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An Esoteric Quest in Bulgaria: At the Crossroads of the Mysteries

In Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the Oldest Living City in Europe
August 22-27, 2019

Post-Conference Romania Itinerary

Our journey into the heart of Romania offers us six nights to explore its timeless beauty. One of the last medieval landscapes in Europe, Romania is filled with castles perched on rocky hilltops, pine-forested valleys and villages where centuries-old folk traditions remain strong.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
We depart Plovdiv by coach at the end of our Main Conference, just after lunch, for the two-hour drive to Sofia Airport. An early evening flight will bring us to Bucharest, Romania, where we will have a late dinner and spend the night at a lovely airport hotel.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
After breakfast at our hotel, we depart by coach for the 2.5 hour drive towards Sinaia, at the foothills of the Bucegi Mountains. Here, we visit Peles Castle, a fairytale-like Romanian royal palace, before enjoying lunch in Sinaia. We then continue deeper into Transylvania to the 13th century city of Brasov, ringed by the Carpathian Mountains, for a walking tour that includes a visit to its Neo-Gothic synagogue, still in use. Finally, we end up in Viscri, one of Transylvania’s most beautiful and serene Saxon villages. We visit its fortified church - built when the region was part of the kingdom of Hungary - have dinner and spend the night.

Thursday, August 29, 2019
We begin with breakfast at our hotel before setting off for Sighisoara, an hour’s drive away. We’ll enjoy walking through the colorful, cobbled, streets of this town made famous as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and visit its medieval citadel. After an early lunch, we take a three-hour ride to Cluj, capital of Transylvania and a lively, bohemian city of medieval towers, cafes and art galleries. We’ll have a short guided tour, dinner together and an overnight at our hotel.

Friday, August 30, 2019
Today we drive further north to Maramures, Romania’s most traditional region. After breakfast at our hotel, we travel for 2.5 hours into the countryside’s rolling hills to visit the Greek Orthodox Surdesti wooden church, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We’ll have lunch in the small village of Mara before continuing on to Breb, with its horse-drawn carriages and flower-filled meadows, where we will spend the next two nights. We’ll have some free time to wander before being treated to a typical Romanian meal prepared with the organic bounty of local farms.

Saturday, August 31, 2019
Our day begins with breakfast at our pension before a full day of exploring Maramures. A short drive brings us to the iconic wooden churches of Barsana Monastery, set in an enchanting landscape, and then to the unique Merry Cemetery, whose brightly painted grave markers are an emphatic celebration of life. We’ll have lunch in Sighet, a town along the Tisa River and Ukranian border, where we’ll also visit a memorial dedicated to those who died fighting the communist regime. Finally, we travel to nearby Desesti Church, where 18th century artisans and painters transformed wood into an exquisite example of rural Romanian culture. We return to Breb for dinner, followed by a taste of the local folkloric music.

Sunday, September 1, 2019
We depart after breakfast at our pension for the three-hour drive towards Bucovina, the “land of beech trees”, and the painted monasteries of Moldovita, Sucevita and Voronet. These 16thcentury buildings are adorned, both inside and out, with intricate, colorful, instructional frescoes; the road between them is one of the most beautiful in Bucovina. We’ll have lunch en route, and proceed afterwards to Suceava, 45 minutes away and historically at the crossroads of Central and Eastern Europe. We’ll have time for a walk through the city before dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Monday, September 2, 2019
Our Post-Conference Journey concludes after breakfast. For those of us on the early morning flight back to Bucharest, transport to Suceava Airport will be provided before breakfast.

Travel and Hotels

Complete information regarding travel and suggested flight times will be provided upon registration.  

Contact information for our hotels will be provided in your Welcome Packet, available closer to conference time.

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