Trip to Romania, Summer 2004, part 3

Saturday, June 26

With Campulung as our base, we take a day trip over to the mountain resort town of Vatra Dornei.  Over the mountains by bus, then back home by train.  The day is overcast and turns to rain on the way back, but the town is lovely.  The architecture of the older buildings is an interesting mix of European and local styles (much of it from this region was more German.) 

Here again is a pedestrian plaza in the town center.  Vasile GPS-measures the points of interest.

An abandoned synagogue, from before all the Jews were persecuted and driven out over the last century:

I get to have a very European moment of coffee and small pastries.

Views from the train on the way back, in the rain.  The Orthodox churches are usually identifiable by the horizontal stripe pattern.  The church in the second picture is more likely some flavor of Catholic.

Home in time for dinner.  These tiny berry-like fruits are called fragi, i had never seen them before and have no idea if there is a word for them in English.  They were great with smantana.

Sunday, June 27

(Now i have journal entries again, so this is direct from the trip.)  In the morning, there is huge breakfast then i walk with Vasile into town, taking pictures of the trees and the Zimbru statue (to do: write the long interesting historical story about the Zimbru...).

This sign translates as "Car School with Laboratory of Car Psychology.  All Categories."  I like the idea that it's not the driver's fault, it's the car that needs a shrink.

Heading uphill to the south, up very steep roads, we ascend a hill called Runc.  A great view of the whole valley, lots of birdsong in the "artificial forest".

Big panorama of the town and valley stretching west to east:

We stop at a cabana for a Socata.  A long walk home, to were mici are grilling.

I'm still full from breakfast, but mici must be eaten hot and fresh.  Yum.  I nap, only to be woken by Vasile telling me dinner is ready.  Yow!  Delicious creamy ciorba with some kind of wheat-based dumplings, then friptura de porc si cartof cu mult ceapa.  Vasile's friend Alin shows up during dinner..

and we go up to Vasile's computer; the three of us geo-geek out for several hours.  Dessert is papanasi unlike any i have seen so far, country style and indescribable:

Vasile leaves that night back to Bucuresti, Elena and Ionela bid me a warm farewell and give me sandwiches for the road, Vasi's brother walks me to the train station for my midnight slow train, and i'm in a sleeper car heading West, toward Baia Mare.

Onward to Part 4