Heavenly Vistas, Heavenly Melodies in RomaniaSaturday, September 24, 2011 - part 3
Mountains and villages in Romania
Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We'd love to hear from you! Next on the itinerary: Mozartfest in Bath, England
A Dracula- tale village, a gypsy lunch, and Cultural Romtour still has more to show us today - they are packing this week full of experiences for the nine of us on this "fam" (familiarization) trip so we can learn as much as possible about the countries we'll visit.
Did I already mention that we've seen more horse-drawn carts here than anywhere in our travels? As we drive out of the village we pass on after the other...
one moving at a quick trot
another providing a soft bed for a fluffy pup
and through the bus window, this one with a lady driver while a passenger relaxes on the bags of potatoes in the cart. The motion of the bus often puts us to sleep... but we don't want to close our eyes and miss any of the action and scenery outside!
Victoria asks the driver to stop in one village and points out the intricately carved gates of homes and churches of this Hungarian enclave.
She, of course, can recognize the ethnic background of the different homes and buildings we pass - we've been intrigued by the many differences and quirks of the properties in this country settled by so many different peoples.
A raw mountainside high above us has a story to tell - in the late 1800's, due to heavy rainfall, a huge section of the mountain tumbled away in a landslide, creating a lake from three rivers that had flowed through valleys below.
We take a quick break to walk down to the lake - feels good to be out of the bus after another couple of hours of riding.
About an hour later, we're out again, for a walk through the towering Bicaz Gorge, one of Romania's natural wonders.
We've seen tidy piles of firewood outside many houses, especially as we've entered the Carpathian Mountains - here comes some more to warm a log cabin for the winter.
It's after dark - a loooong day on the bus - when we finally arrive at the Vovidena monastery where we're welcomed by a black-frocked monk who ushers us into the simple dining room. He and a group of students studying in Iasi (pronounced Yash), about an hour away, waited for our arrival before eating, and we all enjoy a delicious dinner (all, including the wine, grown, prepared, and blessed by the monks living here) served by the student interns who are here for the weekend. The best part of the evening, though, is an unexpected treat - the students, who will sing in the service tomorrow morning, delight us with some heavenly music - we hope you'll enjoy these excerpts as much as we did!