Monday, November 8, 2010

4 days in Transylvania

Transylvania...What an amazing 4 days! We arrived late on a Wednesday night with empty bellies (they wouldn't be empty for long). We unpacked, washed up and then had our first bread making lesson. In the next 4 days we would bake bread, learn cheese making, hike in the most beautiful valley, see old mills at work, learn traditional textiles techniques, learn the art of egg painting and meet the loveliest people.
Making Bread
In many ways it was like stepping back in time. In the village there are more horse and carts than cars and all the food was homemade. Literally, nothing we ate came from a store. The jam was from the berries picked in the forest, the butter made the night before, the cheese made by a neighbor, even the mayonnaise was homemade. We were so spoiled with the amazing food and drink!
one of our "light" meals
Our transportation
We were also completely spoiled by our guide Erika. She was so flexible and accommodating. Each day she would run down a list of possible activities. We could choose all of them, none of them, some of them, whatever we wanted. As soon as she found out I loved textiles, we were stopping by homes looking at embroidered folk costumes, crocheted tablecloths and woven carpets. She was truly amazing! We all fell in love with this village called Hidegség and the people that live there.

An adorable couple we meet. She had the most amazing textiles. She had made everything. That pink blanket they are sitting on is one that she made.
she finds the time to weave in between the milking
We were able to experience their first snow!
I fell in love with this little lady. I was trying not to look like a giant next to her that is why I am standing funny. She was such a great host as she invited us into her home and showed us how to make cheese.fresh cheese
As a side note...I must say that I really love the country life. However, I understand that life for a farmer is very hard...there are no breaks. Visiting as a tourist is wonderful and we were completely spoiled! We never had to help with the hay cutting, cow milking, wood cutting, or washing. We were able to sleep in and relax. The people in the village are hard working and life is not easy for them.

Richard, Bonnie, Erika (our guide), Steven and me.
Steven was in Peace Corps years ago. He said that the experience we had was much like his Peace Corps experience except nicely packaged so we could have a unique experience every minute of the day. I am very much looking forward to visiting Erika and the people of Hidegség again. If you are looking for a unique country experience in Transylvania I can not say enough about about Erika. She is what made the whole experience fantastic!

Feel free to email her if you are at all interested in visiting. I guarantee a unique and fantastic experience!!
Erika Nyika

Please visit my
flicker page for more photos!

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