"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." ~ Ansel Adams

July 25, 2011

For the inside of a man

Truly it may be said that the outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man.  
                                                                                                                                                                             ~George Wherry


July 24, 2011

Postcards from Turda Canyon and Tureni Canyon in Romania

Deci (incep direct cu concluzia) weekendul trecut la Cheile Turzii si Cheile Tureni a fost unul extenuant, uneori enervant, calduros, amuzant, interesant, pe alocuri presarat cu injuraturi din partea mea cand ma chinuiam sa escaladez bolovanii de pe marginea raului din Cheile Tureni si deja ajunsesem in culmea disperarii ca nu se mai termina odata traseul... Dar a meritat din plin tot chinul fizic. A fost minunat si ma bucur ca am mers si nu am dat inapoi in fata incercarii de a parcurge cu fetele traseul din Cheile Tureni pe care colegii nostri de excursie l-au parcurs in sub 20 de minute sau mai mult in cadrul unei mici competitii. Am iesit nejulita, uda leoarca de transpiratie si zgariata de crengi din aceasta incercare, dar mandra de mine cam am reusit sa o duc pana la capat. (Chiar daca ma plangeam la fiecare bolovan mai dificil. Imi cer scuze fetelor!) Excursia a fost organizata de Casa de Cultura a Studentilor din Targu-Mures.

So (I'm starting with the conclusion) last weekend, at the Turda and Tureni Canyons, was an exhausting one, sometimes annoying one, very warm, amusing, interesting one, sometimes with a few cursing words thrown in the mix on my part when I struggled with climbing the huge rocks on the side of the stream that runs through the Tureni Canyon and when I felt fed up with it all because the end of the trail was still far away... But all that physical pain was worth it. It was just wonderful and I'm glad that I went and that I didn't back down when it came to covering the harsh trail with the girls, a trail which our colleagues on the trip had done in less than 20 minutes, or sometimes more, all part of a little competition. I came out unscathed, covered in sweat and a few scrapes from branches, but proud of myself for being able to finish the task. (Even though I was complaining at every rock that was proving to be a bit more difficult. I'm sorry girls!) The trip was organized by the Student's Cultural Association in Targu-Mures.

July 18, 2011

Canicula, metrou si Bon Jovi

A trecut deja o saptamana de cand am fost la concertul Bon Jovi. Am tot intentionat sa scriu ceva despre cum a fost. Deschideam panoul pentru o postare noua, dar nu gaseam niciodata cuvintele. Nici acum nu le gasesc. Concertul a fost ceva special pentru mine. De la primele acorduri mi-au aruncat inima intr-o furtuna de emotii. Cuvinte ca "super", "extraordinar", "bestial", "incantator", "epic" si "nemaipomenit" nu-i fac dreptate. Asa ca m-am hotarat sa nu mai spun nimic despre concert. Nu vreau ca amintirile mele legate de el sa fie intunecate de cuvinte nepotrivite. 
Fotografii nu am facut. Imi era putin teama sa nu fiu obligata sa ma intorc cu aparatul la hotel daca mi se spunea ca nu am voie cu el, si mi-era si frica sa nu il lovesc eu sarind sau cei din jurul meu sa verse ceva pe el. Asa ca nu am luat aparatul cu mine.
Cateva cuvinte despre Bucuresti totusi. E oribil dupa parerea mea. Oameni insuportabili. Recunosc, nu toti. Daca esti atent si te invarti prin cercurile potrivite, poti intalni oameni chiar de treaba. Dar "nativii" Bucurestiului...Doamne fereste. Orasul e...nu stiu ce sa spun. In loc sa folosesc inca un adjectiv cu conotatii negative mai bine descriu o parte buna si una rea. Parcurile, din ce imi amintesc de anul trecut si ce am vazut acum, sunt chiar placute. Zona Lipscani, dupa ce va fi toata aranjata, renovata si pavata, va arata chiar frumos si as dori sa mai merg pe acolo. Momentan e prafuita, mai putin de jumatate din cladiri sunt reamenajate, iar cand te astepti mai putin poti sa te impiedici intr-o piatra cubica solitara care parca intentionat a fost lasata intr-o mare de nisip pentru a-ti testa atentia acordata drumului. 
Si acum sa trecem si o parte rea in revista. Ne plimbam prin centru. Mai exact, eram in fata Palatului Poporului si mergeam pe Bulevardul Unirii, partea stanga, spre Unirea Shopping Center. Cautam magazinul F64. Stiam ca pe partea stanga a bulevardului trebuia sa o luam din nou la stanga, sa mergem pe niste strazi mai mici din spatele cladirilor impunatoare de beton care flancheaza bulevardul, iar google maps era deja accesat pe mobil ca sa nu ne pierdem. Dupa ce am intrat printre cladirile de care ziceam, peisajul a fost pur si simplu socant. In spate, cladiri mari, beton, arhitectura "comunista". In fata noastra blocuri de patru etaje, case darapanate, oameni colorati frumos de soare, doar in pantaloni scurti si slapi, care stateau frumos pe cate un scaun de plastic la umbra unei cocioabe cum vedeai in spatele blocurilor din Rovinari din Mures, si ca cele pe care le vezi la televizor la periferia Romei sau Parisului. Caini, rufe agatate pe sfori la uscat, gunoi, drum prafuit si plin de gropi sau pe alocuri nepavat (aceeasi poveste ca si cu Lipscani). Aceasta e imaginea de care ne-am lovit la nici 600 de metri de Palatul Poporului. Sunt curioasa ce crede un turist cand vede asa ceva. Poate ar spune prietenilor lui ceva de genul: "Bucurestiul e un oras al ...(pauza pentru efect)...contrastelor." Magazinul F64 nu l-am gasit. Nu din prima. Nici din a doua. Din a treia incercare da, dar am intrat de pe Bulevardul Natiunilor Unite.
Mai este o parte buna la Bucuresti. Metroul! Am mers cu el absolut peste tot. Ieseam direct unde vroiam sa mergem si atat. Era mai bine decat sa iesi sa te plimbi pe strada, in soare, in temperaturi de peste 30 de grade Celsius si fara nici o adiere de vant. Metroul... Un lucru chiar foarte bun ramas de la Ceausesc. Si cu aceasta idee inchei.

It's already been a week since the Bon Jovi concert. I kept trying to write something about how it was. I opened the panel for a new post many times but still the words wouldn't come. And they don't come to me now either. The concert was something very special to me. From the first chords they had a grip on my heart and threw it in a storm of emotions. Words like "superb", "awesome", "extraordinary", "epic" and "unbelievable" don't do it justice. This is why I'm not going to say anything else about it. I just don't want my memories to be tainted by inadequate words.
I didn't take any photos at the concert. I was afraid that I might have to take it back to the hotel because they wouldn't let me in with it. And also I might have damaged it when I was jumping or the people around me could've spilled something on it. So I didn't take it with me.
A few words about Bucharest. In my opinion, it's horrible. Unbearable people. I admit, not all of them. If you're careful and if you're a part of a proper circle of people you can actually meet interesting persons. But "the natives" of Bucharest...God help me. The city is...I don't know how to describe it. In stead of using another adjective with negative connotations I will talk about something I found good about it and something bad about it. The parks, from what I can remember since last year and from what I saw last weekend, are quite beautiful. Lipscani, after it will be finished, renovated and paved, is going to look really good and I would like to go there again. At the moment it's dusty, less than half of the buildings are renovated, and when you least expect it you can trip on a solitary tile of cubic stone in a sea of sand that seems to have been left there with the express intention of testing your attention to your steps.
And now for the bad part. We were walking down on the left side of Unirii Boulevard, with our backs towards the Peoples Palace, and looking for the F64 store. I knew that we had to take a left somewhere, go down on other little streets that were behind the great concrete buildings that flank the boulevard, and the application google maps was already opened on my mobile so we wouldn't get lost. After we took a left through the buildings I mentioned before, the view was just shocking. In the back we had big buildings, concrete, "communist " architecture. In front of us four stories high buildings, dilapidated houses, people that were colored in such a lovely way by the sun, sitting only in they slippers and shorts on plastic chairs, in the shadow of a hut like those you used to see behind the buildings in Rovinari in Mures, or those that you see on TV on the outskirts of Rome or Paris. Dogs, laundry hanging from buildings, garbage, dusty, sometimes unpaved and riddled with holes streets (same old story). This is the imagine we had before our eyes not even 600 meters from the Peoples Palace. I'm curious what a tourist might tell his friends after seeing all of this. Maybe it would be something like: "Bucharest is a city...(pause for effect)...of contrasts." We didn't find the store. Not the first time we tried. Not the second time. But the third time was lucky. We found it after we took another route, on the United Nations Boulevard.
There is another good thing about Bucharest. The subway! We took it absolutely every time we got the chance. We only "popped up" when we reached the exact place we wanted to see. It was a hell of a lot better that walking the sun, in over 30 degrees Celsius and without any hint of a breeze. The subway... A really good thing that Ceausescu left us. And on this note I end.

July 8, 2011

W.O.A. Metal Battle Romania, Sibiu

Joi seara. W.O.A. Metal Battle avea loc in Oldies Pub si nu mai aveam chef sa merg. Toata saptamana am asteptat ziua asta, sa beau o bere si sa merg la concertele respective, iar pe ultima suta de metri, din cauza unor probleme tipic femeiesti, nu mai aveam chef. Vroiam liniste; un ceai, nicidecum o bere; un film, nu trei trupe metal urlandu-mi in timpane. Dar am facut bine ca nu mi-am ascultat instinctele influentate de dureri si indispozitii serioase. Am luat un nurofen, am strans din dinti primele treizeci de minute pana cand si-a facut efectul si medicamentul si berea, si i-am ascultat pe cei de la Bucovina, God si Gothic. Concertele lor au fost incendiare. Atmosfera era la fel. Rockeri aliniati frumos in fata scenei hardand din greu, altii la mese si pe langa bar facand acelasi lucru cu un pahar de alcool in mana. Chestie tipica la concertele rock.  Maini in aer, lumini albastre si rosii, miros de fum, transpiratie si  vanilie. Pletosii fluturandu-si parul prin fata aparatelor foto. Urlete si volum dat la maxim. Toate astea mi se invarteau in minte si prin fata ochilor. Asa imi amintesc eu seara trecuta. Am plecat agitata, cu inima bubuind inca dupa ritmul chitarilor si cu un tiuit enervant in urechi. Am mai omorat cateva celule din urechi in seara asta. Dar a meritat.

Thursday night. W.O.A. Metal battle in Oldies Pub and I wasn’t in the mood to go anymore. All week I’ve been waiting for this day, to have a beer and go to these concerts, and just a couple of hours before they start, because of some typical female problems, I feel like I’m not in the mood anymore. I wanted some quiet time; a cup of tea, not beer; a movie, not three metal bands roaring in my ears. But I’m now glad that I didn’t give in to these instincts influenced by pains and serious indispositions. I took a strong pain killer, ground my teeth until the medicine and the beer started to take effect, and listened to Bucovina, God and Gothic. The concerts were incendiary. The mood as well. Neatly aligned rockers in front of the stage banging their heads, others at the tables and bar doing the same thing and holding an alcohol drink. Typical rock concert stuff. Hands thrown in the air, blue and red lights, smell of smoke, sweat and vanilla. Long-haired dudes, and girls, waving their hair in front of the cameras. Yelling and the music volume to the maximum. All these things floating through my mind and in front of my eyes. This is how I remember last night. I left still in agitation, with my heart still beating in the rhythm of the guitars and with a constant ringing in my ears. I killed some more hearing cells last night. But it was worth it.