I was in a group of 11 from Singapore, mostly retired or near retirement tourists to Romania and we had organised a 7-day itinerary around Romania with Compass Travel Romania LLC. By a stroke of luck, we were assigned George Buliga as our guide and this review is about him.
My fellow travelers had done this type of trip in many places around the world and met many guides. As a group, our consensus view was that George is a wonderful guide and unfortunate for the guides who followed him (when we moved on to Bulgaria) - he makes them look incompetent, or simply just not good.
George showed our group the best of Romania with visits to Sibiu, Maramures, The Painted Monasteries, Sigisoara, Bran Castle, Brasov and Peles Castle and places of interest in-between. He is knowledgeable not only of the history and features of each site but understands the needs and interests of the group he is guiding and adapts his delivery.
We spent a night in a village house in Maramures and George knew the owners and joined them in serving dinner and in the dancing. He took us to meet a Gypsy family for a wonderful experience of simply talking about their lives. Before this, he anticipated the pre-conceptions that we would have arrived with for that visit and spent some time explaining how gypsies are intelligent and independent people and far from the thieving, indolent stereotype that we generally hear. It is this kind of deep knowledge and anticipation of your needs and understanding that make him an exceptional guide.
He was always there to answer questions and did what he could to make travel as smooth as possible. He could have easily left us at the beginning of our trip when we had arranged for a free and easy day. He not only spent time to give us tips on how to get the most of our day but walked us around on a mini tour, for which he was not being paid. On any day of the organised trip itself, George could have closed up when the schedule was done, but was always there to ensure that the group had what they needed.
And he is just plain cool.
No one who seeks him out will regret using George as their guide.