August 23, 1939 – The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Today is an anniversary that is being marked rather somberly in places like the Baltic countries. Seventy years ago today, the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany – Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop – stunned the world by announcing a non-aggression pact between their two (totalitarian) countries. While there had been a great deal of vituperate invective between the two great | Read More »
August 1st, 1943 – The Ploesti Raid
When one heads north out of Bucharest (by either road or rail), it takes a considerable amount of time for the city to “fall away.” When that finally does happen, you find yourself out on the Wallachian plain – which is very flat, now nearly treeless, and (in summer) very hot. The cityscape and traffic of Bucharest are replaced by scenes of peasant farmers transporting | Read More »
Overnight Culinary Open Thread
The FP has been too quiet for too long. Hence, let’s have some culinary upliftenment: (From the lunch menu in Iasi, Romania last Monday.) Overnight culinary open thread.
Nabucco Pipeline Project Finally Gets Going
This hasn’t gotten much mention here – but when I was in Romania earlier in the week it was big, big news: The troubled Nabucco pipeline project — designed to diversify Europe’s energy supply and loosen Russia’s grip on the continent’s natural gas market — took a major step forward on July 13 with the signing of a transit agreement between Turkey and five European | Read More »
Aux Armes, Citoyens!
Maybe some societies should take their own national anthems to heart. E.g., excerpt: Aux armes, citoyens! Formez vos battalions! (Citizens, to arms! Form your battalions!) Happy Bastille Day from…. Bucharest. Bastille Day open thread….
“The Hall of Lost Steps” (The Painted Colonnade)
Here in Iasi, the technical university and the “physical sciences” university main buildings appear to be separate – with separate entrances. Once you’re inside though, you can see that a long colonnaded hallway connects them – a hallway known as “The Hall of Lost Steps.” The first time I came to Iasi, I had no idea that there was more to the hallway than I | Read More »
Three Painted Monasteries of Southern Bucovina
My work causes me to travel a great deal. With that kind of load, I don’t seek things out; however, things just happen along the way. One of the best instances of that occurred several years back when I made my first visit to Iasi, Romania. My hosts insisted that we make some time to visit the nearby Painted Monasteries of Southern Bucovina. This was | Read More »
Mr. President – It’s Time to Apologize
Mr. President, you’ve made quite a thing of late of running around the world “apologizing” for one perceived past sin of America after another. But it does no credit to a man – nor to his native manliness – to continually apologize for things in which he was not involved. It’s long past time for you and your Administration to own up to any spur-of-the-moment | Read More »
Letter From Romania
It’s been fun to post photos from here over the past few days – which has been easy, since contrary to what you might have heard, Romania is a lovely country. But since there’s a break in the action for a few minutes (maybe 40), it is worth taking some time to say a few more serious words from here. I’m a regular visitor here, | Read More »
A Little Sunday Relaxation Break….
Today, high in the Bucegi Mountains, near Sinaia, Romania…. Just because….
A Little Saturday Relaxation Break….
This evening’s sunset over Peles Castle, Sinaia, Romania. Just because….
Some Weekend Cultural Upliftenment – Romanian Lunch Menu
This is the fish page from a lunch menu, photographed by your humble correspondent this past Monday in Oradea, Romania…. (A pity that flickr mucks up images, as the original is much clearer. Be sure to squint in to read the “subtitles” with each item!) Comments are encouraged….