Tymes Tours, tour operator in Timisoara, Romania

tymes tours

travel agent & tour operator in Timişoara, Romania

sightseeing tours, cultural trips, nature tours and active travel

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office in Timişoara, working place all over Romania

Our regular office address is in Timişoara:

TYMES TOURS, tour operator & travel agent
Tourism licence no. 3196 / 2004.

Tymes Tours is owned by:

Registered with the Trade Office No. J35/1699/2004, VAT-Id: RO16488251
Str. Lisabona 7/1A Apt. 6
Timişoara 300603 Romania

Tel. / Fax: 0040-256-203015
E-mail: info@tymestours.ro

New! Since June 15th, 2012, we are on the FaceBook. You can find there updated info (and loads of pictures!) on our latest activity. See you on FaceBook!

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touching moments during a Banat trip: the ruined church of the childhood

Sometimes the highlights are no highlights.

The tiny village of Densuş in south-western Transylvania hosts an ancient little church, perhaps the oldest in Romania. We can not say this for sure, since its strange architecture, made out of different elements, still represents a puzzle for the art historians; the church contains many pieces of older, Roman materials – like the two lions visible in this picture, on the margins of the choir roof. For some reasons, only few foreign tourists make it to here. However, it seems that our tourists are just as fascinated by this monument as we are: we have included the Densuş church in both sightseeing tours and active trips (nearby lies the Retezat National Park) since seven years, with noticeable success.

Much of the tourism in Romania goes on the same old paths as decades ago, when incoming tourism was strongly developed by the dictator Ceauşescu. We are confident that there are many new possibilities to evolve – even many new sites to be included into the sightseeing tours and round trips of Romania. So far, our tour packages have proved that we are right.

traditional masks still produced in the Maramures special handicraft: making hats out of mushrooms

Traditions and old handicrafts, still alive

photo on the leftTraditional masks are still used at some religious feasts (of pagan influence) in the Maramures region of Northern Romania. The only person producing them is the folk artist Vasile Şuşca in the village Săcel of the upper Iza valley. In some of our tours of the Maramures we visit the artist, this being a chance to get in touch with features of traditional life already forgotten by many Romanians who live in urban environments.

photo on the rightIn the Transylvanian village Corund (Kórond, it is inhabited by Hungarians) an artisan makes hats out of a "special species of mushrooms"; after the processing, it will look and feel confusingly similar to deer leather – but it's a mushroom growing on old beech trees. However, Kórond lies on a main road, and is visited by crowds of tourists; so this artisan makes a living out of his handicraft, his products are bought exclusively by tourists. We've put this to illustrate the difference between seeing a living tradition, and a tradition which survives solely through (and for) tourism.

Quotes on Romania & Romanian tourism...

Patrick Leigh Fermor, perhaps the first Englishman to hike in Cerna Valley

photo: Wikipedia 

"... Even jumping from ledge to ledge and sliding on wet pine-needles, the downward climb lasted for hours. Scree slowed the pace and buttresses of rock, smooth as boiler-plates or spiked like iguanas, imposed gruelling swerves. Gleams across the cliffs revealed faraway threads of water; close to, they coiled and cataracted through the tree trunks as the ledges of the forest dropped. The conifers abdicated when the hardwoods began to outnumber them; and the ravine, deepening fast, coaxed the trees higher and higher until the oaks, mantled with ivy, pronged with the antlers of dead boughs and tufted with mistletoe, grew into giants. Clearings of beech opened their forest-chambers and bracken gave way to mare's tails, hemlock and the tatters of old man's beard... [...] ... the sound of water grew louder; and soon flecked by leaf-shadows and askim with wagtails and redstarts, the ice-cold Cerna was rushing by under the branches... [...] ... and the black rocks, which gave the river its dark Slavonic name, cumbered the depths."

Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor
Between the Wood and the Water

Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915 – 2011) was probably the best-known English traveller of the modern times. He became famous for his long journeys, but also for his activity during the war time – in Greece occupied by the Nazis he organized a successful plot to capture an important German officer. One might easily say, that his life resembled in deed an adventure novel.

so did Patrick Leigh Fermor sleep on his hike on the Cerna Valley
searching for the lost Orsova, on the shore of the Danube
in the Iron Gates of the Danube, the are of the "Big Cauldrons" (Cazanele Mari)

He took his long journey when he was only 18, in December 1933; his aim was to cross Central and Eastern Europe on foot, having Istanbul as final destination. He started from Holland, crossed to snowy Germany and followed the Rhine for a while, then went down the Danube through Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria; Istanbul was reached two years after the start. Decades later he put down many of his extraordinary travel experiences in (quite sophisticated) words, his two books on this subject ("A Time of Gifts" and "Beyond the Wood and the Water") enjoyed great success. The books show in great details that Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor engaged not in an athletic crossing of the continent, but on a conscious experience to come closer to history and people. He met a lot of noblemen from old European families (many of them offering hospitality) but also many peasants and simple people, sampled countless personal experiences and closed lasting friendships.

He definitely lived through a lot in Romania. After a sojourn in Transylvania, he decided to head south, to meet the Danube again. He chose the way over the mountains: in an adventurous hike lasting almost a week, he crossed the Carpathians from the small town of Haţeg (to the north, in Transylvania) over to the Cerna Valley (in the Banat region). He was impressed by the wild beauty of the area – as you can read here, and as many of our guests experience it each year in our tours of Cerna Valley. He visited the spa of Herculane, but also took a short trip through the wildest passages of the Iron Gates of the Danube, Europe's longest river gorge.

In 2007 a team from Icon Films, UK came in the Banat to shoot a documentary about the trip of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor. The team was conducted by Benedict Allen, himself a well-known modern traveller; he was also embodying P.L.F. in the upcoming film. We as a tour operator had to arrange the logistics for the whole action, so we had a first-hand glimpse into the team's work.

On the footsteps of Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor
in the Banat region, Romania

photo on the rightBenedict Allen (embodying P. L. F.) sleeps under a hay stalk, to illustrate the epic crossing of the Carpathians.

photo on the rightFilming in the bay of Orşova, at the mouth of river Cerna. The old town of Orşova (from the time of P.L.F.'s trip) lies under the water of the Danube, consequence of building the dam of the hydropower plant in the Iron Gates.

photo on the rightThe crew takes a day trip through the narrowest passages of the Iron Gates of the Danube, just as P.L.F. did 80 years ago.

tymes tours is owned by SC Tymes Globetrotter SRL
Str. Lisabona nr. 7/1A, Timisoara, RO 300603, info@tymestours.ro
Tourism licence no. 3196/2004