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Banat & Crisana • 2018 • episode "7/9" Flavours of Romania

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The Banat region borders on Serbia and Hungary, so its capital, Timisoara, is a very multi-cultural, cosmopolitan city, and provides the main social and economic hub for western Romania.

Flavours of Romania • 2018 • 9 episodes •

Oltenia

We begin our journey in Oltenia, once known as Wallachia minor, and one of the least promoted regions in Romania.

2018 • Travel

Muntenia

This week we are exploring Muntenia, also known as Greater Wallachia, a region once presided over by Vlad the Impaler, whose famous cruelty as a ruler spawned the legends that inspired Bram Stoker's iconic novel, Dracula.

2018 • Travel

Dobrogea

Dobrogea is a region rich in history and modern ethnic diversity not least because it incorporates Romania's only stretch of coastline. Here the Danube Delta, Europe's largest wetland fans out into the Black Sea.

2018 • Travel

Moldova

The next leg of my journey takes us north to Moldova, an ancient region covering the Easternmost part of the country. Originally twice its current size, it included northern Bucovina and Basarabia, now the separate and not to confused with the Republic of Moldova.

2018 • Travel

Transilvania - Part I

This week we are exploring Romania's largest and most iconic region,mistaken by many Americans and others as a country in its own right. In fact Transylvania is a name that most of the western world still associates with Dracula, werewolves and folk legend. But this land beyond the forest defies all preconceptions and remains one of the most culturally important and beautiful parts of Eastern Europe.

2018 • Travel

Transilvania - Part II

The second leg of the journey through Transilvania. We pick up our journey in the fields just outside the scenic village of Crit.

2018 • Travel

Banat & Crisana

The Banat region borders on Serbia and Hungary, so its capital, Timisoara, is a very multi-cultural, cosmopolitan city, and provides the main social and economic hub for western Romania.

2018 • Travel

Maramures

In this our penultimate episode, we reach the remote and beautiful Maramures, a region that has stoically resisted the influence of everyone, from Emperor Trajan, right up to Ceausescu.

2018 • Travel

Bucovina

Famed for its painted churches, this is a region that's replete with ancient monuments.

2018 • Travel

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South

The final leg of Ade's tour of Africa sees him travelling from the beaches of Mozambique, through South Africa, before ending his entire trip in Zimbabwe. He begins on the golden sand beaches of Mozambique's Bazaruto Archipelago, one of Africa's highlights. At Paradise Island, he finds an abandoned hotel, a visual reminder of Mozambique's recent history - this place was once a high-end tourist destination, but 25 years of colonial and then civil war put a stop to development. But the local wildlife has benefited from the fact that so few tourists now come here, and Ade is able to snorkel with one of the world's most elusive sea creatures - a dugong. Since the wars, Mozambique has struggled to develop, and Ade meets someone for whom life is especially hard – a wheelchair user like himself. In a country where disability is viewed with fear and superstition – and believed by many to be contagious – even catching a bus proves impossible for Castigo. The best thing in his life is exactly the same thing that turned Ade's life around - wheelchair basketball - and Ade can't help getting carried away in a game. Along the coast, at one of Mozambique's largest ports, Ade finds out that China is investing a huge amount in Mozambique – and elsewhere across Africa. The money often comes with strings attached, but a poor country like Mozambique needs financial help, which has to come from somewhere. Ade's next stop is South Africa. The country is famous for its wildlife but Ade hears how Chinese influence is having a dramatic impact here – the country's rhino population has been decimated by poachers, driven by a demand for rhino horn in Chinese medicine. Ade follows rangers with a surprising way of tackling the problem - by cutting off the rhino horn themselves, they hope to deter poachers. Ade travels to Johannesburg to see how the country is faring 25 years after apartheid ended. On a tour of the city, he is upset to discover that although the black population now have voting rights, they are living in an economic form of apartheid, with 25% unemployed and many squatting on whatever land they can find. In an emotional scene, Ade visits a squatted piece of land, moments after the police have destroyed people's houses, to hear claims that Mandela's legacy has been forgotten. Land reform is the big political issue here today, with many calling for a redistribution of land from rich white farmers to the black population. The final stop on Ade's African adventure is Zimbabwe – where land reform has already happened, with disastrous results. Ade finds a country still struggling economically. His first stop is the Kariba dam, and a hair-raising boat ride on the vast and stunning Lake Kariba. Ade finds that locals are worried about the stability of the Kariba dam and work has begun to stabilize undermined foundations. The worrying decay of this crucial dam is a sign of how much this country suffered under the rule of Robert Mugabe. As Ade has seen so often on his trip around Africa, Zimbabwe is a country that should be rich. It has huge quantities of gold – enough, in theory, for the entire population to be a millionaire. But there isn't the infrastructure of investment to get at it - in a country dogged by poverty and corruption. But the departure of dictator Robert Mugabe brought a new optimism, and Ade meets gold miners who are willing to risk daily exposure to toxic mercury for every scrap of gold they can get and an entrepreneur who believes the industry can be transformed. Despite the return of violence and repression in Zimbabwe, Ade ends his journey on a high, visiting a remote hut that has been turned into the set of a music video. He joins UK indie musician Shingai Shoniwa as she shoots the video for her forthcoming debut single, Coming Home, in a country that she believes is on the up, and deserves a fresh chance.

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Part 1

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North

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Shrines of Gold

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Transilvania - Part II

The second leg of the journey through Transilvania. We pick up our journey in the fields just outside the scenic village of Crit.

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