Reference for Iulian Cozma from Matthew LaCompte: My wife, Helen, and I had a great experience hiking and traveling with Iulian Cozma in Romania. We spent 8 days with him from May 27, 2005 until June 4, 2005. For the first 3 days we had a wonderful time hiking in the Fagaras Mountains. Iulian’s knowledge and expertise in the mountains were extremely impressive and he really made sure that we were comfortable and safe during our mountain hikes. He also discussed knowledgeably the flora and fauna we encountered. We were fortunate to see beautiful spring flowers as well as a number of balck mountain goats and 4 shy marmots! Once we left the mountains during the afternoon of the 3rd day we also had the opportunity to have a wonderful traditional meal at his grandmother’s house in Ucea de Sus village, where we also met his parents and sister. It was great fun and we really enjoyed the delicious food, home-made wine and the tsuica! Iulian also accompanied us to the beautiful Samabata Monastery as well as the Cities of Brasov and Sighisoara. His knowledge of Romanian culture and history is wide-ranging and he made every effort to ensure that we learned as much as we could about these areas. During our final 3 days we traveled with Iulian up to the Maramures region. Iulian had organized some interesting historical and cultural activities and we had a great time in this beautiful area. We stayed with a local family in their house and greatly enjoyed hiking through traditional villages with amazing wooden churches and beautiful traditional wooden homes. At the end of one hike a passing farmer insisted we hop on to his hand-crafted wagon (consisting of flat rough planks over automobile tires) and we had a fast and laugh-filled ride as he put his horse through its paces! Helen Lynn: before our trip, we told Iulian about my interest in photography and regional cuisine. He is a talented photographer, with a very keen eye, and was able to give me a lot of valuable advice that helped ensure I came home with some extra good pictures. His familiarity with the areas we visited enabled him to show me some particularly fine vantage points. On the dining front, he introduced us to some great local foods. His grandmother’s silky and sinfully-delicious rice pudding made with rich buffalo milk was especially memorable. The warm welcome that Iulian received where ever we went, and which was extended to us, demonstrated the reputation he has earned for his knowledge, expertise and honesty. He also has a great sense of humour, which is a real asset when spending long days in each other’s company. Throughout our time with Iulian, we found him to be unfailingly polite, extremely knowledgeable and very hard-working. While his mountaineering expertise is quite evident, we were equally impressed with the extent of his knowledge about Romanian culture and history. We were very impressed with his professionalism and quickly learned that he is completely trustworthy in every respect. We highly recommend the services of Iulian Cozma to anyone who wishes to have a well-organized adventure in Romania.
Helen Lynn and Matthew LaCompte, Canada 2005