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March 29, 2008



Julian and Danielle, I am so sorry. You worked hard to try to fulfill your dreams. Nothing can take away what you did achieve, nor the pleasure you gave to many people.
After time to catch breath back here, I'm sure you will find another dream to reach for. The situation there seems bad at the moment, but I hope you will bring back the good memories - some of them of places and times you might be the last Westeners to see.
Very well done rehoming all the animals.
Keep yourselves safe and have a good journey to UK.


I am realy sorry to here that , it is such a shame and a great loss for both the country where you hoped to create something to attract tourism helping to build a healthy economy, I am sorry I have not commented much on your posts over the last 12 months but have loved reading them .

The very best of luck back in England hope you can sort something out OK it must have been one of the hardest decisions you have made but when all said and done your health and sanity are the most important things in life



Sorry to hear that it is ending. I've enjoyed reading your posts. I'm looking forward to reading your posts from Britain.

Paul White

This is not good at all! We all feel the same way, but please do not give in. We are jut beginning to build a network of ex pats and we should all be looking out for each other.

Have you considered moving to Jud. Covasna. Land is cheap and there is definitely a different way here. You touched on this in your posting.

We have already discussed a joint venture and myself and my colleague would very much like to start arrangements as soon as possible. We would like to visit you in April. Just hang in there for a bit longer.


I just found your blog a while ago and was enjoying reading through your archives.

It must have been a tough decision to leave and return to Britain. What a shame that your adopted country can't seem to pick itself up. Your post was very well written and very informative - albeit a bit sad...

Hope you and your animals make the trip back to Britain ok. Looking forward to reading more equestrian posts when you are re-settled.


Julian, my two brief visits to your place in Lunca Ilvei were some of the best travel experiences I've ever had. You can be really proud of what you managed to accomplish over the last nine years against the odds. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.


Why all good things have to come to an end? Thank you very much for all your posts, Julian. I was hoping to be able to visit you sometime this year. Now I am sure you are excited of a new start back in England.

I think all travel businesses are hit hard during these times. Consumers here in US are less likely to spend on travel overseas with the huge depreciation of the currency and our spending power ever shrinking over the last years. People elsewhere go through similar economic hardships, more or less. The only comforting thought is that these times will pass eventually, as they always do. But sooner or later you were due to feel the effects. In two or three years the trust will be back again, though this may be wishful thinking.

I totally understand your frustration with the resistance to change in Romania. Currently people do not see the trash around them as they face bigger every day problems at home. Romanian politicians are traditionally inept, with the notable exception of fulfilling their own interests fast enough, before the next band of thieves arrives. I always hoped people like you would help the others finally open their eyes. It will happen one day, no doubt. But now that day is a bit further away, unfortunately.

I felt this coming since you told us about your recurring dream of England’s forests. Just hoped it be later. Look forward to hear from you and Danielle after you settle down. Take care, you two!


Julian and Danielle, Godspeed and safe travels back to the UK. I hope you continue to document your journey as you restart anew back in the UK. Good Luck!


Julian and Danielle, Godspeed and safe travels back to the UK. I hope you continue to document your journey as you restart anew back in the UK. Good Luck!


Julian and Danielle, Godspeed and safe travels back to the UK. I hope you continue to document your journey as you restart anew back in the UK. Good Luck!


Your post brings tears to my eyes. Something that doesn't happen often. I am sorry that this didn't work out, it is such a loss to the world.

I hope that life is better for you back home and look forward to looking to the next chapters in your life.

Victoria Cummings

Julian and Danielle - I've found that sometimes the hardest, most painful changes are really gifts in disguise. All the best of luck with your new life - Please remember that you have a whole virtual neighborhood of people here in the blogosphere who care about you and will eagerly await your stories from England. Take care of each other as you move on. Big hugs!


Julian I am truly sad for your dissapiontment and Romania will be worse off for your leaving. Visiting you was the highlight of our trip to Europe. Amber-Rose will be devastated when she hears, as she was set on returning for a year in 2011 ever since we left and her resolve has not waivered. I'm glad Kaluga is going to have a happy retirement.I shall watch for your posts each evening as always. Julian Best of luck in all your future endeavours Red, Pat, and Amber-Rose

amber-rose mcqueen

hi julian
thats so sad that you are closing down. i was really looking foward to coming back say hi to every one for me if you remeber, hope you enjoy your new life. but im really sad.good luck

amber-rose mcqueen

hi lulian
ita amber again i was just wondering what is happening with nelly and olga


I have so much enjoyed reading about your life in Transylvania. Your descriptions and storytelling did not make it seem like the situation which you are describing in this good-bye post. You made it seem very desirable, quaint, and worthwhile. So sorry to hear otherwise. Very glad to hear that you found good homes for everyone (including yourself). I look forward to hearing about your next life.


Oh, I'm sorry things weren't working out for you! I have loved reading your blog and looking at the pictures. I felt like I was in another world and traveling back in time. What a journey life is. Take care and best of luck with your move. Will keep checking for updates.

many blessings!


Julian and Danielle,

I'm so sorry that you are leaving Transylvania! Your pictures and descriptions have made it my number one travel fantasy for the past couple of years and I was really hoping to visit you in 2009. Now I wish that I had figured out some way to do it before you left despite problems with money, the exchange rate, and travel companions who had other ideas.

In addition to the fascination of a (at least in some places) beautiful land that allows a view of a lifestyle that has died out in most other parts of Europe, I have always been very impressed with your obvious enjoyment of and concern for all of your animals. I am so glad that you have found good homes for all that you can't take with you and especially that Kaluga will have a well-deserved and hopefully pleasant retirement. It takes a special person to provide for animals when their working days are past and they need extra care.

I hope that your travel plans work out smoothly and that your new endeavors in England are rewarding. Many thanks for the view that you have given us of some of the best parts of a troubled country. No doubt your observations in England will be equally fascinating.



hello julian,
I'm so sorry for you but I'm sure there is something else then what you shared with us that convinced you to give up and return to britain... maybe a bankruptcy ?!! I doubt the country is so bad and the people you worked with / for are so mean...all of a sudden... I visited twice the country and it's a wonderful place, people so kind...my experince was enjoyable and that's why I have my doubts...
However I'm sorry for you and I wish you all the best. Take care, Klara - Montreal


To Klara: having been an expat myself, I have to tell you that 2 visits to a country in no way provides you with the experience to know what it is like to live and work within a regime with it's people. Daily reality is very different from rose-tinted tourist glasses.


Sue: thank you for commenting. The truth is, one can have a lot of fun here on a visit, have plenty of drinks with neighbours, parties, music, etc, and go away with a great superficial impression. However, there is almost no money in circulation (except that brought by the visitor), and people have become atuned to get what they can as soon as someone new becomes familiar. As with adolescents, immediate gratification is craved above anything lasting. And people who are great fun to have a drink with still throw all their rubbish into the river, wondering why one can possibly be shocked at something so normal. It is a very mixed up country, populated by people who can be decent and civilised but are terribly misled by corrupt politicians, mafia, and manipulative foreign corporations peddling all sorts of shoddy goods, chemical-ridden food, expensive bankloans, etc. There is a lot that I like here, however it is almost impossible for an honest person to make a good living in Romania.

Grey Horse Matters

So sorry to hear you are leaving Romania, I have enjoyed your stories. It is a shame what is happening to that country. I wish you and Danielle good luck on your move back to Britain. I don't know if it's any consolation but things always happen for a reason, maybe this will be for the best. It will certainly be better for your health and welfare. Again good luck to you and Danielle and we will all be looking for an update when you get settled.

Colorado reader

Thank you for your blog...I look forward to seeing the memoir "Transylvanian Horseman" someday in my local bookstore. Please do write it!! With all the wonderful photos too.


Julian, you have given us hints and so has Danielle. You will be a loss to Romania, and I'm very sorry that I will never ride in Transylvania with you.
I admire what you've done and what you've tried to do. I admire you for how you've been a steward of your animals and your business. And for realizing that when it was time to go, it was time to go.

Please keep blogging -- and write that book! You have such wonderful insights and I'm sure you'll look at the place you grew up with new, truth-telling eyes. I want to read about it.

Bless you, Danielle, your animals and your move. And good luck!


As many have already said, I'll miss your Romanian stories, but every thing happens for a reason. You seem to have done a great job of organizing your departure, and God bless you for always looking after the welfare of your animals. Perhaps you will someday want to come to Canada and ride in our beautiful Rocky mountains, if so let me know. We can take you to places that will take your breath away, and maybe it's time for you to relax and become the tourist!(After you get settled in back in England!)


So sorry you are leaving. I will miss your stories and pictures so much- they are a life line when I am stuck in the office on a wet grey scottish day.
All the best. Oh and there isn't any way of transfering all your stories/pictures into a book. They are too good to lose!!

Tim Burford

Hi, welcome back! I haven't had time to read through the blog yet but will do so today. I hope I can come over your way soon, and you're very welcome in Cambridge - Norm is here too and would love to met you! Keep in touch, Tim


I wanted to let you, and your readers, know that the time I spent in your area and the people I met were magical. From 22 July - 17 August, I've put up an exhibit in London. You could be very welcome to attend the opening on the 23rd as a special guest.



White Horse Pilgrim

Dan, thank you for letting me know. I was working away from home so missed the opening - thank you for the invitation though. I'll try to get by and see the pictures. Have you been able to share them with people in the village?

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