I Wish You a Happy New Year: Winter Holidays in Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania

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2016 is right around the corner and the Christmas spirit – together with the joy of welcoming a new year – is here and you can feel it everywhere. 2015 was a good year for this blog as I was able to share with you some details about a family that actually made the move to Romania from the US and hopefully more will follow their dream and move to Romania in the near future – and share your experiences here to inspire other people as well.

Winter has been, so far, exactly how I’d like them to always be: incredibly warm and sunny. We had temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius (59 Fahrenheit) in my hometown Drobeta Turnu Severin and it was wonderful. It is reason to worry – on a global scale – since winters here came with tons of snow and temperatures of up to -27 degrees Celsius / -16 Fahrenheit (we had them just several years ago when our water pipes froze and it was like… well… frozen hell on earth here), but right now we should only think about the good things and great plans we have to make for a wonderful 2016.

I have for you a gift of just a few photos from Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania – a city flooded with beautiful lights during the winter holidays. And that’s just a small part of it, as I haven’t even taken photos in the central area which is equally nice. Also, the feeling of actually being here is way better than the photos because, for some reason, my phone (yes, I took this with my phone during an evening walk) refuses to capture the actual beauty of it all – for example, the actual color of the lights in the last photos is red, not the purple that my camera decided to cheat us with. Still, it’s really nice and you can check out a Romanian town during a warm winter below:

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The main pedestrian area in the city
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The skating rink, pretty popular during the winter
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The Christmas tree. They worked a bit on the lighting this year but it’s still a bit too much. Last year it was way worse, with all the lights making no sense and flashing in colors that didn’t match. So it’s an improvement!

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Walking down the pedestrian street towards the city center (well… we didn’t get there, though!)
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Same street and a short glimpse of a small theater.

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In the back, you can see what we know as the Water Tower, which is now open to the public (you can go all the way to the top for a really nice panoramic view over the city). It also has nothing to do with treating or storing water, but it hosts art and other cultural events.
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The city’s boulevard (yup, we do have one 8 lane road in this small city!) which is a lot more beautiful than the photos make it look.

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View from the street leading to our apartment.
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And what we actually see walking back home. Well, kind of, because it looks better in reality and the lights are RED. 🙂

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It really feels like you’re walking in a fairy tale (minus the snow), and you can see a bit more – and better colors for sure – in the video below, that covers even the areas that I didn’t and which shows a bit more of how it actually feels to walk around the city during the evening or night. Really beautiful! (Note: if you don’t have time for it all, watch at least a bit at around 0:37 2:00 and 2:30 for some areas that I didn’t manage to cover that well… or just spend the next 4 minutes virtually exploring my city!)

Hopefully you think that these are just as beautiful as I think they are and, who knows, maybe this will give you the final push to finally come here in 2016 (or the near future).

I wish you all a great new year!

16 COMMENTS

  1. Calin:
    I made it before Kem Kem–seldom happens!)
    Lovely photos–even from a phone!;-) Were the older folk disappointed in not having a White Christmas? People of a certain age usually can’t get a grip on the crazy weather!
    So, were the stores mobbed with people looking for Christmas bargains? What does a typical Romanian Christmas entail? Is their a popular Christmas meal? Do people enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables and pumpkin pie? (I could gobble down a whole pie by myself–luckily they are normally only available in November or December, or I’d be a big as a house!;-)) Does Santa come down the chimney? Do you leave cookies for him;-? Is their a “Boxing Day” like in Canada and Britain? I never understood what “Boxing Day” was all about! (Insert joke, here;-) Did Eric get all the toys he hoped for? I remember Christmas was a very big deal for me when I was a child–eons ago!
    What’s the dog poop situation, there?;-) 😉 I did see a pooch crossing the street in one of your snaps;-) (Sorry–I couldn’t resist!;-)
    Well, let’s hope 2016 is better for all concerned. I am so glad for you and your country that you all are not on any terrorist target list. (Another reason to live in Romania.)
    Blessings,
    ~Teil

    • Hello Teil,

      The city does look beautiful during the Winter holidays, even without snow. I personally like it like this (the warmer weather, that is) but there are certainly people who miss the good ol’ snow. Hopefully we’ll get some eventually, so that Eric plays a bit with it.

      The city is packed during Christmas, indeed, and we do have traditional Christmas meals, but they don’t include any of the things you mentioned. It’s usual to eat salata boeuf (maybe Google it), sarmale, homemade sausages and other cold cuts (caltabos etc), piftie, cozonac and probably a pork roast or something (not necessarily in that order, haha).

      Santa doesn’t come down the chimney, he just comes in however he can (there are many apartments in Romania, so the chimney would make little sense). We don’t have the socks for him to fill, nor we leave him cookies. However, kids should tell Santa a small poem to receive their gifts – because it’s a custom here to actually have a real Santa (well… a parent or friend dressed as him) visit the house and interact with the kid. On many occasions, there are small gatherings of friends to take advantage of one Santa 🙂

      We don’t have a Boxing Day, and Eric is a bit too young to really know how Christmas works 🙂 He did get a bunch of toys he really enjoyed, but he didn’t ask for anything specific. I remember that I loved receiving toys when I was little, so I can only hope that he was extremely pumped as he got quite a few gifts.

      The dog poop situation here is great – you will rarely see any on the sidewalk, probably because we do have a lot of green spaces everywhere and the dogs leave their little treasures there. We also have very few to no stray dogs, which also helps.

      I wish you a great 2016 as well!

  2. Happy New Year to you Calin and your family! We were just missed by a huge storm that went up through the central U.S. so looks like a nice start to the new year here.

  3. Looks like a great place. Want to come to Drobeta sometime but the annoying thing is Pandurii are too good so probably wont play Chiajna again when the league splits.

    Oh well, could possibly go to Drobeta on the way back from Timisoara….

    Definitely also looking to see Orsova as it seems beautiful

    Happy New Year!

  4. I have been trying for almost a day to post this comment :-(. I kept getting an error message. I can’t believe he beat me this time :-). It’s on Mister..haha. The decorations look awesome! Dare l say the tree looks better than the one in Seville! It is gorgeous, and l love the blue lights (red) in the first picture. There is something special about Christmas isn’t there? I still miss the ones from my youth a lot…and the memories mostly involve being with all my cousins and other relatives. Hope you guys have a wonderful and Happy New Year! See you in 2016 hopefully 🙂 .

    • I’m sorry to hear about the commenting problem… I have no idea where that comes from.

      Regarding the Christmas tree, it does have a lot of colors and it’s really happy 🙂 I still liked the one in Seville better :)) But indeed, there is something special about Christmas. I love it!

      Happy new year to you too and yes, I’d love to see you in 2016!

    • Happy New Year, Tim! I just finished preparing the salata de beouf and it turned out delicious, even though I did add a bit too much salt. Even so, I am sure it won’t take us long to devour it :))

  5. Hello everybody, Here in Jordan having a great time surrounded by family members and friends over dead sea. Again Wishing you all a peaceful Year and be safe.

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