The organizer of tourist trips and passionate traveller Andrei-Ionel Bergheş speaks to the blog the „Bridge of Friendship” about the approximation between people, which is made possible through tourism
Andrei-Ionel Bergheş is from Bucharest. He has graduated from the Faculty of Geography of the University of Bucharest. His primary specializations are in topology and meteorology. He has been organising tourist trips since 2015. He has worked for 4 years as a meteorologist at the National Administration for Meteorology, time, which he considers the best in his life. Tourism has been his passion since childhood.
Mr. Bergheş, you are a geographer by education, meteorologist by profession and your passion and your business are related to tourism. How did you reach to the point of making the project ”Geographical Arhcive” and what is his history?
My name is Andrei-Ionel Bergheş. While I was a student, I started writing about my city – Bucharest, on a blog, that was called Urban Explorer (Explorator Urban in Romanian). I published there articles about abandoned places, which were very attractive, but nobody knew them. After that I started publishing about my mountain walks and about special places in Romania, which needed promotion. I changed the name of the blog to Geographical Archive. The project ”Geographical Archive” started as a blog, morphed into a book and hten developed as a tourist agency, because there were a lot of questions to me about the places I was resenting and how one can go there. I answered the questions through the tourist trips, which I started organising.
You have organised and plan to organise again excursions in Bulgaria, Serbia and Ukraine. What could Romanian tourists discover in the zone of close neighbourhood? Aren’t Romanians “an island in a sea of slavs”, in the sense that walking and mixing with the neighbours might be dangerous? What impressions do your tourist clients have from these neighbouing lands?
The most interesting places, where Romanian look for adventure are in Bulgaria, Serbia, Moldova and Ukraine. These are very attractive places for us. The locals in those countries are always welcoming, hospitable. So the Slavic population around our borders has brought us only good. Ukraine offers us the most beautiful cities on the Black Sea shore, such as Odessa. Serbia offers beautiful experiences at the Danube and wild nature sight. Bulgaria offers walks and adventures in Stara Planina, Rila, Pirin, Rhodopes. Bulgaria is the most adjacent country to Romania and it is the most looked for by Romanian tourists. Romanians go to Bulgaria at the seaside or in the mountain.
You speak Bulgarian language at a good level. What is your own personal story of discovery, related to Bulgaria?
I learned the alphabet and a few words in Bulgarian language on the first day, in which I travelled in Bulgaria. The first country, where I went abroad was Bulgaria. I visited Silistra. The most beautiful experience was when I approach in a shop or in a restaurant the people in Bulgarian language. The seller or the waiter know that I am not Bulgarian, but they smile and appreciate that I try to speak with them their language. It is also beautiful when in the region of Silistra, but also in other towns, the local people greet you in Romanian!
To what extent does tourism manage to overcome the borders between Romanians and Bulgarians and people the people of our region in general? What positive changes could tourism encourage in the context, in which the competition between the countries in our region has never stopped?
There is no competition between the countries on the Balkans. I agree that Romania tries to attract foreign tourists but we have problems with our roads and hotels. We are not sufficiently ready for foreign tourists, especially in the mountains. Romanian tourists prefer Bulgaria for tourists services, because they are of higher quality that in Romania. In Bulgaria you can find a restaurant, where the waiter speaks Romanian language. In Romanian you will never find a restaurant, where Bulgarian language is being spoken. We eagerly wait for Bulgarians in our country!
How do you imagine the future of the project “Geogrpahic Archive”?
My tourist project is supported by my guests, who travel with me. The more the destination is interested and better prepared to receive tourists, the more my project will be successful.
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