And the Times They Are A Changing

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Flag of Romania  , Hunedoara,
Monday, September 20, 2010

I head south then east then north then east again through, around and over the Carpathians. This is a bonus, just wandering aimlessly and exploring the beautiful countryside in the sun, in the rain and everything in between. Narrow timber lined river valleys and broad upland plains. I begin to have some sympathy for Romanian drivers, not the lunatics but the ordinary run of the mill driver. The roads pass through communities most of which stretch out in ribbon development many joining with the next one. The result is a continuous 50kph speed limit causing endless frustration. Not surprisingly the speed limit is rarely kept.

The Hurez Monastery is a haven of peace and quiet. Built in the 17th century in the Branceasuvanesc style it is now a convent of nuns having been a monastery for men at one time but never the twain will meet. The architecture is stunning with intricate friese work and the interior wall paintings are breath-taking. I come across another sign of the changing times. I pass a nun sweeping leaves and talking in an animated fashion. There is noone else around. Is she in devotional prayer? Is this part of her daily office? As I pass close to her I notice a mobile phone neatly tucked into her wimple!!!

Time is getting on and it's late afternoon. I spot a sign to two pensions off the main road. Ideal. I pass through a hamlet, then onto an unmade road slippery with mud. I'm on road tyres. I carry on for about 5k deeper and deeper into the hills. Dracula country? I finally find them, not the forbidding castle but two bright modern pensions. Looks good. HOW MUCH! That's nearly three times the amount I paid last night. Both are empty but no negoatiating. Back on the trail and on to Fagaras and anothe basic for the night.

The waiter recommends the chicken with flakes. I'll go with that, wondering what sorth of batter the chicken will be fried in. Well you English frequently loses something when used by others. Lost in translation springs to mind. I do feel like an idiot when the chicken arrives fried in flakes - CORN FLAKES. Not one from Delia's books I bet.
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Emma Anderson on

Lovely monastery, Peter. Hope the journey is going well.

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