Message in a Bottle

Hey folks, I know I haven’t been writing here on the blog much over the past six months or so, but that doesn’t mean I have been writing, including a whole lot of correspondence via email. Every week, I get several letters (via email) from people who want to learn more about Romania, or to…

Opening Up a Can of Gold Worms

When we last left the neverending saga of Rosia Montana back in July, it seemed like things had finally come to a peaceful end. The area was going through the process of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and, well, the Romanian government was going to have to cough up around 4.4 billion dollars for…

4.4 Billion Dollars

Due to all of the protests against the PSD’s attempts to legalize corruption earlier this year, it escaped most people’s attention that Grindeanu’s Culture Ministry finally filed the paperwork to make Rosia Montana a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alas, it’ll take until July 2018 for it to be certified and approved by the United Nations,…

Do-It-Yourself Romania: Exploring Mines at Roșia Montană

Roșia Montană is a highly controversial, inactive gold mine in Transylvania’s Apuseni Mountains that’s been written about extensively over the years.  Sam has expounded quite a bit on the topic already, so rather than beat a dead horse, I’ll refer you to a few of his articles.  What little I can add to the palimpsest of Roșia…

Do-It-Yourself Romania: Geamăna’s Sunken Church

When it comes to Romania, trips to the countryside are do-it-yourself ventures.  How much fun you have depends on how willing you are to forego convenience in exchange for some shockingly wild experiences.  For example, there’s Geamăna: once a sleepy little mountain town, it now resides deep beneath a slurry of toxic mine drainage thanks to communist-era vicissitudes.  Today, only the church…

Rosia Montana Stymied Yet Again

It’s perfectly fine to use cyanide to mine gold in Romania, just as long as you don’t do it anywhere near Rosia Montana: “Rosia Montana village has been designated a place of historic site of national interest which has a radius of two kilometres [just over a mile],” said Adrian Balteanu, the Romanian culture ministry’s…

Twitter Storm

Achoo! Bless you, in my language when someone coughs we say Otpor!