-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu-

There are heroes with a particular run:
Although defeated, they get closer to the Sun.

In the recent years,
Bucharest became richer with two suspended passages
over the Dambovita River:
the Basarab passage
(named after the dynasty who ruled Wallachia or the Romanian Land for 4 centuries)
and the Mihai the Brave passage
(named after the first unifier of the 3 states with a
Romanian majoritary population: Wallachia, Transylvania and Moldova).

Incidentally, the edges of these passages seem like rugby half-balls,
and this aspect made me want, in 2014,
to catch them accompanied by the Morning Sun
and to use them as prologues for this project,
dedicated to the last adventure of Bucharest Wolves among the rugby classics
in the Challenge Cup
(because after the reorganization of professional rugby,
the selected team of Romanian championship had to be replaced
by the champion of Romania in the next season).

I began with the Mihai the Brave passage:

And I continued with the Basarab passage:

But perhaps the best prologue for the Wolves’ participation
in the Challenge Cup 2014/2015
(where they had as adversaries 3 superclubs from the
classical rugby nations: England, France and Wales)
took place in August:
a junior match, Romania-Scotland 20-10,
so an extraordinary Romanian victory against a very young representative team
from the Home Union (Scotland being another classic in the rugby game).

In 25 October, under an unexpected snowfall,
I watched at the national rugby stadium
the match with the multinational team of one of the most famous clubs in the world, Stade Francais Paris
(in the beginning of a season in which this team will become the champion of France),
and the heroic reply of Bucharest Wolves made me proud:
score 9-13!

Then, waiting for the next match,
I returned to the Basarab passage for a sunset (27 October)…

… and for the Moon (11 November).

But after that the sky became cloudy for a few weeks,
and in 6 December, on a rainy weather,
I was at the Steaua 2 stadium
(for the first time after 10 years,
the Romanian Rugby Federation wanted to protect
the grass of the national rugby stadium
and changed the place of a match in the Challenge Cup)
to watch Bucharest Wolves-Newport Gwen Dragons (one of the 4 Welsh franchises).

It was the 24th day without Sun…

Before the beginning,
I remembered that, 57 years ago, two similar matches took place in Moscow,
in the preliminaries and the final of the rugby tournament
of the World Festival of Youth and Students,
between Romania (represented by the selected team of the national championship
in times when the Romanian players
couldn’t leave their country for foreign championships,
so more than Bucharest Wolves of today)
and Wales (represented by Llanelli RFC,
one of the best ever three clubs in Welsh rugby history,
at that time former winner of Australia
and future winner of New Zealand,
known today as the nucleus of the famous Scarlets franchise).
Practically, the first two matches of a Romanian team
against a team from the Home Union in an international competition!
It was a terrible final, surprisingly won by Romania (6-3,
after 6-6 in preliminaries),
those matches giving an important impulse for the development
of the rugby game in… the Soviet Union.

Returning to 2014,
firstly I passed near monument of the rugby heroes,
and then I watched the match in which the Wolves had 10-0,
but collapsed in the second half, the final score being… 10-37!

I remarked more noisy Welsh supporters of the Dragons,
and I would have talked with them about the Dacian dragon war flag (wolf-snake),
overtook by Romans and used by them in the conquest of Britannia,
where it was overtook with another design by Uther Pendragon
and later by his son, King Arthur,
and became the coat of arms of Wales
and overtook by Newport Dragons…
but I supposed that in those moments they were interested more
in the evolution of their favorite team.

After the match I needed some (at least artificial) Sun
and I found it on the crosses of the closest Orthodox church,
Ghencea Park,
founded in the 1930s and dedicated to Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

The real Sun re-appeared in 12 December (after 31 days of waiting!)
and on that day I was happy to salute
his rise, the morning Moon, and his set!

Then, a relative fight with the fog…

Wondering where the last match of the Wolves at home will be held,
I chose for celestial study a surrealistic scenery
(including a communication tower which seemed like a Bucharestian Eiffel Tower,
the remnants of a communist factory,
and a new Catholic church),
placed on a bank of the Dambovita River,
at a distance of two bus stations of the Basarab Bridge,
right in the middle of the distance between the national rugby stadium
and the Steaua rugby Stadium,
and I tried a kind of science fiction photographic poem.

After Christmas,
other terrible snowfalls…

I could catch three visions of the last sunset of 2014 in the Youth Park.




But in the meantime,
the Romanian Rugby Federation announced that the last match of
Bucharest Wolves in Romania
will take place in 25 January 2015, because of the hard weather,
on the ultramodern Cluj Arena
(500 km distance of Bucharest, too far for me).

Thus, for the first time since 2004, a match of the Wolves was programmed
in other city than Bucharest.

(Anyway, since the last adversary was an English club,
this made me remember that in 1972
the selected team of the Romanian championship obtained
a memorable victory in England against a historical team,
18-3 over Cornwall,
that had represented the United Kingdom at the Olympic Games in 1912
in a rugby final lost to Australasia).

In these conditions I decided to finish this project,
dedicated to the last adventure of the Wolves among the rugby classics,
through a photo-poem with images about a non-conformist Bucharest,
taken in the first part of 2015,
the International Year of Light.

For this I started from and I returned to the same symbolic science fiction zone
between the stadiums of the last two matches of the Wolves in Bucharest,
around the Dambovita River and its main annex (the Ciurel Lake).

And doing this,
I was inspired by the title of a novel (published in 1972)
by the most famous Romanian science fiction writer, Vladimir Colin
(three times laureate of the European Convention of Science Fiction):

“In Circle, Continually Closer”.

But my title was:

“Ovalian Orbit”

Be careful at your soul ball
And do not leave it to fall!

Hard life among the eternal classics:
when you think you catch up with them,
they accelerate again,

and you risk to feel like a
passing meteor among the stars, or a
meteorite under a freezing rain.

So for any real advance
you must repeat Sisyphus’s work, after all,
carrying a ball,
just to not become a man of snow
in front of the Sun’s flow.

After A Setting Star


In 24 January 2015 Bucharest Wolves,
resigned and disappointed for the interdiction to continue to play
with the Home Union and French teams,
lost in Cluj-Napoca the last match in their worst (and last) season,
10-52 to a “classic” team from England, Newcastle Falcons,
a match which I watched on the Internet.

Then, remembering that the Moon is almost insignificant
in comparison with the giant gaseous planets,
but from our planet she seems bigger than them
(anyway, Earth and Moon are a common system in the Cosmos),
I made another astro-photo-poem
(based on images taken also in January 2015
with Jupiter and Saturn close to the Moon),
which, this time, I dedicated to the entire heroic adventure in 20 years
of the Romanian rugby clubs
in the… almost extraterrestrial world of rugby classics
(begun with the first match in the Rugby Champions Cup history,
Farul Constanta - Toulouse 10-54 in 1995,
that French team winning the first edition of the competition
after a few months).

A world in which they obtained, in the Challenge Cup,
incredible successes:
one victory over an English team,
two victories over two Welsh teams,
one victory over an Irish team
and four victories over French teams
(Dinamo Bucharest - Bridgent 45-43 in 1996,
Dinamo Bucharest - Bristol 19-18 in 1996,
Dinamo Bucharest - Treorchy 38-31 in 1998,
Steaua Bucharest - Connacht 30-20 in 1999,
Toulon – Bucharest Rugby 17-23 in 2005,
Bucharest Rugby - Bayonne 32-27 in 2006,
Bucharest Rugby - Montauban 19-17 in 2007
and Bucharest Wolves - Agen 25-22 in 2012),
as brave followers of the Dacians from the Carpathian Mountains area
(named so after Carps,
the Dacian tribes who pushed the Roman administration
to the south of the Danube River in the 3rd century):

Romanian rugby players -
I can’t wait any longer
To say that for me
They seem to be
The brightness to fight with
Something much stronger.

Thank you for your patience!


© 2015 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)