Sunday, May 20, 2012


Coley, Riane, and Lori went with Dan to Iasi. Dan and Mihaela graciously provided this trip in exchange for the driving Lori does when the country managers come to Minnesota.  (This trip was so wonderful that they will get 5 more years of driving time in Minnesota! )

Our drive started out in rain and then about midway the clouds got very black. There was heavy rain and even a few moments of pea-sized hail. Thankfully the rain was left behind when we arrived in Iasi.

The first stop was the Botanical Garden since the rain had ceased – but who knows when it would begin again.  We had a lovely time wandering through the conservatory as well the outside gardens, and then the rain drops made us all run for the car.

Our next stop was a building at the university. We viewed the beautiful hallway with frescos that showed Romanian myths or actual history and also concepts such as knowledge. Then Dan asked the building manager if we could see the Aula. What a treat. This room is incredible. The building manager explained its design and told us that at points in time, this Aula was the meeting place for the Romanian parliament.  He went on to say that students may attend the university for 3-4 years and never enter this room, so we were indeed provided with some very gracious Romanian hospitality.

Our next stop was the Orthodox Cathedral. Dan explained the story of the saint to which this cathedral is dedicated. We were able to enter the Cathedral and see the beautiful stained glass windows and the splendid altar which features perhaps 24 incredible icons – well they all are incredible, it’s the number that may be wrong.

We walked towards the Palace of Culture. As expected, it is closed for renovation. We did, however, enjoy the market in the plaza area, taking home some items to bring memories of Romania.

We walked then to and St. Nicholas church and we were able to witness a few moments of a wedding. The choir music was amazing – like the voices of angels.
Our next stop was the food court in the Moldova Mall for a late lunch. We then wandered back to the car and were on way back to B─ârlad. The sunny weather made is possible to truly enjoy the beautiful valleys along this route. We had a great day.

In the evening the Ohio group made sure that Andrew properly celebrated his birthday.  The report is that filet migon was found at Restaurant Alona.

Weekend journal prepared by Lori