The Sahara and Us Morocco 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

In Moldavia, Romania

Voronet Monastery

Regular Highway traffic

So our next destination is the painted monasteries of Moldavia and area close to the Ukraine border and Suceava. Our route, aided by our host in Sighisoara, was beautiful through the Carpathian mountains  - still. There was a lot of winding, narrow roads but scenic towns and characters we would meet along the way. Romania, as well as Bulgaria has many horse and cart ’vehicles’ on the road, as well as farm implements like John Deere Combines. It adds another dimension to how you drive here, basically expecting anything including cows, pigs, sheep to come out of the woods so to speak. We watched village people walking to stuke steep fields with their long had scythes, and fields with hay ’Stukes’ that are meant to store the hay in place in the fields and allow it to dry. These are techniques we haven’t seen in Canada since I was a kid, and that’s a long time, OK a really long time.  They actually deliver milk by carts here still, un-pasteurized,  what they term ‘coming from a real cow’, and then they boil it themselves before serving it. We had this kind of milk at Yanka’s house in Bulgaria as well.
Stuked Hay

Guys here are still very interested in the motorcycle, and when they look at the speedo, their way of evaluating if it is powerful or not, they wave their hand as if it is too hot. And the kids all want to hear the bike rev up. Then they get into, how did you get it here, where are you going, etc. all in a different language, but we get the message across. Universal hand language.

Catholic Clergy enjoying the Orthodox church
Our B&B here in Vama is operated by a family whose head of the household is a police officer. (We’ll leave the name out to protect the innocent). Last evening we sat around drinking ‘Schnapps’ of the homemade variety and he brought out old Russian handcuffs, an old Billy Club, and then finally his unloaded pistol, a 6mm. (small) Romanian built gun. He only does this when there are visiting foreign police officers in the crowd ( I qualified). We ate supper at the house, typical Romanian dishes, all with liquor of one type or another. Don’t try doing any of this if you plan on driving in the next month or so after.

Today we toured the painted monasteries of this region. These churches are of the eastern Orthodox variety and the paint works on them date back almost 600 years. And we travelled over one high pass that was very scenic. Like everywhere else, where a tourist is likely to stop there is someone selling a souvenir. This time it was exactly what we wanted for our tree.
Buying a Romanian Egg

We can’t say enough good things about Romania. It continually exceeds our expectations, and even though some of the roads are in poor condition they are way better than many we’ve experienced, across Morocco, Greece, the rebuilding of roads in Turkey and definitely Bulgaria. Tomorrow we leave to see if we can cross into the Ukraine.

Altar of Orthodox Church

Ceiling Fresco

Outside FResco

Old Lady taking home her communion bread
 she had blessed
Inner church looking out

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