Today's Traveler's Guide is a review of highlights in our feature in 2019. It was an eventful year, and an opportunity for our listeners to make up their mind as to which destinations in Romania they wanted to visit. Until the end of the month of February, our listeners had the opportunity to take part in our contest 'Govora, Spa Tourism At European Level'. This was the name under which we brought together all our broadcasts popularizing the spa treatment opportunities and tourist attractions in the area of the resort of Govora. We gave out a total of 47 prizes, with one of the participants winning a nine day, eight nights, full accommodation for two, between June 15 and 30, 2019. The winner was our listener from Denmark, Hans Verner Lollike, who visited us with his wife Inge-Lise Lollike. But that was not all, because on August 31, 2019, we invited you to take part in yet another contest, entitled 'Iasi- Historical Capital of Romania', dedicated to the city and county of Iasi. The winner of the Grand Prize was Anna Nakhapetian of Moscow, in the Russian Federation.
Early in the year, we took you to the Bucegi Mountains through its gateway, the town of Busteni, in Prahova Valley, two hours away from Bucharest. We spoke not only about the ski slopes, but also about the most important monument of the resort, unique in the country, the Cross of the Nation's Heroes. It was built between 1926 and 1927 by the initiative of Queen Marie. Set at an altitude of 2291 meters, it is made of steel trestle on a foundation of reinforced concrete. It is an impressive monument, 48 meters tall, and 14 meters wide. Also early in the year, we talked about eco-tourism destinations in Romania. The Transylvanian Hills are a major attraction, with very well preserved villages, fortified churches, and, more recently a well developed network of bike and trekking trails. At the same time, we also gave you a completely different destination, the Danube Delta, ideal for birdwatching and kayaking or canoeing. Padurea Craiului, a small area in Apuseni Mountains, has some very interesting caves to visit. It has caves of all types, ones suited for regular tourism, others which require special spelunking equipment. We concluded the winter season with the 41st spring edition of the biggest tourist fair in Romania, where we found for you the best offers for cultural, medical, rural, or business tourism in the country.
Early in the spring, we went to the west of Romania, to Hunedoara County. On the list of the most popular tourist objectives is one of the most important Gothic art monuments in Southeast Europe, Corvinus Castle. Bucura Lake is said to be the biggest glacial lake in the country, while Deva Castle is one of the most important medieval fortifications in Transylvania. We then went to the southeast of the country, in Cerna Valley, a picturesque place with incredible scenery, where you can still find hamlets where people live the simple lives of centuries ago. The natural riches are of a great variety, with waterfalls, caves, and gorges. We also visited a resort where mineral waters have been used to treat ailments for two thousand years, the spa of Baile Herculane.
In the summer we naturally took you to the Black Sea shore, with beaches that stretch over 245 km. We talked about the low salt content of the water, the uniform shore, and the eastern orientation of beaches. In Romania in full season sea water can heat up to 25 degrees centigrade. When the sun sets, you have many events to choose from, some of them famous across the world. Resorts on the Black Sea coast are ideal holiday destinations for families with kids looking for a quiet vacation, as well as for youth looking to party until the break of dawn.
Radio Romania International is a partner, invited by the Directorate for Inter-ethnic Relations of the Romanian Government, in the EU project called 'The Blue Book of Danube Cultural Identity', which is meant to be an inventory of the heritage of multi-ethnic areas along this European river. For instance, early in spring we invited you to get to know the many cultures of Dobrogea. We introduced you to this area full of history and legend, where many cultures co-exist peacefully. As part of the same project we presented you Timisoara and Arad, two beautiful cities, perfect for tourism. We then took you to an area that is more out of the way, less known by tourists, in eastern Transylvania, in the counties of Harghita and Covasna. We got to know the inhabitants of the village of Turia, who are in the Guinness Book of Records for building the biggest bulz, a traditional dish, and then we also talked about St. Ana lake, which is in a volcanic crater, before taking you to the resort and spa of Tusnad.
Late in the year we found out that there was growing international interest in the old mansions and castles that were home to noble families. There are 300 such monuments in Romania, which are part of the national heritage. We took you to a few of the lesser known of these, such as Sturdza Castle in Miclauseni, Cuza Castle in Ruginoasa, and Bethlen Castle in Cris. And, as usual, to wrap up the year, we presented you with our best Christmas and New Year's offers. It has been an eventful year, full of great offers, and the year to come will be at least as interesting. Obviously, we have prepared for you more contests, which are not to be missed. Have a great new year!