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Dates of visit:
Sept. 7, 2005 -
Sept. 27, 2005

We rate this trip a:

Trip Highlights:
 Visit Family
 Romanian Wedding
 Eco-touring
 Danube Delta
 Iron Gates NP
 Fishing Villages
 Mountain Villages
 Monasteries
 Roman Ruins
 Roman Spas
 Black Sea Coast
 

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*** Monastery Vodita ***
**** Radio Tracking of Turtles ***
*** Rural South-Western Romania ***
Go to first page - Bucharest, Black Sea Coast, A Romanian Wedding
Go to second page - Roman, Greek & Medieval Ruins, Tulcea, Murighiol
Go to third page - Danube Delta, Hyrmalis, Macin Mnts. Monasteries
Go to fourth page - Iron Gates, Eibenthal Village, Orsova, Cazanele Mici
Go to sixth page - Timisoara, Arad, Baile Herculane, Monastery of Horezu
        Map of Romania
        Travel route in Romania
        Monastery Vodita
        Site Gallery - Monastery Vodita
        Radio Tracking of Endangered Turtles
        Site Gallery - Turtle Tracking
        Rural South-Western Romania
        Site Gallery - Rural South-Western Romania
Monastery Vodita

Monastery VoditaLocated 8-km east of Orsova, the monastery was built between 1370-1372; only its ruins remain. It is the oldest documented foundation and the first monastic establishment in Romania. It declined after the Austrian-Turkinsh war (1718). Rebuilding this monastery started in 1990; between 1991-1995 the cells, abbey and the refectory were completed. It was consecrated in 2001.

Site Gallery - Monastery Vodita
 
Monastery Vodita Monastery Vodita Monastery Vodita
Monastery Vodita Monastery Vodita Monastery Vodita
Monastery Vodita Monastery Vodita Monastery Vodita

Radio Tracking of Endangered Turtles

TurtlesHERMANN'S TORTOISE ... (Testudo hermanni boettgeri) is an exclusive herbivorous reptile known under different names across the Iron Gates Natural Park. It is a protected species, being threatened due to the decrease of the population and to the habitat destruction.

Hermann's tortoise habitats span the Balkan Peninsula and the Italic Peninsula. The species occurs in soutwestern Romania, between Strehaia and Bazias, a territory that is included in the Iron Gates Natural Park. It lives the grasslands and pastures close to forested or bushy areas, where it seeks shelter during day or night.

The Hermann's tortoise is a solitary species; in October it buries itself at under 15 cm underground and it hibernates until spring (March). The tortoise mates in the spring and in May - June, it lays a 6-7 eggs clutch in a hole it digs with its posterior limbs.

The eggs incubate between 3 to 4 months, and the juveniles hatch without any help from the females. In the incubation period, the nest can be destroyed by egg-eaters: martens, foxes, hedgehogs, etc. In consequnce, the survival rate is very low, only one of six eggs successfully hatching.

The tortoise body is covered by a hard shell, colored in yellow to olive. It is made of two distinct parts: the dorsal shell and the ventral plastron.

An obvious sexual dimorphism occurs; the males are smaller than the females, and they have a longer tail, with a stronger nail at the end.

The age of the tortoises can be identified by counting the rings of the shell plates. They live up to 60 years.

Hermann's tortoise is a peaceful animal, loved by the people, and some say that it brings luck to the people who meet it.

The main threats are poaching of juveniles and adult individuals and the habitat degradation. According to Romanian laws, these activities are subject of substantial fines.

Location of habitat and research project is near the village of Eselnita, south of Orsova, on the Danube River in Parcul National Portile de Fier (Iron Gates Natural Park).

(Source: Iron Gates Natural Park, Centre for Environmenttal Research and Impact Studies (CCMESI), University of Bucharest, Prof. Maria Patroescu, Copyright 2004, www.portiledefier.ro)


HINT: If video starts/stops often, PAUSE the playback for 45-60 seconds to allow the video buffer memory to fill. To resume playback press PLAY.

Site Gallery - Turtle Tracking
 

** Location of Turtle Project **
Radio Tracking Radio Tracking Radio Tracking
Radio Tracking Radio Tracking Radio Tracking
Radio Tracking Radio Tracking Radio Tracking
Radio Tracking Radio Tracking Radio Tracking
Radio Tracking Radio Tracking Radio Tracking

Rural South-Western Romania

Banat Country Rural Romania is unbelievable in terms of simplicity and beauty. Away from the noise and frenetic pace of urban cities, life here seems as if time stood still. In our travels from Iron Gates to Timisoara in western Romania we encountered a variety of sights and sounds that were best described in our "Recollections of Romania- part 5"
'Recollections of Romania - part 5'
  This is a PDF document  (680 Kb) excerpted below:

" ... Stopped for coffee outside Bazias … the most friendly of mongrels entertained us at the coffee shop. This is the place where the Danube River enters Romania. We bid goodbye to our “Blue Danube” (actually brown) and head north to Timisoara by way of backcountry roads. At Village of Socol we had no choice … turn right and stay in Romania or keep going straight and you will wind up in Serbia. We turn right … and take a most interesting back road.

With Serbia literally a mile to our left we navigate this primitive dirt road through Campia, Pârneaura, Zlatita and Lescovita before emerging on highway 57 to Timosoara. This route showed us the real Romania … agricultural.

Primarily cornfields, this landscape was rich and productive. Encountering horse-drawn carts we slowly dive in and out of these villages with the typical Banat country architecture … fronts of homes are almost windowless (shuttered where there are windows) and wide and tall wooden gates leading to an interior courtyard typically filled with farm animals and their feed. None of the road was paved except for a small stretch usually in the middle of the village.

Few shops, no cinemas, no post offices; maybe a few official governmental buildings but always a school. Took an hour to traverse 12 miles but it appeared as if we traveled in a time warp. By the time we hit highway 57 the landscape was entirely flat with the Dogneci Mountains in the distance to the east."

Site Gallery - Rural South-Western Romania
 

From Iron Gates to Socol
Iron Gates to Socol Iron Gates to Socol Iron Gates to Socol
Iron Gates to Socol Iron Gates to Socol Iron Gates to Socol
Iron Gates to Socol Iron Gates to Socol Iron Gates to Socol
To Rural Romania
To Rural Romania To Rural Romania To Rural Romania
Gates of Banat Country
Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country
Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country
Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country
Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country
Rural Banat Country
Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country
Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country
Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country
Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country Gates of Banat Country

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