1- The Byzantine Catholic Church in Romania was legalized in 1990 after losing all their churches to the state church under communism. Most churches have not been given back, so they are constructing new ones. The icon screens are usually much simpler than in the old days.
2- Romania is well-known for its use of wood. Here are the little ones playing with a wooden slide at a trout hatchery restaurant.
3- Girl #1 is posing at the well at the middle of the Orthodox monastery in Barsana. She took the same photo four years ago- time flies!
4- We climbed the 'secret staircase' at Bran Castle, supposedly Vlad Tepes' castle (of Dracula fame) but really a fortress and then the palace of the royal family in modern times.
5- Boy relaxes on the balcony on the eighth floor in his grandparents' apartment in the 'new center' of the city.
6- We are lucky to attend the feast day Divine Liturgy and celebration of a friend's village in 'Historic Maramures,' northwest Romania close to the Ukrainian border.7- Girl #2 loved all the kittens she found in the barns- heaven for our cat lover!
Bonus cuteness: our 5 year old cutie-pie