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Testimonials from our tourists

The following are some testimonials from people who attended EuRo Eclipse 99, Ovidiu's previous small business run from Canada in 1999 in collaboration with SARM and Romantic Travel tour operator in Romania.

Dear Ovidiu:

All of us had a great time and immensely enjoyed the tour and, of course, the Eclipse. It was very nice to finally meet you at the SARM camp. I hope you had as good a view of the big event as we did from Pitesti. Everyone learned a great deal about Romania, and a number of us are anxious to return for another, more liesurely trip. The country was beautiful and fascinating, with it's great range of landscapes, contrasts of architecture and cultures, and friendly people. Thanks again, for all your work in organizing and promoting these tours!

Dave & Toni Bell, and all our "Clan" (USA)


My first message to you.

The people, sights, food, tour guide, transportation, and all were most memorable, even intelligent. If anything, it was almost too much to do, which is fine. But one extra hour for sleep some nights when so many of us were of the "gray-haired generation" (a very good sophisticated group, by the way, perhaps because they were screened by having to use the web to find you) would have given us more energy, too, but that's a quibble.

Been locating many Enescu CDs and giving a good listen. Wonderful! We got to go to his museum the last day, as our plane was much later departure than most of the others in our group.

You may be pleased to hear that my composite eclipse image, made in collaboration with a good friend up in Rimnicu Vilcea, will be on the cover of the next issue of Sky & Telescope magazine, their eclipse round-up issue. I've posted some decent quality jpegs to my lengthy eclipse web page.

Look near the bottom for a brief recent report. I'll expand it with more tales of Romania when I come up for air in a few weeks. And I'll take a look at your overview site shortly as well. I heard you intersected with our old friend, Roger Tuthill. Good man. He's been at this even longer that we have, although this was my 21st eclipse, 18th total... I think.

Wendy Carlos (US)

Dear Dr. Ovidiu Vaduvescu,

We came back to my home yesterday. Because it took about 18 hours from Bucharest to Tokyo, we had slept for a long time yesterday.

First, I must thank you. We could see a wonderful total solar eclipse with you. It was not the best one but my wife and I, and especially Mr. Yasuda for whom it was the first experience, were very much moved. I will not forget the two hours ran to Bucharest with the car. There are all of our wonderful experiences thanks to you. I do a respect sincerely to members who completed this plan. At Stefanesti I was helped by a lot of persons and I was deeply impressed with the good work of the people. Four days in Romania were very delightful to me. I think Romanian people are kind and gentle. I like countryside rather than big city. I think that the countryside leaves the past goodness.

There was only one thing with the regret of. We stayed at Hotel Ambassador in Bucharest the last night in Romania. Early morning 12th, a hotel driver took us to the airport with hotel car. When arriving at the airport, he demanded 225 dollars to us! Of course I refused, but after all, he carried away 100 dollars from me. I coudn't believe such a man works at 3 stars hotel in the capital! But I am believing almost all Romanian people are kind and gentle as at Stefanesti. As for me, the working begins again from tomorrow. If our photographs were developed, I will contact you again. All the best for you!

Osamu Ohgoe (Japan)

Dear Ovidiu,

I will answer now to your questionary:

> 1. Accordingly with the tour agreement, how was the activity of Romantic Travel at EuRo Eclipse 99?

[ Please fill in only your sincere thoughts here ] ...

I think that Romantic travel did not do too much. Appart of booking a bus and booking the hotel rooms I don't see what effort they brought to this trip. SARM people and all their friend did much more in terms of activities and ideas. Our guide did his best to help and confort the group but his power were apparently very limited...

> 2. What do you think about SARM's activity at EuRo Eclipse 99?

The preparation work done by SARM was obviously great: Welcome, choice of sites, planning and timing, ideas of visits, and all the people we met. Furthermore SARM people were always with the group to socialise explain things and generally make this trip beeing much more than a simple touristic tour in a country. We shall be extremely grateful to Romanian and SARM people since their ressources are very low and they have been most generous to us with their time and energy.

> 3. What do you think about TSE99's activity at EuRo Eclipse 99?

No comments [actually, Damien is one of my friends :) ]

> 4. Did you enjoy the eclipse?

Yes, of course very much so. It was worth all the time and kilometers in the bus and more!

> 5. Did you enjoy your tour?

Yes very much so. It was a great adventure and experience. This trip will be remebered for a long time and I have now so many great things to tell everybody. Some do not even believe what we have been doing!

> 6. What do you think about our people and country?

It is hard to say it in a few words but Great, great great. The economical situation and the standard of leaving are to be improved: Wake up Romania! but the country is extremely beautiful and the people are most generous kind and charming. I'll be back at any time and do great advertisement for Romania.

> 7. Would you like to return sometime to visit Romania?

Yes, yes, yes, I have many reasons for!!!!

> 8. Do you plan to see one of the next total Solar eclipses?


[ Only for the participants who attended the Camp, Meeting, Astro Art actions or visited them in Targoviste ] :

> 9. How was the astronomical meeting and the camp in Targoviste?

Very interesting and well organised. The diversity of people makes it very special and interesting. It is a great way to meet Romanian people and really get to know them.

> 10. How was the astro-poetry festival and the astronomical showroom?

It is one of the most surprising event I have ever taken part of. Many different people, cultures, countries, interests..... Long life to the festival!

Damien Simon (France)

Dear Ovidiu,

It's great to be in contact with you again and I was so happy to meet you at the camp and listen to the songs and poems. Everyone was having such a good time and the anticipation of the Eclipse was tremendous. We were so lucky to have had such a great day, for a while up there in the mountains it was definately touch and go!!!

For me, my first eclipse was such an emotional experience and was fortunate to share it with a great group of people. I have such tremendous memories of Romania, the country, folklore,people, food and music and I shall definately return one day.

I have never stopped thinking about my time there and have told so many people about the country, it was definately the highlight of my Eastern European Tour, and I am definately much richer for my experiences.

I especially would like to say how much I enjoyed the services of the representative of SARM, Laurentiu Ezarcu. He was always so considerate, kind and very professional and a great asset to the society.

We certainly covered the life of Vlad the Impaler from his beginnings to end and it was a very good Dracula Tour. I really enjoyed the country side of Romania and only wished we had more time to spend with the local people especially in the fortressed villages and in the country, and more time should be given to local folklore and photostops. We were also very close to the famous painted monastries of Bucovina, but unfortunately a stop was not planned. Everyone enjoyed their overnight stay with the families in Arefu and I think that more of these should be included.

I enjoyed the hospitality and friendliness of all the people I met. The country is so vibrant with the different styles of architecture, costumes, culture and music. I will come back most certainly.

Thank you Valentin Grigore for everything that you did to make us most welcome. I thoroughly enjoyed the astro-poetry festival and the astronomical showroom and know it will recaive great enthusiasm here at the Port Elizabeth Astronomical Observatory.

Well thank you again for arranging this most memorable trip and hope to hear from you in the not to distant future. Wishing you a clear evening sky!

Best regards
Sandra Maguire (South Africa)

Dear Ovidiu,

Thanks for your email. You have an excellent set of pictures on the website, showing not only the magnificent eclipse but capturing some of the atmosphere of the tour!

Part of Kevin's video of the eclipse will be shown on BBC television tomorrow. We will try to make a recording that we can copy to members of the group outside the UK.

My wife and I are having a short holiday in Brittany next week. Then back to the hectic start of term in the university. I have filled in your questionnaire below.

With very best wishes and thanks for such a memorable trip to Romania.

David Kennedy (UK)