Nature’s way of teaching me gratitude

Hi beautiful friends,

Oh, what wonders did my eyes witness today!! The wonders that nature created on its own, and that no man should ever try and change it.

I started the day thinking we were gonna have nice walk, mostly thinking that we would fill this free time we have here. I finished it in owe for this extraordinary sights.

Meet “Plaiul Foii”, an area situated at the base of Piatra Craiului Massif, from the exit of Zărnești town, on a distance of 12 km.

Arriving there you will be welcomed by a Chalet, that keeps the name of the area: Plaiul Foii Chalet, which offers accomodation and a restaurant.

Its terrace, in which we spent an hour after the amazing walk, offers this magnificent and breathtaking view over the mountains. It is a great place to relax, eat a good soup and just soak in all the beauty of the place. The inside is beautifully designed, the food is nice and the atmosphere is relaxed, perfect for an afternoon or lunch. It wasn’t at all crowded today, at this time of day, so that was a huge bonus. Also, the sun was still shining strong, although a bit chillier than yesterday.

And the view.. the view is just spectacular.

Isn’t it amazing?

From the base of the mountain you can start off on different mountain routes, as signaled by the signs. Unfortunately, I did not take any picture at the site, but I found this online and I really hope it’s accurate.


We did not start off on any mountain route, as it was already 13.00 o’clock when we arrived and most of the routes were rather long, of about 6-8 hours.

But, once more, I promised myself, that qt least one time I will do it. I will hike, all equipped properly and my soul will tremble with joy. And who knows? Maybe I’ll fall in love with it and it will become a regular habit.

Although different in many ways, this walk reminded me of last July when visiting Milan we decided to take a one-day trip with Bernina Express to St. Moritz. It was such a unique experience back then.

And today, seeing that my own country has this amazing places, that are so close and come so in handy to visit, made me truly proud and grateful.

You only have to see the good in everything, to find joy and happiness, right?

I won’t say any much more. I strongly recommend you visit this amazing place. My feet are tired, but my heart is full.

“All good things are wild and free.”

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A thousand kilometers for a moment of gratitude

Hi beautiful friends,

After waking up rather late this morning and having a copious breakfast at the hotel, we jumped in the car and decided to see the Rucăr-Bran pass. The Rucăr-Bran pass is a mountain road that links two counties: Argeș and Brașov. It also houses some of the most beautiful and spectacular views in Romania, looking over the Bucegi Mountains.

As you may see, from the place we are staying at, it is a roughly one hour car ride for around 36 kilometers. The road separates both the Bucegi and Leaota Massifs to the Piatra Craiului Mountains and Iezer-Păpușa.

The views are breathtaking and although the road gets quite bumpy at times, it is worth every mile.

Hundreds of years before, the passing was used with commercial purpose, linking Transilvania to Muntenia.

There are plenty of small villages that offer accommodation and a few touristic attractions, such as: Dâmbovicioara Cave, Dâmbovicioarei Keys, Piatra Craiului National Park, the Heroes Mausoleum, Nămăești Monastery and so on.

Our first stop was the Mausoleum, planning to stop at the Dâmbovicioara Cave on our way back.

I found the Mausoleum being extraordinary well preserved and perfectly taken care of.

It is dedicated to the fallen heroes of World War I that died trying to protect the country. The World War I had another goal for Romania: the Great Union-  the unification of Transylvania, Basarabia, and Bucovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918. 

We celebrate the Great Union on every 1st of December and this year marked 100 years since. Each year there are special celebrations in every important city of the country, especially in the capital- Bucharest and Alba Iulia- the location in which the proclamation of the union was signed. Also, every year there is a military parade of the Romanian Armed Forces in both cities.

Anyway, coming back to the Mausoleum.

It houses both a museum and also the Mausoleum itself where an ossuary is kept to commemorate the 400 military men fallen.

The last room of the museum recreates a war scene, with special lights and sound effects- which I found rather ingenious.

Returning back on the same road, we decided to stop at Dâmbovicioara Cave, not with the thought of visiting it (as I visited it before once), but willing to admire the Dâmbovicioara Keys and Piatra Craiului National Park.

Unfortunately, the pictures can not capture the true beauty of the place, the smell of truly fresh air, the serenity of the moment or the chilly air.

We decided to continue our way back to Bran following the Sirnea sign, having no idea what views we’ll find.

I warn you: the road was without asphalt, so it was a true village road, through Ciocanu village-a true gem. The views… oh, the views were to die for.

Finally, after arriving back to the main road, we found a nice spot to eat and relax, before returning for a relaxing evening.

I’ll end up with a picture from this year’s military parade held on December 1st- marking 100 years from the Great Union. (Bucharest)

How truly remarkable is it to have this one day (at least) when you feel so proud of your heritage, despite anything else? And how lucky are we to have these historical sites that remind us each and every time of the people who fought for our liberty, offering us these times we live in: in which we can be whoever we want to.

Grateful- with every cell of my body.

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.

Off we go

Hi beautiful friends,

Recently I was waking up with the most overwhelming need to escape the city and take a few days to relax and rest. So we booked a room in the mountains for a few days (also taking advantage of my mid semester holiday).

And this morning, after choosing all my favorite creams, all the things I could not leave behind and after filling my luggage with way to many clothes than I could have needed for five days, as usual, we got into the car and went ahead for the most relaxing week.

First stop after leaving the noisy Bucharest was Peleș Castle, a favorite place of mine, where you can find a cozy and always crowded coffee that has an absolute astounding view over the Castle and its domain. Had a cappuccino and an eclair and obviously forgot my phone in the car, so I did not take a picture, but I found an old pic from October (I told you, I am a big fan of this place, so whenever I am at the mountains, I take a couple of hours to visit and enjoy a cup of coffee).

The Castle makes me dream of the times of its glory and how I must have been of Royal family in a different life :). A girl can dream, right?

Peleș was built somewhere around 1880 and it served as the summer residence of the Royal Romanian Family. King Carol I of Romania ordered its building after falling in love with the beautiful forest scenery.

The Castle is an important edifice of Romania and it received many important figures in its glory period, like emperor Franz Joseph.

Carol II was born in this castle and afterwards King Mihai I was born here. He served as the last King of Romania until his death in 2017. Having no sons, the Crown is kept by Princess Margareta (Custodian of the Crown of Romania), the eldest daughter of King Mihai I and Queen Ana of Romania.

The castle can be visited all around the year and its magic is real. Every Monday it’s closed, so today it wasn’t so crowded and so I got a chance to feel its vibe and feel the true serenity of the place. The best part of our walk after the coffee was seeing the employees put down the Christmas decorations, that so beautifully completed its architecture.

Our second stop was right at the pension we booked for our week, which is situated over the hills, offering an amazing view over Bran and its surroundings. For that, I’ll let the pictures talk for themselves.

Nihil sine Deo.

Embracing art and beauty

Hi beautiful friends,

What a sunny and beautiful day was today! After hundreds of days without sun, with tons of snow and ice (which don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love- but I also live in a big city and sooner or later, snow becomes a huge pile of mud), today was shiny and sunny and the temperature was around 10 degrees C. This meant that it was the best time to grab my animal print short dress with some high boots and a loose jacket, my boyfriend and my small bag and hit the road for some food.

We found a really nice spot in Carol park and I even convinced my bf to eat outside (that is f***ing huge). He loves spending time outside, but hates feeling just even a little bit chilly, unlike me. We had all our favorite foods and the smell of popcorn and children’s laughter filled the air, making the atmosphere so cozy and playful.

After that, we got into the car and headed towards the city center, to Odeon theatre where we had already bought tickets to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Having arrived early we took advantage and strolled around “Calea Victoriei”.

Calea Victoriei is a fairly large boulevard that binds Piata Victoriei to Piata Unirii and is filled with beautiful buildings with amazing architecture, cafes and shops, a few luxury hotels and a few museums: the History Museum, The Art Museum and also the Romanian Atheneum (these are just a few). About this, later, when I’ll take you with me for this awesome walk- one of many, I hope. Anyways, the plan was to find a nice cafe shop and stop there until 19,00, when the play would’ve started. We changed our minds, seeing how peaceful it was and decided to walk from one end to the other.

Immediately after we parked, right in front of the History Museum and behind the amazing CEC building, I got a glimpse of the Moon and had to capture it.

When the night had already set in, Odeon theatre located also on Calea Victoriei, showed its face, beautifully lit.

The play was astonishing, truly. The cast was young and full of life, and the director did an amazing job at adapting the screenplay to these times, making it so much easier to “digest” and understand the plot.

My biggest surprise was when in the middle of the play, they moved us to a different room, to make it more realistic, by arranging the stage into the middle practically. So dynamic and breathtaking.

I truly recommend it!

When we arrived home, I made some pasta for us, using tuna, some peppers, garlic, a few cherry tomatoes and tomato sauce. I mixed them all nicely with some olive oil into the pan and afterwards with the penne, adding lots of mozzarella. Added some basil and chili flakes at the and and VOILÀ!

Blessed be these days, filled with art, in any form, serenity and love!

The rest is silence.

Decorating our new home

Hi beautiful friends,

Today I woke up with zero inspiration and that is a pity.. I realized how many more days will be like this one during this journey I plan on having.

However, the highlight of today was that our new sofa just arrived this morning (and the Lebanese food I had) !!! As I told you in my second post I just moved in with my boyfriend in December, leaving behind my beautifully decorated room, right into a new home that needed decorating. And today, the couch has arrived!!!!

I am so freaking excited. We can finally watch TV properly, and I can read my books, nap and cuddle here :).

The two pillows, the red and blue one, are the absolute first thing I have bought for this home, around October and they mean so much to me. Unfortunately, bf says they don’t fit at all. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

I have no idea how the room will look like in the end, but I would absolutely adore a yellow carpet, just like this one:

Is it too much, given that I would LOVE a yellow lamp, the same shade?

I found them both on this online website, vivre.ro, that is actually from Romania.

I would very much appreciate if you had any recommendations of websites that sell furniture or other decorations that also ship internationally!!! Would be of so much help, given that we still need so many things to make it perfect. It’s already so homey and cozy, but in urgent need of some personality.

What do you use to inspire you? Pinterest? Furniture websites? Ikea ideas? Tumblr? All of the above? Something else? S.O.S

And by the way, we were just watching Titanic, a movie that I always thought I disliked deeply, until.. tonight. You love it or find it too mainstream?

For tonight….

“Where to, miss?”

“To the stars.”

Med school in Romania- my path

Hi beautiful friends,

As mentioned in my intro and as my name suggests it I am a medical student, now in my 4th year (out of 6). My story has nothing impressive about it, but I remember being in high school and searching for information that would help me and finding…. NOTHING, or at least nothing in the same place.

I decided to pursue the medical dream during my first year of high school. I was 15 and I don’t remember the day I particularly decided on this, or even why exactly. It had something to do with me becoming super passionate about genetics, around winter 2012. Before that, what I’ve always wanted to become was an actress. For me, there was no in between. 🙂

When something sticks to my mind, it just has to happen.

SOOOO….

I decided to attend the Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest. I thought a little bit about leaving my country and studying medicine elsewhere in Europe, but I was way too young and unprepared, I had already met my boyfriend and the decision to leave was just something too much for me to decide upon at that time.

Many young high school graduates decide to leave the country and study in a different one.

Unfortunately, in Romania, the wages and working conditions are quite low, compared to other European countries. The general minimum salary is of 1,263 RON, which is about 265 Euros or 300$ (the net salary= exactly what the employee brings home). The gross salary in this case (before taxes are paid) is 2,080 RON.

The average take-home salary in Romania in 2019 is around 2,700 RON per month (570 Euros or $645). The good part about this is that the average salary kept on growing – slowly but steadily – over the past few years. Compared to 2013, for example, the average wage increased by about 230 Euros, which is a 67% increase.

For more about why Romanian students and even doctors choose to leave the country here.

Anyways, coming back to our original topic, in Romania there are three big and valuable Universities of Medicine and Pharmacy, that appear in worldwide tops and are classified as being truly good:

As you may see, Carol Davila University of Medicine & Pharmacy is no 1060 in top BEST GLOBAL UNIVERSITIES, which is not bad for a University in a small country-my opinion.

Of course, there are many more Universities of Medicine in Romania, in all the beautiful cities all around the country: in Brașov, Constanța, Sibiu, Timișoara, Târgu Mureș and so on, so forth.

Being born in Bucharest and deciding to keep on studying in Romania, my decision was quite simple as I went for Carol Davila University. This University now comprises 3 major colleges:

  • Faculty of Medicine (in English and Romanian)- 6 study years
  • Faculty of Dentistry (in Romanian)-6 study years
  • Faculty of Pharmacy (in Romanian)- 5 study years

The fee is €6000 per year for undergraduate studies. The same fee is applied for EU and non-EU students and the tuition fee can be paid in installments.

For the Romanian residents that want to attend the faculty of Medicine the admission exam consists of 100 questions from human anatomy and physics/chemistry, according to your choice. More about that here.

You can also find more about the admission requirements and procedure here, but I would definitely check with the official site (which i tagged before) for extra and more accurate details.

For more about the medical Universities in Romania, I would suggest this websites:

There are definitely more, so let me know if you have any suggestion so I can just update the list!

Coming back to my story… After deciding upon Carol Davila University, my parents got me a tutor to help me with my admission exam, which in late July I attended and passed with an amazing grade that turned me into a medical student.

There was nothing special or fancy which requires me to write about from those days. I just followed the steps I had to, was super focused and studied for most of my time, all in order to achieve my dream.

In Bucharest, the 6 years of medical school are divided into: 3 pre-clinical years (years 1-3) and 3 clinical years (years 4-6). Afterwards, you have the graduation exam and the residency exam, which I’ll keep for later.

The first three years are though, the competition is immense and you are faced with all sorts of self-doubts and worries: “will I make it?”, “am I good enough?”, “can i study this much?”. But as the years pass and you realize you can actually learn and remember more than you could ever imagine, the answers come easily: “yes, I will make it”, “yes, I am good enough”.

In the first year you are introduced with anatomy, cellular biology, biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, psychology, physiology, and even marketing or English (for the Romanian residents).

The journey in the second year continues with anatomy and physiology, but cellular biology now becomes histology and more subjects are introduced, such as: microbiology, biostatistics and informatics. Physiology takes up a lot of time and is demanding and hard to understand, but together with anatomy they create the basis for everything that will come.

The third year is somewhat like a transition year. You are first introduced into the hospital through semiology and are allowed, or even more obliged to talk to the patients and perform a full body clinical examination. This year you also study pharmacology, pathophysiology, pathology, ethics, virology and parasitology.

For every subject you have to attend the course and the laboratory. The classes take up most of your day and sometimes are all around the city, but you are not alone and it becomes fun and you get to make tons of friends. At the end, you have a practical exam, which is eliminatory and sometimes it matters at the final grade and afterwards, the final exam. Exams are grouped into two major exam sessions: one around February, and one around June. These exam sessions are demanding and exhausting in all possible ways.

Fortunately, everything changes with the start of the fourth year, when you have clinical rotations. By the end of the last year, you will have been to probably every hospital in Bucharest, talked to hundreds of patients and rotated through every single medical specialization. You now have no exam sessions, which is such a huge relief and are at the hospital from 8 in the morning to about 13 in the afternoon.

I am half way now and this journey will soon come to an end. Was it easy?No f***ing way. Would I do it again? YES, f*** I would.

Until my next post about med school, I’ll let you with a quotation from the book Slow Medicine by Victoria Sweet, which I highly recommend.

“Medicine is not only a craft and a science, but an art. It had something unexplainable about it, which was its heart.”

Victoria Sweet, Slow Medicine

My small appreciation moment

Hi beautiful friends,

Do you know what the best part of being a blogger in the beginning is? When no one knows you, practically no one follows you and no one actually cares about what you write? Exactly that: you can write about ANYTHING you want. And that is f***ing awesome.

I definitely do not want my blog to be a dramatic, tear-exciting one, but I got so emotional today and I really need to get it out of my mind.

Today was Valentine’s Day. This is a day my boyfriend and I never celebrated and probably never will. In Romania we have this special celebration: Dragobete (on the 24th of February) where we celebrate love and if I were to choose, I’d say I prefer this one more.

But today was really special and I want to show my appreciation and all my love and respect for the two most important men in my life: my boyfriend and my father.

My boyfriend and I recently moved in together, just before Christmas and while I’ve been a wreck, he’s shown some amazing support. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always wanted to move in together (and by always I mean that we’ve been planning this for 2 years), but my parents and I have such a close relationship. I am the kind of person that I have my mother as my best friend. And leaving them (even as far as a 15 minutes car ride) was heartbreaking, it felt like such a huge change and I did not know how to handle the situation or my emotions. I had no idea how to cook (still have no idea), how to clean and take care of myself. But He has been a support in any way possible, making my adjustment as smooth as possible. I am forever grateful for him and his genuine and caring personality.

I am an only child and I probably am the light of my father’s eyes. And yes, I know how lucky I am. I know I’ve been blessed with an amazing family. My mother is out of town for a few days and as my father was alone, I decided to spend the evening with him, in the home I was raised in, with my amazing and “pawsome” best buddy, my dog. We ordered pizza and got to chat a little bit. And while we were scrolling through subjects like my new apartment, politics, passion, different jobs and even death, I remembered all these long conversations with him, over the years, that shaped me into who I am today. Truly inspiring. Obviously, the discussion concluded somehow AGAIN into: “motivation is all that counts.” My father makes it somehow that NO MATTER what we start talking about, we end up with the conclusion above about motivation.

This day started and ended with love, even though I never planned anything. Nothing fancy, nothing much. A walk in the mall with my boyfriend, our conversations about the future. A night in with pizza with my dad.

What made me so emotional today? I have no idea. Maybe the love I felt all around, the small gestures that you can’t buy, the tranquility of the day. Maybe seeing all these couples, or men holding flowers, all over the city. Maybe even the fact that I decided to be more grateful, everyday. I don’t actually know. But I do, I am so grateful.

Yesterday I was listening to this podcast of Oprah’s. She was talking to Paulo Coelho, and Paulo Coelho said something that will stick with me forever. It was something like: after we die, God will ask each one of us: “Did you love enough?” and if the answer is yes, you’ll go straight to Heaven.

So, I’ll wrap it up with exactly this:

Did you love enough?