Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

For those of you who enjoy this glittering, stressful, snow-infested day... Merry Christmas, folks!

For those of you in NZ, where my text messages don't reach... Merry Christmas, folks!

For those of you who read and occasionaly enjoyed my blog throughout this year, Merry Christmas, folks!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Tis the season to be grumpy...

Let me propose to you a little "spot the difference" game. This is my front door last June:
And this is my front door yesterday:
The more perceptive of you might have noticed that the white stuff is back. It's cold and clingy and I've forgotten how to walk on it. I must admit it can look pretty at times,
But I'd rather have the dust of summer on my stream-side roller blading lane.
And it seems I'm not the only one who thinks so!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Catch up

What I'm about to show you happened 3 weeks ago, but I haven't had time to write about it. Not that it's very interesting, but I have to update the contents of this blog every once in a while, don't I?

Aanyway, after a bumpy ride in a chocker-full minibus with only standing room (which gave rise to a lot of jokes about indian trains), we got to Lunca Bradului, the place where I spent at least half of my childhood. The murky, misty wet rainy weather kept us inside the cabin for half the day. Which was not so bad for me, as I had brought some stuff to sew (call me mad, but I've gotta finish!)

But when the rain stopped, it was time to explore what we were there for this time. We had found out about this cabin/conference centre/team building exercise site which is of course private and not to be used by the general public. But there's nothing in Romania a little bribe cannot handle, so we bought permission to play around its perimetre for the rest of the day.

First, it was this:
A giant flying fox going down the hill, over the road, over the stream and over the courtyard, aaall the way to that tiny red shack you see in the distance. SO much fun! could have stayed there all day. (scroll down for video)

But there were other interesting things to do. Like this obstacle course of sorts, high up in the trees. However, what looked like an interesting activity turned out to be the emanation of a wicked, twisted mind. Once you got up there, there was no way of going back or going down mid-way; you had to go all the way to the end or you were stuck there forever. And that pursuit did take a good hour, perhaps.
I like this pic, it looks like she's flying. But there were some rings there she was holding on to for dear life:
I didn't try it, as 4 people went off ahead of me and it was already getting dark ... but mostly because I was scared I wouldn't be able to finish it. Not that I was the only one being scared! If you look up "white-knuckled" in the dictionary, you will surely get this picture:
So I was content staying firmly on the ground and filming or photographing the others....
...or laughing at them when they were stuck in mid-air between two stations. Or setting up a brainstorm to figure out a way to help them go on.
I did try some things that didn't take long to complete and were closer to the ground...
...and admired some climbing walls. Will definitely be back here in spring, ready to bribe with generosity!
video

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Christine!

photo taken from http://otavia.blogspot.com

Hope you have a day full of everything you love! *hugs*

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Trudi!

I still love you, even if you NEVER answer my emails and you NEVER come online to talk to me. My gift for you... a guilt trip!
Hihi, no, seriously. Happy birthday, friend, hope you have a wonderful spring day! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Probably the best Sunday ever

Well, at least for a long long time. Everyone was in such good spirits, the weather was perfect, the trees were so beautiful one felt like hugging them (which we did, actually, but don't tell anyone), the forest was full of berries... what more could you wish for? Maybe a good rock climbing spot, but we'll get to that too.

It started on a crisp and early morning, which I spent being awfully car sick, going up mountains on winding roads. But the view...
It continued with a somewhat-directionally-challenged walk through the forest. It took a while to find the way; but the view...

Once the way was found, a further delay was added to the schedule, occasioned by the discovery of blueberries. Lots of blueberries. Everywhere. Enough to turn even the grumpiest cynic into a frolicking, little stained child. But the view...
Upon finally reaching our destination, we climbed enthusiastically, continually and merrily until total exhaustion and complete filth. The view... was mostly of butts.

The lichens were all over meee!
P.S. The good photos are obviously not mine :>

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Honey

These pics aren't mine, and they are from a trip I haven't even been on. But the autumn is at its most beautiful, so I thought I'd share :>

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ode to anachronism

You're already familiar with Rimetea. However, one thing I have not yet talked about in relation to it are the roads you have to drive on to get to it. Absolutely terrible. Pothole after pothole stretching your car's patience to maximum and making you wish you hadn't had such a hearty breakfast as you jump and wobble like Ace Ventura in his safari car.

These terrible roads are in the process of being repaired: wider lanes, good markings, you know, all the stuff you need for a comfortable drive. Isn't that great?

Nope. As a matter of fact, it sucks.

You know why? Because bad roads doeth a nice place make. Only people who know and care, (and who don't turn pale at the thought of having to walk) seek and enjoy such places. And this keeps them free from orange villas strewn randomly across bald hills, bad music, bad manners, bad smells and bad people. And noise. And garbage. And commercial enterprises. And everything else that goes along with "civilisation".

Because my friend Eisenburg is as "uncivilized" as they come. Banks and shops and everything else one needs for a modern living are so discretely placed you don't even notice them. The only things that seem out of place are the cars parked outside the houses. Ignore them, and you are back in the 19th century. But now, with its peace and quiet easily accesible, who knows what it will turn into.

Leaving, yesterday evening, I had the odd feeling I would not see it the same again. Even writing this feels like some sort of an obituary: in loving memory of the many-named one - Rimetea, Torocko, Eisenburg - the prettiest, tidiest, most loved village in Transylvania. You will be sorely missed.

I really hope I'm wrong.
Fountain in the central square:
One of the two pubs. I can't help always imagining it full of merry hobbits:
Just a pretty gate:
And what used to be a gate in the 1800's:
The old inn building, now largely deserted, with the exception of a few rooms housing an ethnographic museum:
Just a window:
View from an old inn balcony. I wouldn't mind having my breakfast in front of this view every day!
The silhouette of a gypsy:
Oh, yes. We did some climbing too.
And a little buburuza for you. Just because.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Of neglected treasures and grazed knees

This is a big brand of mineral water, of which my family consumes an average of 5l a day.
And this is the place it comes from.
Once a popular and well reputed mountain resort, famous for its multitude of healing springs, it is now a ruined ghost-town. On the one hand, it's so sad to see such resources go to waste, but on the other hand, it seems to be even more beautiful in its neglected beauty. It leaves room for my eerily-inclined imagination; it's not hard to imagine elegant ghost-ladies roaming the decrepit rooms of their once opulent villas. Or stray sprites taking over the towers and attics. The fact that a place close by is called "The faeries' meadow" only fed my fantasy :>


To add to the beauty of the place is white marble. Whole mountains of white marble, several quarries of white marble, the roads leading to them white from all the chips of marble.

But mineral water or ghosts (mineral ghosts?) were not what we were there for. It was rock-climbing, of course.
Being that my climbing skills are still rather humble, I spent more time on the ground than on the wall, together with the non-climbers, watching the pro's...
...and exploring. And look what we found!
A narrow, looong and very damp cave. Lucky some people are always prepared for anything and had their flashlights with them.
This outing with friends did me a lot of good, I was beginning to feel like I hadn't seen a mountain in 10 years (my sore muscles were actually from laughing so much, not from climbing!).
Great weekend. Nice bruise on my knee :>