Hans Verner Lollike of Denmark was the winner of the grand prize and talked to us about his experience in Romania
Radio Romania international invited you some time ago to participate in a general knowledge contest titled ‘Govora, spa tourism at European level’. The contest was a big success and we received an impressive number of correct and complete answers. Hans Verner Lollike of Denmark was the winner of the grand prize. He came to Romania together with his wife Inge – Lise and enjoyed a 9-day stay, full board, at the Palace hotel in Govora spa. But that was not our friend’s first visit to Romania, as he himself told us:
“This is my fourth time, ten years since I was the last time, and when you go to the country you see more colours, on the houses, on the shops. You can hardly find any communist shops anymore and you feel there is a strong development. I can’t see that from inside, how people are feeling, but with the gap of ten years you can see there is a great development for Romania. And I hope that we as Europeans, as a family, have been part of this development. Inge-Lise, my wife and I are both from the village. You like to see something which was in your own childhood. When you go to the village you see the shepherd. We didn’t have a shepherd in my village, we didn’t have a shepherd in Denmark, but that’s also because of our structure. Denmark is a small country, and we don’t have these wide areas as you have. We have seen shepherds here, ox carrier, and we have seen a man walking with his geese, and we have seen a lot of horses. I hope that your development is not so strong that you forget your past. Because you have a strong cultural identity, I think. Even people who are not very active in the church, they are very connected to the Orthodox faith in some way, and Orthodox tradition.”
The atmosphere was extremely friendly. One evening, for instance, after visiting the resort and the surroundings, our guests spent a nice time watching a football match together with their hosts. Here is Inge-Lise Lollike:
“I really like to be here, the atmosphere, the approach. We have been around this last week and seen your beautiful nature, some big part of your beautiful country. The game, that was very good, it really was good. Of course I cheered for Romania. When I was young a played a lot of handball and actually our village team were number fifth in Denmark. That was a high moment for our little team.”
Hans Verner Lollike was very impressed with the Palace Hotel, in Govora Spa, where they were provided accommodation during their stay in Romania.
“Absolutely something unique; it has history, it was inaugurated in 1914, and it was renewed 99 years later, and now it’s up to standards. We would say is luxury, also for us is luxury, but you get very soon used to luxury. My wife is a great swimmer, so she would be every day in the spa and swim and she liked it very much. I did also two times. I hadn’t have swim trousers for twenty years and I bought something for this tour. It was nice, I liked it also. I am not so kin of water, but I liked it also. And we took the treatments. This is something that we don’t know in our culture, not at all. You have to go to Germany. In Germany some people take this sort of treatment. We don’t do that in our culture and I thank for the opportunity.”
Valcea County ranks second in Romania in terms of number of churches. Erected hundreds of years ago and included in the list of national monuments, they are quite impressive due to their extremely rich history. Here is Hans Verner Lollike again:
“We visited six or seven monasteries. That is also, of course, not in our tradition. We don’t have nuns, we have some sister communities. But they are diminishing very much in our secular world. But I think you have a sort of spiritual places where you can go, you can go there as a family, you can go there on a picnic and then you can take part in the church service. All these places were renewed and so beautiful.”
The winners of the Govora contest also took a short trip to Gorj County, to visit the monumental works of the great Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi.
“I am very grateful. RRI introduced me to Brancusi, many, many years ago. And as a Christian I am always interested in how you can express your faith. I was fascinated because he made it so intellectual and in one side and simple on the other side. And to see the sculptures was something very special for me. He really expressed something you cannot say with words. We went to Paris some years ago and we saw his atelier also. So, thanks to Radio Romania right from the beginning I met Brancusi in a very special way.”
On the other hand, Inge-Lise Lollike was very much impressed with the capital Bucharest. Here is what she said:
“ It is a very beautiful and old town. And you see all the different periods represented in the buildings in the town. Actually I hadn’t expected so many nice building from before the communist time, because most of the center of the town was torn down by Ceausescu and the huge Palace of Parliament had come up so I was really astonished in a very good way of course to see all these old very nice beautiful buildings and so different, inspired from Austria, France, from Romanian architects and our guide told us that it was a German house, and we stood watching it outside and it looked very nice and then when we came indoors it was an old brewery and we stood watching the roof all around and we could go down tot the basement and also there it was very impressed. And we ended into a very beautiful park in Bucharest and I am happy that you have parks around the city so there is some space for breathing.”
After Radio China and the BBC, Radio Romania International is the largest radio station in the world broadcasting on short waves, as Hans Verner Lollike said:
“Many listeners who cannot listen to other radios anymore now listen to you. People listen all around. And I would like to tell to my co listeners: please listen to RRI, please write to them, please be informed about the viewpoints of Romania in this world because it’s very important. You have a good style for small features about nature, about travelling and yes I like this style.”
Inge-Lise Lollike was very much impressed with the people that she met in Romania and she also enjoyed the beautiful experiences she had in our country.
“It is the people you meet that makes the big difference. If you meet nice people you know automatically in your head that that country is a very good, striving country to do the best. I wish RR all the strength the good ideas the energy that you need and I thank you that you keep my husband busy. All is happy when he is in contact with you.”
Radio Romania International will continue to organize contests, so keep listening to our programmers and you might have the opportunity to get to visit us here, in Romania.