Lidia & Allen Carpathians & Italy travel blog

Bridge to Ukraine

Watermelon feast in Ukraine

Back to Romania

Statues at Communist prison in Sighetu

Overnight delivery in Iza Valley

Lidia earning her keep in the Iza

Free lunch in the Iza; apples by the millions

Wooden tombstones w/ metal 'umbrellas'

600 yr old 100% wooden church


Travelled on overnight sleeper train from Sighisoara to Sighetu; the rhythm of the tracks clickity-clack does have a lullaby melody to accompany the rocking of the train. Oh, and lest you think it was a deep slumber rest assured it was NOT. Not bad mind you, but not like the Four Seasons Hotel. In route we passed thru, you guessed it, Brasov ! During a 30 minute layover I 'talked' with a overalls clad railroad worker. When I mentioned having lived in Canada he reached into his pocket with grease stained fingers and oh-so happily/proudly presented to me a little metal figurine of a drummer; evidently a good luck symbol in Romania. Sighetu is well into the Iza Valley and just across the Tisa River from Ukraine. The Iza is a big step back in time; horse drawn carts, lots of farms using methods & tools from 100's of years ago. And everything seems to be built of wood, and the air redolent with the smell of burning wood. Getting late and I've used most of tonight's session successfully uploading photos cuz this computer can ! And fast !! So for now so much for words; enjoy the pics - more to come. Lidia & I will add more text soon. Ciao for now. Lidia's entry: It has been very surprising to find Romanians who speak Spanish or Italian. Apparently, Romanians go to these two countries to work. This has made it easy and enjoyable for me to communicate as few people over 25 speak English. The first museum we visited is the "Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance". This was a powerful educational experience. And to make the visit even more memorable, the museum is housed in a former prision for political disidents. As I walked through the corridors and individual cells, as I could feel the spirit of the people who lived there. Time stopped for me and as I took more than 4 hours reading everything I could, a guard started following me. At he end of the visit, he called me to a small room. I thought I was in troble, but he gave me a calalog of the exhibit. He motioned me to hide it when I left the building. I guess the covert activities continue under the new regime. Forbiden fruits: Allen and I have been in heaven picking apples, pears, peaches and walnuts from trees in town, or on the roads. We did not know if we where taking the fruit that belonged to someone else. I felt better when I found out that during the communist era, this area was a huge agricultural collective. Their specilty was fruit trees. The collective was so successful that it received a national prize for the number of trees that were successfully planted. After communism, the land was returned to their original owners. Most of the fruit trees are not cared for except when they give fruit and some rural people pick up the fruit for their use at home or to sell. Without knowing it, we were doing the same thing, that is consuming the fruit- not selling it. I have felt at home in this country. People are friendly and extroverted. They are warm and peaceful.

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