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    World's Largest Torch Relay
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    New Zealand

Romania 28 May: Srpska Crnja - Vinga

Transition period - the two flags of Romania and Serbia side by side as we approach the border.

To leave the comfortable castle where we slept this morning was not easy, neither leaving our Serbian friends.

Jump the border! Hello Romania!

Only a few hundred metres away from the Romanian border, Mr. Gabor the mayor of Jimbolia with a big handball team of young boys and few of the Romanian coordinators were beckoning us. This friendly mayor greeted us in at least five languages and vigorously ran some of the 5 kilometre distance which were separating us from the town. Nearing a green park we heard the powerful salutation of the local orchestra band and the cheering of children and city officials.

Here we had refreshments and nice talks in the city hall.

Towards Sacalaz our welcomers from the school were handing every runner a beautiful flower. The teacher of Geography was very interested in knowing the criteria for being a member of the team. As far as I could remember there were few criteria - good physical shape, fluent English and openness to people.

Adrian Bragea from the PR Department of Timisoara Municipality ran with us around the blocks and invited us to run in their October marathon.

Timisoara appeared with pleasant western architecture.

And good harmony wishers.

Rostya taking off on the wings of the pigeons.

When we arrived in Vinga the mayor Luciou Stoicu took us into his office.

Soon he led us to the Roman Catholic Church of Vinga, one of the three churches in whole Europe, together with ones in Spain and Italy, decorated in gothic style. It was built around 1890 by the Bulgarian ethnic community.

Yes, what was my surprise when an old lady in black told me something in pure Bulgarian. Nearly 5,000 Bulgarian refugees at the end of 17th century escaped the Ottoman Empire repressions and they are still here remembering and talking their language.

The church was impressive for the size of a village like Vinga.

One of the local people brought us to some holy spring in the fields with an altar of Mother Mary near by.

We were grateful to be accommodated in a neat and cosy motel by the road.

Team Members:
Pierre Lantuas Monfouga (France), Valentine Bebik (Ukraine), Janos Derekas (Hungary), Jaromir Horejsi (Czech Republic), Natalyia Lehonkova (Ukraine), Rosta Vagner (Czech Republic), Mariya Latinova (Bulgaria), Toni Dabic (Macedonia), Dejan Kljajic (Bosnia), Safet (Montenegro).

You can send a message to the runners or read the messages.

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Romania 29 May >
Ukraine 29 May >

Ukraine 28 May