Rimetea – Where The Sun Rises Twice

31 May and 1 June 2019

Rimetea is located amid a dramatic setting of lush meadows, encircling mountains and rocky escarpments. My simple Transylvanian inn overlooks Székelykő, a sacred peak. It is said that here, the sun rises twice as it crawls across the eastern sky at the edge of the mountains. The birds chirp, the sun rises, a lonely dog howls in the distance, the rooster crows and another idyllic day in Romania begins. (more…)

Borgo Pass – Traveling In The Wake of Dracula

Our Return To Transylvania  –  30 May 2019

Today is what travelers on a tour call “kick-back” day. We face a long drive across the eastern Carpathains, over a few high passes, and through the Transylvanian Basin. Our destination is Torockoszetgyorgy, a town I couldn’t pronounce no matter how much alcohol I consumed. Our drive will be 200 miles of magnificent scenery, small villages, and 7 hours of rest and relaxation watching the Transylvania world go by. (more…)

Charcoal Makers and Salt Mines

27 May 2019

Smoke coming from behind the trees hints of an age-old craft few continue to practice in Romania. It is the making of charcoal, a hard and dirty job requiring long hours and inhaling lots of smoke. Men rise in early morning to start the long process which creates the fuel for Romania’s grilled street food. (more…)

Hikes, Totems and Gates

Mt. Harghita and Énlaka Village. –  26 May 2019

Romania’s “Smokey Ursul”

The Transylvanian Alps are compact, rugged peaks that rise to a high crest of 8,346 feet at Mt. Moldoveanu just east of Brașov. But the eastern Carpathians, where I am currently, have an average elevation of 3,300 feet and exceed 6,200 feet only in the highest ranges. The nature parks even have their own Smokey the Bear

I am a reasonably fit 74-year-old woman. I walk up the steep hill at the top of my street which has about a 12% grade. I work out several times a week. I have hiked the Sierras, Rocky Mountains and the Annapurnas in Nepal. It is not the hiking that concerns me. It is the altitude. Currently, I live at sea level. I am thinking that my walk in the Carpathians this morning might be a challenge. (more…)

Exploring Inner Transylvania

Saxon Villages of Biertan and Sighisoara. –  25 May 2019

This region of Transylvania is a national treasure. The landscape of oaks, beech, conifers and alpine grasslands is stunning. The villages architectural masterworks of colors and simplicity. The cultural heritage unique and of historical importance. Within its borders are at least 130 fortified churches to explore. It is a corner of Europe as yet unspoiled; wisely  there are those hoping to keep it that way. It is unbelievable that these villages we visit were once on dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu’s “Black List” to be destroyed. What a vainglorious f&#*ing idiot he was. (more…)

Exploring Inner Transylvania

Saxon Villages of Prejmer and Viscri  –  24 May 2019

This morning, we motor further into the Transylvania region of Romania. The countryside is peaceful and verdant, the villages quiet with the rustic feel of what I would expect of rural Romania. Mountains surround a flat valley of rich green fields and expanses of bright yellow rapeseed. Rivers of snow trickle down the distant peaks of the Carpathians while sun shines on white storks shopping the farmer’s hay fields for frogs and grasshoppers. There is the occasional man and his herd of cows. Lush, healthy forests of beech and timber march up the hillsides for as far as I can see. This is perhaps some of the most beautiful land in the world where I have driven.


Visiting Saxons and Knights

Brașov and Râșnov, Romania

23 May 2019

Brașov lays within the loving southeastern curve of the Carpathian Mountains and its location is breathtaking. Its oldest traces of human activity and settlements date to the Neolithic age (about 9500 BC). Brașov is an important Saxon city and its architecture, fortifications, towers, churches, town square, and history are outstanding. Not only is the city the birthplace of the Romanian national anthem, but the birthplace of one of Vlad Dracul’s lady friends. (more…)