Along Carpathians

Aug. 28, 2011 (day 102) Romania

What I really love in mountains, is that when one crosses from a valley to another one, the cultural landscape can change as much, like the people from both sides of the pass had never met each other. This is less and less visible in our globalizing world, but still true here, in Carpathians. We climbed the Prislop pass from Maramureş and descended into lands of Bucovina.

Prislop pass, 1416m

Prislop pass, 1416m

Although the architecture here based in wood too, it is more about colours and patterns. The sculptured gates are there no more, and buildings are usually painted. In the agriculture the meadows and hay still dominate, but there are much more cows, which in Maramureş seemed to be non-existent.

Colorful architecture of Bucovina

Colorful architecture of Bucovina

We only touched the western margin of Bucovina, and I would be happy to visit this land again, perhaps with Moldova too. This time, however, we turned south to Vatra Dornei, going along the main Carpathian ranges. After following the river Bistrita until a huge dam in Bicaz, we again turned west, and crossed to Transilvania through a scenic route by Lacu Roşu. This road had two distinct parts. The industrial areas at the beginning, where heavy truck traffic, accompanied by the railway, passes along numerous cement factories, then the scenic upper part, where the road, together with a stream, breaks through high mountains, with impressive rock walls. These, together with the lake Roşu, are a tourist attraction, and many buses bring visitors there and back.

It gets washed

It gets washed

Asking for a place to pick up a tent proved to be such a good tactic, that we were using it every evening. One night we camped at a construction site, where a new house had been being built, to change it the next night into a beautiful, flowering garden, maintained by a lone lady, who gladly taught us new words in Romanian and fed us with boiled corn.

Our knowledge of the language is limited to a handful of words and a single sentence: Can we pick up a tent here? This seems enough to open every door, and we have never been rejected so far.

Among our hosts there was a lone old man, whom we had spotted sitting in front of his house with a small kitten. After we had installed the camping, we realized that the cat decided to stay with us. There was no way to tell him that he should follow his master and go home. The kitten moved into our tent and could not accept that we had closed the door. Loud meaows meant it clearly: Let me in! Finally, the cat gave up and climbed onto the roof of the inner tent. He spent most of the night over our heads, between two tent layers. This is the place where all the vapor condenses during the night. In the morning, the cat was cold, wet and angry. However, he forgot everything after we had let him in and allowed to explore our sleeping bags. He accompanied us during all the breakfast and packing, surprising our host, who had expected the kitten to come home at night. Well, cats are not loyal, he should know.

With our host in Ticoş-Floarea

With our host in Ticoş-Floarea

Kürtőskalács gets baked

Kürtőskalács gets baked

Having crossed to Transilvania, we were surprised by the change of language. We knew about Hungarian minority in Romania, but it seemed that virtually everyone there spoke Hungarian. Most people knew Romanian, but it is always better to speak the native language of your hosts. The family from Joseni, in whose garden we camped, told us some basic words, but this language is totally different to anything else in Europe. All the words vanish from our memory immediately. If someone knows a good technique of memorizing strange sounds, I would be glad to learn it before entering Turkey.

Many of our hosts proposed us to stay at home, but we were refusing it and politely explaining that we do not want to cause problems and prefer to stay in the tent. This continued until Secuieni, where we asked for a camping place before seeing the backyard, hidden behind a high fence. When the host opened the gate, it became clear thet there is no place to pick up our tent. We were invited to the house and... presented a big bed with fresh linen. After spending that night like kings, we were served a breakfast with delicious coffee. The hospitality here seems to have no limits.

Comments:

Marta
Marta
7 years, 10 months ago
Bajkowa ta Rumunia. Nawet się takiej nie spodziewałam.
Emilia
Emilia
7 years, 10 months ago
Jak dobrze znowu zobaczyć na zdjęciach to, co widzicie podczas swojej niezwykłej podróży :-)
azbest87
azbest87
7 years, 10 months ago
Mi okropnie spodobały się Karpaty Rumuńskie które ledwie zahaczyliśmy- na pewno tam wrócę:) a turecki kojarzył mi się z chińskim;P chociaż kilku podstawowych słów nawet zdołałem się nauczyć, ale jakiekolwiek imię ciężko było mi powtórzyć:)
Pozdro!
martwa wiewiórka
martwa wiewiórka
7 years, 10 months ago
jak mnie te wałki smakowały...