To Whom it May Concern,
This is a letter to highly recommend the guide services of Medieval Tours Company and Romania Jewish Tours both owned by Eduard Popescu, whom I now call my Romanian “guardian angel”.
Recently, my wife and I decided to plan a trip to visit my father and mothers villages in Transylvania, Romania to discover my family ancestry.
My parents emigrated from Europe to the United States in the early 1900’s. Unfortunately, during their lifetime, I never asked the important questions one should ask of their parents regarding where they were born , how they grew up, questions about their parents, sisters, brothers, whom I never met that died in the Holocaust , their emigration to the USA , etc.
We did what most people do these days and went to the internet to research companies that offer tours of this type. We located 3 companies that seemed to have the necessary qualifications and focused in on Medieval Tours and Romania Jewish Tours because they had the best, most informative websites. www.medievaltours.com and www.romaniajewishtours.com . After some initial inquiry, we requested references from the owner, Eduard, and he provided us with several past clients’ names and their e mail addresses and also references from the Romanian tourist board as well as Frommer’s travel directory.
We made inquiry to his past clients and I would like to share with you some of the e mail comments we received from his past clients I am using the clients initials as I didn’t ask for their permission to use their names.
‘I can’t tell you how impressed we were with Eduard. He went out of his way to show us everything that we wanted to see. I sent my cousin on a tour with him. She is a Holocaust survivor and wanted to find her fathers grave and visit her childhood home. Neither of these was easy to find but Eduard did it . He is always willing to find what you are looking for and in case of specifics he does it before you arrive ‘.
‘First of all, Eduard is wonderful. He will take terrific care of you and he will make sure that your tour is all you could hope for. Eduard makes things happen. He is larger than life personally, full of warmth and empathy. We ate very well and never had a bad meal with Eduard.’
‘I am delighted to respond to your request regarding Eduard, of whom we only have praise. We are discriminating travelers whom only use private guides when we travel. Without any qualification, Eduard ranks at the top. He is honest, he listens and produces more than you will ever expect. Of course, for us, his humor and enjoyment of being with travelers is perhaps his greatest gift.’
‘For a non Jewish person, Eduard is so sensitive to our history and has many contacts in the Jewish community. For example, he took us to the operating Yiddish Theatre in Bucharest for a private tour. This was so special to me as my grandfather was an actor on the Yiddish stage in New York. My husband is a classical musician and he arranged a private tour for us to George Enescu’s home and he was allowed to play on his personal piano. Happy trails, you will be in for a wonderful experience.’
‘My experience in Romania was wonderful and that was almost entirely because of Eduard’s experienced service. He is incredibly caring, intelligent and resourceful. He also has several connections in the Romanian Jewish community, in Bucharest but also in smaller cities and towns across the country. We often met with the presidents of each community we visited. His knowledge of Romania is obvious and his understanding, insight, access, and respect of Jewish Romania is incredible. I would not hesitate to book with him and I would not go with anyone else. He is truly a gem and above all, an absolutely lovely person to spend time with. His English is also near perfect so he can provide translations wherever you are. We stayed in great hotels and Eduard made all the arrangements to our specifications. Each place we stayed was exceptionally clean as well. Eduard understands what American expectations are. He also helped us find excellent restaurants and we often wanted his company as he was a pleasure to be around and learn from.’
As you can see from the above references we received from his past, satisfied clients , Eduard and Medieval Tours and Romanian Jewish Tours is a first class, experienced company that specializes in the Romanian Jewish experience.
Eduard always communicated with us very quickly and was very patient and responsive to our many, many questions as we are not very experienced European travelers. He provided us with a professional, comprehensive, detailed, beautifully produced personal itinerary with photos and explanations of what we were going to visit, where we were going to stay and many times where a special show or dinner was provided. The other companies did not provide full information but basically a narrative with scant details. I also sent Eduard all the information I had in my possession regarding my parents towns in Romania and their parents names etc for him to begin research for us to gain as much knowledge as possible from all his vast contacts in the Jewish community. This was the primary reason we were going to Romania . Because of Romania’s proximity to Prague, Vienna and Budapest we decided to add these cities to our trip before we would meet with Eduard in Cluj, Romania, Eduard also handled and coordinated all the first class train ticketing and guide services in those cities selecting very professional people knowledgeable in the Jewish history in their respective cities.
As fate would have it, we had to cancel our plans as my wife fell ill about 45 days prior to leaving for the trip. We notified Eduard immediately and he couldn’t have been more supportive and sensitive to our circumstances. He was able to cancel all the guide services in Vienna, Prague and Budapest without a penalty as well as canceling all the hotels etc also without a penalty. This was an extraordinary achievement and was very appreciated by us. In this day and age of corporations and impersonal services, it is gratifying to know that there are warm,caring, ethical, people like Eduard who will go out of his way to assist clients, especially in their time of need. Under these circumstances, we were extremely lucky and fortunate to have selected Medieval Tours and Romania Jewish tours, as another organization would not have treated us so fairly.
Then Eduards’ generosity overwhelmed us. Not only had he been able to secure us credits for all our prepaid expenses, he sent us several very special gifts. We received a beautifully designed, hand made lace tablecloth and matching hand made laces, a book and DVD portraying the Romanian synagogues magnificently photographed by a famous American photographer and finally with a DVD featuring the Romanian Atheneum with music by the legendary, great Romanian composer, George Enescu, all specially produced exclusively by Eduard’s tour company.
And then the gift of a lifetime arrived. Since my wife and I were unable to travel at this time and our entire reason for visiting Romania was to discover my ancestry, Eduard offered to provide us with a thorough investigation to research all that could be learned of my family tree in Romania totally free of charge. I could have never imagined that a person that started out as a complete stranger on the internet a few months ago would become so helpful to someone he never met. It was like winning the lottery.
All he needed from me was a letter to his Jewish community contacts authorizing them to research the information requested from me as to names of my parents, dates of birth, grandparents, aunts, uncles, last known towns they resided in etc. He is truly the gift that keeps on giving. That is why I call him my ‘guardian angel’. As of this writing, this research is underway.
My wife’s health is improving and as soon as she is well again we intend to contact Eduard to reschedule our trip. There is no question in my mind that there is only one company to be the personal guide in Romania and that is Eduard Popescu. You don’t often find good hearted, professional people like him and when you do, stick with them. Even though we never met him personally, he has become our good friend. So, if you are researching tour companies for the purpose of visiting Romania, do yourself a favor and do not miss communicating and checking with Eduard ‘s company. You won’t be sorry and you will be in the best hands.
South Ocean Blvd