Bran Castle, Transylvania’s most famous attraction, which has become so widely known due to the castle’s association with count Dracula. Although you won’t get to see any vampires roaming around, this won’t make your experience any less enjoyable since the castle does come with a strong medieval feeling and a fascinating history that will make your kids curious. Once you step inside, you’ll discover a creepy and very old interior unlike anything your kids have ever seen: winding staircases and corridor mazes will give you the feeling that you might come across a scary figure during your tour before stumbling into rooms showcasing medieval decorations and life.

Visit Dracula’s Castle

Visit Dracula’s Castle

  • Peles Castle

While Bran Castle might be popular for its connection to vampire stories, you shouldn’t miss Peles Castle from your itinerary. We all know how much kids like fairytales and once you show them a picture of Peles Castle there’s no way to not go there! Formerly the Summer residence of the Royal Family, the inside of the castle is so beautifully decorated and preserved that your kids will feel like they’ve entered the home of their favorite prince or princess. There are tours in Brasov that will take you to visit the castle and having a guide will be a great opportunity learn about our country’s fascinating history.

Peles Castle

Peles Castle

  • Spend a day at Brasov’s Parc Aventura

If you’re still in the Brasov area you should look into visiting Parc Aventura, a place of excitement and adrenaline that children in particular will enjoy. With over 180 games and 14 tracks of varying difficulty, this huge outdoor adventure site incorporates climb up ladders, hang on wires, zip lines over the lake and many other thrilling features. There are routes available for children of all ages, so even if your kids are under 8 years old they’ll be able to engage in some fun games.

Parc Aventura

Parc Aventura

  • Go on a day trip on Transfagarasan Road

Reaching up to 2046 meters in altitude and stretching over 90 kilometers, driving on Transfagaran Road’s twists and turns is something your family shouldn’t miss out on. The road features several twists and turns before reaching Balea lake at its highest point. The entire drive on this beautiful mountain pass is filled with places where you should stop and admire the breathtaking views of Transylvania and towering crests of Fagaras Mts. The jaw-dropping beautiful scenery will make this driving experience one of the most spectacular road trips you will remember!

Transfagarasan Road

Transfagarasan Road

  • Visit rescued bears at Libearty Bear Sanctuary

Established to offer shelter for bears exploited, abandoned or mistreated, Libearty Bear Sanctuary rescued over 70 bears which are now hosted in a protected forested area with habitat conditions appropriate for them. Visiting this 70 hectares hazel and oak forest in the Carpathian Mountains located close to the town of Zarnesti will give your kids the opportunity to see and learn about the life of bears up-close on a guided tour. Keep in mind that Libearty Sanctuary is not a zoo and its purpose is to educate people and future generations of the importance of protecting wildlife. Seeing happy bears in their natural environment isn’t something you can do any day, so it’s certainly worth the trip and kids are always fascinated.

Libearty Bear Sanctuary

Libearty Bear Sanctuary

  • A couple of hours at Turda Salt Mine

Being one of the oldest salt mines in the world, Salina Turda should be on your Romanian must-see list. Once you step inside you will discover a fascinating underground world beautifully decorated with ambient lights and – to much surprise – an amusement park that will keep the entire family busy. The museum, the Ferris wheel, the underground lake or various play areas – choose your favorite!

Turda Salt Mine

Turda Salt Mine

  • Check out “Lucia Condrea” International Museum of Painted Eggs

If you get to Bucovina region during your holiday in Romania, make sure to check out the Lucia Condrea International Museum of Painted Eggs in Moldovita. Egg painting is a traditional and very old Romanian craft carefully preserved in this region and at the museum you will find an impressive collection with over 5000 painted eggs on display. This place is the ideal spot if you are visiting the country near Easter when eggs are painted. You can even join an egg-painting workshop – kids will love the experience!

International Museum of Painted Eggs

International Museum of Painted Eggs

  • The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

If the Museum of Painted Eggs made you fall in love with Bucovina and you’d like to explore this region a little bit more, you should also go on a tour to see the famous UNESCO Painted Monasteries. Your children will enjoy looking at the colorful buildings while you and your spouse can admire their intricate artwork and hear stories of how these monasteries were founded and painted. All 8 of them are quite impressive, but if you don’t have time to see all of them the top three choices should be Voronet, Moldovita and Sucevita Monastery.

Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

  • Go on a train ride from Otravita to Anina while in Banat

If you think there’s nothing that can get your kids excited about trains that’s because they haven’t been on a slow and scenic train ride, like the one between Oravita-Anina in Banat region, close to Timisoara. This is the oldest mountain railway in South-Eastern Europe and, make no mistake, it isn’t your usual boring train ride. Travelling at 35 km/h and two hours long, you will pass tunnels, bridges, and viaducts with views of picturesque valleys, traditional villages and Banat’s impressive mountain scenery. You won’t feel the hours go by and your kids will be entertained by the many things they will see!

from Otravita to Anina while in Banat

from Otravita to Anina while in Banat

  • Explore the Danube Delta

Children are known to be wildlife enthusiasts and there is no better place in Romania to discover a well-preserved habitat with rare species of birds and plants than the Danube Delta. A UNESCO biosphere reservation, the Delta is a magical garden crisscrossed by canals and dotted with fisherman villages. There are plenty family-friendly activities to do during your stay there – go on bird-watching tours, take your kids to the summer open-air film festival Anonimul or teach them how paddle a kayak or fish – there’s no better place for that!

Explore the Danube Delta

Explore the Danube Delta

  • Head to Constanta and check out the city’s abandoned Casino

Situated on the shores of the Black Sea, the abandoned Casino building in Constanta is an attraction that will impress the entire family. As you contemplate this magnificent-buy-decaying building that once used to be Constanta’s Monte Carlo, you can imagine how glamorous evenings in the 1930s used to be. After a peaceful walk along the Black Sea promenade (and hundreds of amazing selfies later!), make sure to check out the Delfinarium – the kids will surely enjoy seeing dolphins do all sorts of tricks!

abandoned Casino building in Constanta

abandoned Casino building in Constanta

  • A beach break in Mamaia

While the Carpathian Mountains of Romania offer plenty of things to do, if your kids love swimming, sunbathing and playing in the sand, why not spend a few days at the beach? The resort of Mamaia just North of Constanta is a popular choice, but other family-friendly resorts such as Neptun, Navodari, Olimp or Jupiter are just as good. The Black Sea is calm and its shores is with fine golden sands perfect for building sand castles. Or spend a day at the waterpark in Constanta for some amazing waterslides your kids will love!

beach break in Mamaia

beach break in Mamaia

Nine months is a long time for some, even for the most caring and loving mothers, this time can take a toll on your body, as well as your mind. Even after, with all the nursing, breast-feeding and long sleepless nights, you can easily forget about you, and your needs, physical and emotional. And don’t worry, thinking of yourself is not selfish, you are obliged to do something about it, for you and for your baby! You would want to be the perfect mom you always wanted to be, and to be so you have to be ready, strong and clear minded, prepared to raise your child.

If you have practiced prenatal yoga, then the rest of this article will be familiar, if you have not, you are in for as surprise. It takes only 6 weeks till you and your baby are ready for yoga lessons if you had a caesarean section, or matter of hours if you gave birth naturally. Of course, please do check with your doctor, just in case! Easy going, gentle, slow movements to regain your shape, realign your hips, shoulders, spine, your entire body strength, relax and enjoy time with your baby, sound wonderful, doesn’t it.

To start with your daily yoga rutine, you don’t need much of equipment. The most important is to find a yoga mat featuring a superior non-slip fabric finish, just to be safe. Check out the yoga mom selection of any good yoga shop and you would easily find the answer to “what kind of yoga mat should I get and what should it be made of?”.

The benefits of practicing yoga are numberless, every day a new benefit occurs, and so it is also with pre and post natal yoga, with the difference with post natal yoga, the benefits are doubled (for you once, and for your baby again!). However, among many, here is a list of the ones you will feel in matter of days:

  • Bring back your spinal strength – pregnancy can and probably will have an impact on your spine, making adjustments to fit new life in you. Yoga and postnatal poses will help you realign your spine and strengthen your joints, preparing you for all that heavy baby lifting!
  • Regain flexibility and tone your muscles – yoga will stretch everything that has been tensed in your body from the pressure of pregnancy, and will strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, which will help with the back pain gained postpartum and help knit your stretched and separated abdominal muscles. Strengthening your arms and shoulders is also very welcomed, because your little one will want to be held for several hours per day. You will want the same thing, to hold it all day long, so best be prepared.
  • Keep calm and do yoga – yoga can help you achieve inner peace, and achieve that just by plain deep breathing. Deeper breathing calms your body, which you might already know, during pregnancy and shortly after is exposed to a lot of stress, especially if you are first time mom. Right breathing exercises also reduce the chances of postnatal depression, which can be tricky both for you and your baby.
  • Get those hormones back in order – your hormones are driven crazy, and it takes time to be yourself again, and yoga can speed up this process, maybe for a bit, but it still counts. Relaxation will speed the process, and get you in your own hormonal balance faster!
  • Quality time with your one and only – postnatal yoga is designed to be exercise together with your baby, and this is the time spent in your sanctuary, your inner peace, and yours as in plural, you and your baby. Create mutual patience even when he/she is few months old. Create a bond and start doing fun stuff right away, because, you know, yoga can be fun!
  • Social effect and commune – going to yoga classes will get your social life back from wherever you have left it, and plus, dealing with moms and sharing problems can be very helpful for both of you. Many classes say you can start hours after birth, but still, check it with you GP and yoga master. Happy mom means happy baby, and it really does, those little angels do feel your energy and can turn into horned angels just as you shift your energy!
  • Self awareness – all that body ache, tensed shoulders, arm and shoulder ache come from holding your baby with one arm while preparing your morning smoothie with the other, or back and abdominal pain from breastfeeding, or knee pain from all those squats million times per day. Yoga postures designed to ease the pain will help you understand how to do thing the right way, or better, the safe way!

All these benefits are just super for you, but what about your baby? Well, there are also a lot of benefits, and you’ll be surprised with the ones that matter the most:

  • Socializing with other babies, gaining similar interests
  • Calming effect on your baby, originally originated from you, but later the baby will be more aware of the space and peace of yoga classes
  • Create a bond between mom and baby a bit more deeply than normal
  • Some postures with your baby can help you and you baby with colic cramps, and this should have probably be the number one on the list. If you still don’t know why, you’ll know soon!
  • Getting out early can be a blessing for your baby, and gain more confidence early on
  • Gentle and slow stretches help open up your baby’s joints, for which your ortho will be much grateful!

So, because there is no side effect from yoga exercise, and especially postnatal yoga is safe, and doesn’t involve difficult postures, go ahead and try it. Your baby might be very grateful one day!

References:

  1. http://www.thecentre.com.cy/blog/5-benefits-postnatal-yoga
  2. http://www.birthzang.co.uk/2015/01/benefits-of-postnatal-yoga/
  3. https://www.formodernmothers.com/blog/mum-and-baby-yoga-benefits
  4. https://salsababies.com/benefits-prenatal-postnatal-yoga/
  5. https://www.superprof.us/blog/yoga-for-mother-and-baby/
  6. https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/10520/postnatal-yoga
  7. http://www.ucbaby.ca/postnatal-yoga-benefits-for-mom-and-baby
  8. https://shininglightprenatal.com/2014/04/22/7-benefits-of-postnatal-or-postpartum-yoga/
  9. https://www.birthlight.com/page/postnatal-yoga
  10. http://ahopefulhappenstance.com/9-benefits-of-yoga-for-the-postpartum-mom/