A jaunt through the mountains near Bran

During our recent visit to Bran Castle, we had a few spare hours that we chose to spend wandering through the mountains above Bran. We found a dirt road that wound its way up the mountains through a beautiful village called Sodohol and then entered into Bucegi National Park. We stumbled onto it by chance and followed it till we could go no further without damage to the underside of our car, so we parked it and walked. We had a wonderful time and I hope the photos you see here will show it. Some of them are high-resolution panoramas and one includes a view of Bran Castle from afar. Enjoy!

Țara lui Andrei at Bran Castle

This weekend, Ligia and I participated at an event called “Tabăra lui Andrei”, put together by the team at Țara lui Andrei. They organize these wonderful camps for underprivileged children every summer in the village of Bran, in order to provide training, employment opportunities and personal development courses for these children. Each camp lasts about a week, with teams of about 60 children brought in to learn how to grow into productive, well-balanced people who like what they do in life. They do miracles! Normally, you’d say you can’t do much with someone in a week, but you’d be surprised at the results they get!

This week’s camp was for chefs and waiters. At the end of the week, after a lot of on-the-job intensive training and motivational seminars, they organized, cooked and served a three-course meal to a group of Romanian celebrities, notables and government officials invited to attend the dinner party.

We, the dinner guests, were treated to a wonderful event and were blown away by the professionalism of these children of high-school age. The evening started with appetizers, continued with a private tour of Bran Castle and culminated with this special dinner, served in the newly opened Castle Tea House.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the good people at Țara lui Andrei for the amazing, life-changing work they’re doing and for the impact they have on the lives of these children who get to see life through a different lens, even if only for a little while, and then get employment opportunities and a chance at a better life. I’m so proud that this kind of work is going on in Romania!

I also made a video where I talked a little more about this, and there’s a photo gallery here as well.

Ligia’s Kitchen: raw vegan tiramisu

Here’s a quick video recipe from Ligia for a raw vegan tiramisu that can be made in a few minutes using a blender. Bon appetit!

Raw tiramisu

Ligia’s Kitchen: a raw vegan glazed-chocolate cake topped with edible flowers

We upped our game for this episode of Ligia’s Kitchen and filmed it with five cameras. It was a bit nerve-wracking but the end result was worth it. Bon appetit!

Ligia’s Kitchen: A different sort of salad

Salata de vlastari cu kale

Here’s a greens salad made with a range of sprouts, wild garlic, kale leaves, green onion leaves and tomatoes from our garden. I call it different because the combination of the ingredients and the special dressing that Ligia makes for it give it this wonderful and different taste. You won’t know what I mean until you try it!

Ligia’s Kitchen: Green juice from kale leaves and sunflower sprouts

Here’s a delicious green juice you can make in winter from kale leaves, apples, ginger root and sunflower sprouts. Enjoy!

Ligia’s Kitchen: A raw vegan spaghetti dish

Here’s one of Ligia’s raw vegan dishes: freshly cut vegetable spaghetti with a raw vegan sauce, perfectly seasoned as usual. Bon appetit!