LONDON Luton Airport 10.05.2021 7:30 AM
After I checked in, and loaded the check-in baggage with half of my equipment, and I passed the security control, I had time to create a time-lapse, with the aircraft with which I was going to fly.
In Romania, Great Britain at the moment is on the green list, which means that I did not need to do tests or to stay in quarantine. At the moment, for my return to the UK, quarantine is mandatory.
Cluj-Napoca, 10.05.2021 14:18
Every time I travel, I use rented cars. I consider this to be the most practical thing, because I could move with without any time limit, or without depending on anyone in any foreign country. The car is collected from the airport, and handed over at the airport. Basically the advantages are: You don't pay taxis, and you don't depend on anyone.
In order to rent a car, in my case, coming from the UK, and landing in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, I needed the following things:
for the reservation I used RENTALCAR.COM website and for the 5 days, I paid approx. 94 pounds, and a deposit of 900 euros which was blocked (-> this requires a credit card) NO DEBIT CARD ACCEPTED
I needed a driver's license
Personally, I suggest you all, to make a complete filming + PICTURES with the inside & outside of the car in which to highlight all the defects and scratches of the vehicle. I have been using rented cars for over 10 years, and with the video and picture technique, as a proof, I have never had any problems.
Alba-Iulia, 10.05.2021 15:37
We were starting to climb the Apuseni Mountains.
Geamana, 10.05.2021 16:47
Here I saw the first impact of nature caused by acid.
At the other side of the hill, you can see the beauty of spring.
Once arrived in the village, I started to look around, attracting many curious looks. That's how I got in touch with Leana, a mid 50's woman, without children and without a husband, who takes care of her sister's 2 children. At first they were very reluctant, saying that they offered a lot of interviews, but unfortunately nothing changed. I told her that I can't do anything to help them with, I just want to expose through my pictures, the daily difficulties they have.
I asked them to talk to me about their difficulties, especially that as I speak in their language, they opened up easily in front of me, telling their problems. I spent almost 3 hours talking to this lady, and I offered the few sweets I had in the car, to the children, and we agreed to see each other the next day, to make a portrait of her. As I left, Leana called me back, while she was staying with a picture in her hand, showing me what Geamana (the village with approx. 335 houses) once looked like.
Walking around the lake, I discovered some signs where photography was forbidden. Being curious as usual, I asked the villagers the meaning of those signs, and I found out that about 4-5 years ago, the government tried to ban photography, and filming, to stifle information outflow: PEOPLE DON'T NEED TO KNOW!
Fortunately, they were not successful, because the press, journalists, and tourists continue to come. This is the only sign left.
Before I left, I talked to several people on social media, and I had a few contact numbers, so I decided to call Cornel Oprisa, who had made me a generous offer just before I left to stay overnight in " Casuta din padure ".
Casuta din padure is a cottage in the middle of nature, which has only electricity and spring water. The toilet is still made of wood in the yard, and the cottage is uncomfortable but still so homey and welcoming.
(Fun fact! I found out that Cornel is Leana's cousin)
Arriving at midnight, at the cottage, Mr. Oprisa took out the best food out from the refrigerator, and we served dinner. Most of the dishes were genuine, but let's not forget about Visinata.
(visinata = cherries mixed with alcohol and sugar left to ferment).
The morning view leaves you speechless, it's like waking up in a paradise.
Early in the morning I told Cornel that I want to shoot some Arial photography, so he came up with the idea to go to the top of the hill where I can take a large picture of the area, and I could fly over the copper mine (to have a wifi connection with the drone, I always have to be in an open field)
Once there, I started flying, and taking more pictures and videos, spending half a day up the hill. Cornel, like a really good host, quickly made a fire and took out the traditional bacon.
If you haven't caught on yet, I'm not traveling alone in this adventure, as an assistant, I have my girlfriend Vivien, who made a huge contribution especially in the backstge photos (of the ambiance, about me).
With the remaining batteries we return near the lake. On the last hundred meters leaving London, I decided to buy a car charger for the drone. It helped me a lot, because I could charge my battery while moving between location A and B.
On the way back I stopped at Mrs. Leana for the promised portrait.
In this video you can see the toxic water coming down from the mine. To eliminate the toxicity it was decided to make a mixture with Calcium-hydroxid.
* The comments in the video are in Romanian out of respect for Cornel who mentioned this so he can understand it too *
(this highlights the amount of fake news about the place)
The point where toxic water forms the lake.
The seond half of the day I used it toshoot as much Arial photography as possible. I watched the most colorful points, helped by the strong sunlight that is reflected in the water. The climate helped me a lot, the heat was always over 24 degrees Celsius.
I talked to more villagers, finding out more information and images which already had a story behind them.
The second night, I spent it again in the Casuta din padure.
On the third day I met some more villagers willing to share their stories. They to recognize us because people were wondering who we were so they became more sociable.
After 72 hours without a shower, you begin to appreciate the warm water and the comfort of home. Even though I was sleeping at night, I still felt tired. I tried to stay focused, thinking about the hotel that was waiting for me in the evening.
Asking for permission, and doing more portraits.
In these 3 days, I shot over 1200 frames, arial and camera. I consider that I have some good documented photo stories, and a lot of material that can include and gather everything together. People's stories also touched my sentimental side, I managed to gain their trust, and I was invited to come back.
Thanks to all the villagers who collaborated, and opened their door for me.
Wishin them Good Health & Happiness !
DON'T FORGET GEAMANA
SAVE ROSIA MONTANA !
I highlighted the translation of the writing in the image because the shadow offers a cruel reality. This was the last image taken at Geamana, and personally for me it is the strongest, the most impactful. The state and the Romanians forgot about the inhabitants of Geamana. They are completely isolated and disconnected from reality. While writing these lines, I received a message from Cornel, who was just informing me that Geamana is without electricity due to a storm, and he does not see a solution in the near future.