Prince Charles’s presence in Transylvania shines a spotlight on local nature-friendly traditional life

Heir to the British Crown, Prince Charles, whom UK Ambassador Bucharest Martin Harris – a career diplomat – billed as a „very good ambassador for Romania,” will return to Romania at a still unknown date, possibly to one of the properties owned by the Transylvania-based ‘Mihai Eminescu” Trust acting under his patronage, trust director Caroline Fernolend told a press conference.

 According to her, the Prince might head for either Malancrav (Sibiu County) or Viscri (Brasov County).

„Prince Charles is the patron of our foundation and he lobbies for Transylvania. I think it is clear to everyone that he put Transylvania on the global map (…).Through his visits, His Royal Highness wants to promote authenticity, the cultural heritage we still hold. He wants to open everybody’s eyes not to allow these values other countries have lost to go waste here too. We still have something others have lost, that’s why foreigners come to us in such high numbers. His Royal Highness wants to lobby for us to help us preserve what we still got here,” said Caroline Fernolend.

Asked if Prince Charles might return this year to Romania, maybe even to Sibiu County, Fernolend replied in the affirmative.

Following Prince Charles’s visits to the village of Viscri, the 400 locals found themselves swarmed by thousands of guests from 23 countries in 2012. Unlike the foreign tourists, the 3,000 Romanians who came to Viscri even for one day preferred to spend the night somewhere else, not at the villagers’ homes.

„Viscri is my native village. This was the destination of 12,000 tourists from 23 countries, of whom 3,000 Romanians. Most Romanians were just one-day visitors and did not seek accommodation in the village, but they rode the cart to the craftsmen, the coal makers, to the brick makers and the smiths and experienced the authenticity of the village. We have 15 families running guest houses and you can imagine the impact of 12,000 tourists on a 400-strong village. Tourism goes along with the preservation of crafts and traditional agriculture. (…) We only provide very simple products, fresh-from-the-garden products,” said Fernolend.

‘I think Prince Charles is a very good ambassador for Romania, because he has a passion for Romania and he understands Romanian values which are unique in Europe. The truth is that Romania has what the rest of Europe has lost – virgin forests, beautiful landscape, a traditional life, which is a terrific advantage for the future development of tourism,” Ambassador Harris said recently in Sibiu, at a seminar on Romania-UK trade.

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