Wednesday 24 October
Bran, Transylvania – Arad.
We‘ve journeyed for around eight hours today – through about five different weather fronts. Sunshine, very low cloud, almost gale-force winds, rain (spiky, cold, sleettypeofrain) and sunshine again as we were nearing Arad. Mind you, I don’t mind the changes in the weather on a travel-day. The worst of it was the spiky sleet-rain that hit us just as Leigh and I were stretching our legs at lunchtime. Yelp!
Driving west across Romania proved an interesting journey. We encountered winding, mountainous roads before huge flat fields, then pretty alpine-type villages followed by concrete-block towns. The changes in scenery, and living conditions for the communities living in these areas, made for a thought-provoking ride. There were many statues and monuments depicting Christ today than we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks.
When you live on the side of a steep mountain does it cause more leg and back problems? I even felt sorry for the horses as the must always be leaning forwards, backwards or keeling over to one side. Living in a flat (or apartment if you are posh) must make you either super-social or terribly unsocial – these are huge blocks where I can imagine you have very little privacy. Living in a pretty house in an alpine village gives you some wonderful views but those at the bottom of the valley would get very little sun. As for the people working the fields, looking after their goats and cows and sheep, well, they all look pretty weather-beaten and many are stooped well before ‘old age’. Discussing all of this, Leigh and Tom are appreciative of living in the U.K…with all its faults.
One town, Fagaras, had a real communist-feel to it yet the church there was stunningly beautiful; a big contrast to the rest of the buildings.
Crawling though one village (the road was too rough to go any faster) we came to a standstill when two cows trotted across our path and started to fight! It was quite funny. None of us had seen anything like this before.
If only I could share the video with you. Yelp!
I enjoyed spotting some houses that reminded me of old cottages back home. Have you seen the ones with ‘eyebrows’ that are often thatched? Well, some of the houses here have normal windows then right at the very top they have a couple of slits – just like eyebrows.
Although I appreciate the use of a horse-and cart, I do feel sorry for the horses who wear the traditional red tassels which appear to swing very close to their eyes. The point of these may be to stop flies getting into the horse’s eye but I know they would annoy me greatly.
I absolutely love the mountains in Transylvania. Unlike many mountains, which appear to be crammed with tall trees, these mountains look soft with giant pillows of green between the trees. I can imagine all the wildlife coming out at night, just to rest their weary heads.
We decided to end our day by stopping at a campsite we used just about ten days ago. The site was advertised as being open all year yet on arrival it was closed. Oh my goodness…Leigh and I realised we could well be wild-camping so would have to be economic with the gas-heating. That’s fine, but tonight is the night the temperature has lowered considerably.
Luckily, Tom managed to ‘Whatsapp’ the proprietor who said, ‘It’s out of season really, but you can stay’. Phew.
We are all very appreciative of this, as we now have electric for the heating, and plenty of fresh water for a shower. My question was, ‘Why on earth does he advertise ‘open all year’ and then say, “It’s out of season”?’
Woofs, Martha xx