Dobrogea • 2018 • episode "3/9" Flavours of Romania

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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.

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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California

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The Glorious Story of Castles

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Journey's End

Until David Thompson found a route through the Rockies, the west coast was effectively cut off from the rest of Canada. Combined with the unique terrain of the Pacific coast, the result was a different land. The unique cultures, skills and landscape of Canada's far west make it a rich and diverse place - a land of cedar boxes, steam-bent fish hooks and dugout canoes, and a place where totem poles once dominated the landscape and people relied on the sea. Ray Mears explores the area's bushcraft, nature and traditions as he completes his journey across Canada.

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Muntenia

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East

his leg takes Ade to the east of the continent, from Tanzania, through Ethiopia and on to war-torn Somalia. Ade begins in Tanzania, in Selous Game Reserve – a game park the size of Switzerland. He is on the lookout for elephants. But the numbers in this park have fallen by 90 per cent over the last few decades. As well as poaching, one of the big problems is that elephants trample and eat crops – so the locals don't like them. But a new collaring programme is helping numbers to recover. Ade's next stop is Ethiopia's far north. He travels to the hottest place on the planet where he spends a night with some of the toughest people on earth - the Afar. He joins them doing what their ancestors have done for centuries – hacking blocks of salt from a dried-up salt lake and loading them onto camels. But change is finally coming to this place – thanks to another of its resources, the fertilizer potash. It is a sign of Ethiopia's development, which Ade sees more of in the capital, Addis Ababa. Having grown up with images of starving children in the famine-plagued 80s, Addis is nothing like Ade expected. The city is booming. And it is driving Ethiopia's economy - now one of the fastest-growing in the world. Ade gets a guided tour from perhaps the world's greatest-ever long distance runner, Haile Gebrselassie. Haile is now a businessman, with investments in coffee and construction. The real fuel in Ethiopia's boom is manufacturing. Asia is still the workshop of the world, but with wages there on the rise, Chinese companies are increasingly looking to countries like Ethiopia to set up factories – as Ade discovers on a visit to a shoe factory. Leaving Addis, Ade travels on Ethiopia's new high-speed Chinese built train, which whisks him all the way to neighbouring Djibouti, a vital port for Ethiopia's export-led economy. The final stop on this leg of Ade's trip is war-torn Somalia. He joins the African Union troops on a mission out of Mogadishu and discovers a country in ruins, thanks to decades of conflict with Islamist group al-Shabab. Even in areas ruled by the government conservative Islam dominates and women face restriction on their freedom. Back in Mogadishu, Ade shoots some hoops with a group of women defying the odds by playing basketball. His final encounter is with a female doctor who worked for the NHS for 30 years, and has now returned to Somalia to rebuild her country. She is prepared to give her life, if necessary, in her efforts to provide quality maternity care for new mothers.

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