Awakening in a MonasterySunday, September 24, 2011 - part 1
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
Sunday morning we wake in the Neamt Monastery guest house - rather like a bare-bones dorm, and walk to the adjacent historic complex, the most revered monastery in the Moldovan region of Romania.
The original buildings date from the late 1400's,
and as Victoria begins our tour of the property, a rhythmic clicking comes from high in the bell tower.
The insistent tattoo draws the monks to prayer and services, then, to call the townspeople to worship, deep peals soar from the powerful bell above, along with repeated jangling of a string of smaller bells - quite a cacophony!
We walk through a peaceful graveyard and to the oldest church,
now reserved for meditation and a resting place of neatly inscribed bones of monks from centuries past.
Back in the bus, Victoria's music of choice today is a melange of symphonic melodies, many from Georg Enescu, Romania's most famous composer. She's chosen this music because this Moldavian region is the area from which the country's renowned poets, writers, composers and intellectuals have come from.
Out the windows, the entertainment continues as we see wagons with towering piles nearly toppling over -
is it junk collection day today?
We pass through the city of Iasi (Yash, remember?) then drive about 50 kilometers further to our next stop, a local winery. Our walk up the hill is accompanied by a raucous gypsy band - the most enthusiastic brass players we've ever seen!
The owner introduces his (forgettable) wines, nothing worth writing about, but we enjoy a relaxing couple of hours in the shady pavilion.