Anonymous
Anonymous asked in TravelEurope (Continental)Other - Europe · 1 decade ago

Would anybody mind telling me a little about Eastern Europe?

I found out that this organization I got accepted into has a program in Eastern Europe. When I called the company in L.A. today, I asked them where specifically and they told me it would be in Slovenia, Romania, and Bulgaria. In other words, it's in The Balkan Region. I know very little about that region. Here is what I do know. I know about Vlad Tepes and Nicolai Ceacescu. I know there's a lot of gypsies over there and they eat lots of yogurt. I know that the former Yugoslavian countries are still war-torn.I don't know about these specific countries, but I know in a lot of the former Eastern Bloc countries, the women outnumber the men about 5 to 1. I know that gymnastics are very big in those countries and there are lots of caves there, too. That's about all I do know. Would someone mind filling me in a little more on the culture there? Are there hot chicks in those countries like there are in the former Soviet countries? Do they have a lot of hot thermal springs there like they do in Hungary, The Czech Republic, and Slovakia?

Update:

I know Romania is part of the European Union now. So is Poland. But I also know that during the Cold War, it was part of the Soviet Bloc. Perhaps I worded that wrong.

Update 2:

Actually Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia, not Slovenia. Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, I see no reason not to agree with everything else you had to say.

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  • Fex
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Correction. Romania IS part of the European Union. Why do people talk sh*t... ? I'll never understand it....

    Anyway - Romania is the only Latin based language in Eastern Europe. We were conquered by the Romans and our language is a lot like Italian. Romanian is a romance language along with Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

    Bulgaria uses a different alphabet - Cyrillic, like the Russians. Former Yugoslavian countries use the same alphabet as English, but they are all Slavic languages.

    I doubt you'll see much violence in Yugoslavia today. In fact, I will star this in the hope that some of my contacts like Goxy and her friends will see it and answer for their part.

    Now, we don't eat a lot of yogurt. You are confusing us with the Turks - bad idea, lol, given our history. We still have a saying to this day, like if your room is a mess, your mom will say: "What happened? Did the Turks pass through here?" They were known to leave only disaster behind. While Romanians today have no issue with the Turks and they go on vacation in Turkey, we still have some pride in history and knowing the difference between one nation and another. Just a heads up and no offense. In fact all the "Balkan" countries have that issue since all were occupied by the Ottoman Empire at some point.

    Yes, we have Gypsies or Roma. Who - in Eastern Europe doesn't? They originated in India, and their skin will be a little darker, but many have married Romanian people and sometimes it's hard to say whether one is a Gypsy or not. Either way - some are nice and some are not - just like any other race. Some have integrated into society and some still live like Borat - see movie, it was filmed in a Gypsy Romanian village, not in Kazakhstan.

    Romania is not poor, not third world or anything like that. After a quarter century of communism things are slowly changing. Bucharest is over crowded, like any big city. There are some areas you absolutely need to avoid - see e-mail I sent you and check links. But, at night, Bucharest is alive. The best place for a guy like you is probably Cluj - university city, lots of foreigners and open minded Romanians. Timishoara, Sighisoara - also westernized more so than other places in our country. Moldavia (Moldova) has always been poor, more so than the rest of the country, but no less beautiful. Since you like Dracula so much, I recommend Transylvania - the places I mentioned above are in that region. Sighisoara was Vlad's birthplace but his castle is in Targovishte. Bran Castle is NOT his castle. It's crap for tourists. Either way, it is beautiful. Brashov is breathtaking, also lots of tourists and very westernized.

    Check youtube for No Reservations Romania, but remember the Romanians were insulted by this. To see their reaction, see Anthony Bourdain's blog on Romania. HUGE reaction from out people. His worst show ever, and I like Tony. Also see www.eslcafe.com, look up international forums and see Romania. You will be able to see posts from English speaking people who live in Romania now. "Bebsi", in particular, is very smart. Do a search for his posts in Romania. He lives there and is Irish of origin, married to a Romanian woman.

    Hot chicks galore in my country. It puts American women (me included) to shame. They take care of themselves and look f-ing great. Be careful also of venereal diseases. ALWAYS wear a condom if... you know. Romania was #1 in VDs a few years ago, but I hear Britain took that title now. Don't quote me on Britain though.

    Thermal springs, yes, we have them - Herculane is the most popular, but we have a lot more. Also, if you don't mind watching war movies, see Cold Mountain; it was filmed in Transylvania. According to the director that's where he found the most pristine mountains in the world... His words, not mine. I know Coppola bought a village/town called Buftea for filming too. Romania is up and coming that way. Last but not least, please watch Transylvania 6500. A funny movie with Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld) to see how we all feel about foreigners who think Dracula was a vampire. Just a reality check for you so people don't laugh too hard when you ask about Dracula. ;-)

    If you got more questions, e-mail me your phone number. I have no problem talking to you. I already talk to half of GWS....

    (I didn't mean you... I was talking about the blonde troll)

    http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-XHkod7gifr7UWW026zF...

    Scroll down to Romanian Women.

    ----

    Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia; Slovakia was part of Czechoslovakia....

  • Rico
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    yogurt??!?

    Anyway...

    As far as I know, you should have no problem adapting in any of these countries. If you are willing to respect the people and their culture, of course...

    You are going to be asked a lot of questions about your home country. And you are probably going to find enough people willing to show you their own.

    Gymnastics are big indeed. So it's football (European football; what you call soccer in the US).

    Caves...at least in Romania, there are quite a few in the mountains( bears' cave, the woman's cave, scarisoara etc- google if you are interested... they're worth a visit).

    About the gypsies...there are quite a few; some are dangerous, but some are great people. You should of course be careful, but don't refuse any interaction with them based on the fact that they're gypsies...

    Actually, you should be careful everywhere, but not any more careful than you'd be in the US.

    About the "hot chicks"...I can't judge, but if you like the way Russians and Ukrainians look, people from Moldova (north-eastern Romania) look very similar.

    Thermal springs....not in Romania...we have hot springs tough...Baile Felix or Baile Herculane, for example. I don't know about the other two countries.

    Some links where you might find information on these countries (Wikipedia is a good start most of the time):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgaria

    Also, you could try some travel sites (again, google).

    Some things you might not find there (these apply mostly to Bulgaria and Romania, i'm not familiar enough with Slovenia):

    -politics are bad

    -infrastructure is bad (very bad)

    -police is not always helpful (many ask for bribes...refuse; if you've done nothing wrong, they'll let you go)

    -in Romania, try to avoid Bucharest:polluted, dirty, crowded...

    -food might be different from what you're used to...

    -stray dogs...they're everywhere; and they're dangerous. If you see more than 2 at one place, try to avoid them...actually, try to avoid them anyway, they carry all sorts of diseases.

    Source(s): Romanian.
  • Fr. Al
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The part of the Balkans you are talking about have a wide reputation as a resort area, not torn between different Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Uniates, and Muslim sectarians with ancient feuds like other areas in the region. Soviet domination is dead, although there are still Communists. There are rich archaeological sites and wonderful cultures to encounter. The foods show the effects of numerous interactions, as well as great agriculture. Go for it!, But watch your step.

    Vlad Tepes stopped the Turks, and is revered as a hero of his people. Those were hard times, and his history is very bloody, but not vampiric.

  • 1 decade ago

    The effects of war in the Balkans can not really be seen anymore anywhere but maybe in Bosnia and some rural parts of Croatia. Serbia has numerous thermal springs (Sokobanja, Vrnjacka Banja, Niska Banja, etc.) and mountain resorts (Kopaonik, Zlatibor, Tara, etc.). Also in Serbia you have the party capital of Europe in Belgrade. Bulgaria is in bad shape (at least the capital Sofia is). Romania is doing better than Bulgaria, but Vlad was not a real Dracula so you might want to skip on that tour. Slovenia is also doing pretty good, and it has the famous Postojna Cave. A lot of Slovenian people go to Belgrade to party as often as they can. Croatia has the nicest sea coast in Europe, no doubt about it. I suggest visiting Plitvicka Jezera in Croatia as well. If you expect a boring time in a communist like setting, you are in for a surprise.

    If you have to pick between the three go with Slovenia, and make regular trips to the Croatian sea and Belgrade in Serbia.

    Mecavnik, Serbia

    http://www.kustendorf.com/wsw/index_sr.html

    Plitvicka Jezera, Croatia

    http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/

    Source(s): Born in Serbia. Visited Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.
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  • First and foremost to be understood about Eastern Europe, is it's distinctly east of Western Europe. Many have made the mistake in the past that it is the other way around. This is not the case.

    Second, and more importantly, there's the Roma. No, not the gypsies, everyone knows about them, the tomatoes. Some of the best in the world, Italy's dirty little secret is - most of the ingredients used in Italian food is imported from Eastern Europe - especially the chief ingredient in their wonderful pizza sauce - the Roma tomato. If you find yourself in a field of Roma - tomatoes that is, not the other ones - you might have thought you'd died and gone to Italian heaven. Well I suppose with the Italian mafia, being surrounded by Roma of the other kind might lead you to think the same thing.

    Third. There's the women. Especially in Romania. DONT trust em. The Eastern European men are constantly trying to pawn them off or exchange their women to westerners saying things like "we have the finest women in the world" - as they chuckle to themselves and refuse to show you a picture of the trolls they turn into at the age of 30. Now if you think Gollum in Lord of the Rings is a stunner, you have nothing to worry about.

    Fourth, there's the trains. DO you want to wait for 8 hours at every border for no reason whatsoever (Czech/German border) ? Or how about for some reason be put on a steam train only to go through a 5 mile long tunnel that they handily didn't ventilate (Bulgaria towards Sofia). Or my favorite is - taking 10 hours to get to a place which should take any more than a 3 hour car ride (Cluj Napoca to Suceava). Or - my personal favorite - waking up to go 'relieve yourself' and finding someone had sh*t on the faucet handles in the toilet - IN BOTH the front and rear compartments? Oh it doesn't stop there - how about being caught in a cabin with a family of 8 farmers who haven't washed in days? But wait - there's more - how about 'captive audience' - where you didn't bring enough snacks and they charge you $2 US for a can of soda? I could go on. But if you're in eastern Europe - for the love of me - drive.

    Fifth. Don't go to Bucharest. The pictures do it justice.

    Why? Remember when Michael Jackson held the baby out the window? That was in Romania. I believe Bucharest had driven him absolutely insane. It has that effect on people. He gets lambasted the world over for 'unsafe practices' - when the fact of the matter is - he probably thought his baby was the antichrist and had been infected by demons and he was merely trying to do the world a favor.. The key to remember about Bucharest is: Trust no one. really.

    In all seriousness - even that all was serious - look - i spent a great deal of time there as an American and while all the above is absolutely true, there's a positive side to things too. You'll find interesting and playful people, You'll come out of places like Transylvania convinced vampires are real, the night clubs and entertainment in Eastern Europe are bar none the best in the world, they are great with computers and I highly recommend working with them in whatever capacity you might have (I've worked with them professionally and..s hall we say.. wearing a white hat)... The women are freakish beautiful.

    And my advice is: if you run into gypsies and the roma. Get to know them. They're a wonderful bunch and are amazing musicians. I had a ferry ride from Athens to Italy when the bar was 'taken over' by roma - who proceeded to party it up as only they know how. I was at first intimidated, but I stuck around and am glad I did. a great bunch of people. Sure, a pair of barely dressed ladies tried ripping me off in Cluj-Napoca - but I regard that more as a lesson of 'question what you think you know about this world'. I should have paid for the two of them for the night, I know I would have had fun. If they'd have had it...

  • 1 decade ago

    Part of my family is from Slovenia. These countries are now in the European Union and are very dynamic. They have a long and rich cultural history, and I think that there are many beautiful things to see there. People are usually very hospitable. They were closed to the world for so many years that now they just want to take advantage of their new freedom and openness. The food is great but....I hope you have a good appetite. People will love you if you love eating.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Sofia is just a town that encourage you, is a town that produce you want to visit precisely how you will dsicover with hotelbye . One of the many places that Sofia is offering through his tourists is Saint George Rotunda church. Also, The Memorial Church Saint Alexander Nevsky is among the city's most identifiable symbols. This church was built-in 1912, and was made by the Russian architect Alexander Pomerantsev. Its bell tower increases to a level of 53 meters, and properties 53 alarms, the biggest weighing 10 tons. In Sofia you will see many essential and beautiful church and cathedral and these will give that city a unique issue that produces the tourist wish to came here.

  • 1 decade ago

    LOL. You are a bit confused about Eastern Europe. None of these countries had a misfortune to be a part of USSR ( Soviet Union ) at any time. Slovenia used to be a part of Czechoslovakia. Unfortunately for Slovenians it is no longer the case, and they are not doing very well on their own. It is basically farmer's land with a boring Bratislava as their capitol. Romania has suffered the most under the communist regime in Eastern European block. And it left its ugly mark on its survivors. It continues to be one of the darkest and saddest places I've ever had a misfortune to visit. Sorry to say. Now, Bulgaria is a sunny and happy place. Bulgarians remind me in many ways of Italians with their love of a great meal, wine and family. You will find wonderful food and wine in Bulgaria, but people of that great country will leave the greatest impression, I am sure of that. Now, it is impossible for anyone to say, where the most beautiful women of the world reside. In my humble opinion, there are many of beautiful, cute and average girls in every one of these countries. You would have the chance to make up your mind. BTW, traveling is so much fun in Europe: countries are not that large and transport is pretty cheap. Have fun!

  • 1 decade ago

    Awesome area of the world. Avoid Croatia and Serbia (war). Lots of movies are filmed in Bulgaria. Beautiful country, and the women are second only to the Baltic states (not to be confuse with the Balkan states) for number of gorgeous women.

    Manners are hugely important, depending on who you want to associate with.

    Like mountains and caves? I think Bulgaria (I may be wrong, it may be Romania) has the largest underground salt caves in the world, still operating.

    Initially, you may think everything is pretty provincial. Look a bit deeper, and you'll find people with a great deal of sophistication, education, and practicality.

    Listen to Fex. She isn't talking out her butt.

    Source(s): Always check the US Department of State pages on these countries to find out what you really want to look out for.
  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    In very brief detail, and to a certain point, I particularly enjoyed: The absinthe was fantastic! That was in Budapest..at a cafe which honoured the political history of El Che! (Ernesto Guevara) One of the best looking men I've ever admired and perhaps..had I been older, would have lusted over!

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