This is Magura. Mountains, Orthodox Christianity, wooden homes, and stunning beauty.
Pronounced “Zer-nesh-ti,” this is the main town near the seven villages of Bran. A one horse town for sure.
Watching The Office aboard a train from Bucharest to Brasov on my way to my host’s location. The train in background is the famous “Oriental Express,” which is basically like the Harry Potter train with luxury sleeping cars, dining cars, and an actual old-style engine. Pretty amazing to see, though the waiting list is quite extensive.
The house I am staying in. The view surrounding is rolling hills with haystacks and cute little village homes, a picture worthy of National Geographic – in all directions.
A treasure trove of books in Arabella’s vast collection. All in English which is a plus and diverse selection.
My close friend in Transylvania, Puppy. Puppy is a shepherd dog that claimed Arabella as his de facto master and now lives on her property. A handsome hound, he is forever howling in the night and happy to see newcomers.
Hobbes the cat, the mother of the other three felines currently living under Arabella’s roof. Such a personality, Hobbes loves acrobatics on the fence posts and polenta-apple cake.
Sheep next door, they looove banana peels.
Arabella, my host in Magura is a culinary Extraordinare. Here we have Beet Root Salad, homemade coleslaw, Nasturtium mix and a Barley concoction. Vegetarian and healthy, a great introduction to Transylvania.
Bananas, nutella, peanut butter on potato bread – an amazing concoction that reminds me of treks down the Croatian coast with Tiff.
Morning Mist rolling in between the verdant Transylvanian hillside. Cold and dewy, the village is silent in the morning light.
Haystacks, done quite differently than the Norse method, though still effective. Our hiking group up The Saddle was half-tempted to climb these monstrosities, but thought better of it.
La Chocalateri, I think that is the name of the joint. This little fish can is the local bar, hoppin’ at noon on Sunday – these folks don’t mess around.
The balance of nature was captured in this picture, a willow tree in the distance with a stunning sky on a field of green and wildflowers.
A farm tucked into the side of a mountain.
Juniper Berries, wild in the mountains and just daring me to pick them and mix up a strong one, a good ole Gin & Tonic.
Resting my weary feet among newfound friends. A butterfly resting its weary wings, as a strong wind blows past.
This old stone house captured my imagination almost immediately. The mortar gone, and half the shingles missing, the old stone structure lies teetering on the edge of collapse, but allows the subtle mountain winds to blow through and thus remains standing, a survivor.
Hans and myself preparing to enter the Transylvanian woods. Transylvania actually means “Through the Forest” Trans being the root of Through and Sylva from the Latin root Silva or forest. Romanian is incredibly close to Latin, mores than any other Romance language.
The Saddle, and like its name a smooth leathery bend in the earth.
Hans, a German Expat living in the next town accompanied the group to the Saddle.
Fast food joint down the way from the hostel. For about $6 you get a heini and two plates – a real steal!
The Black Church of Brasov, so named from a massive fire the sprung up centuries ago and blackened its walls.