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 :>