A little more from Romania

Before I share my final photos from last month in Romania let me update you on where we are right now. As you can see from the map below, we’ve just crossed the border and are currently in the South of France. A place most British people associate with really hot weather and long summer holidays. Let me tell you things seem to be pretty much the same in the winter too. Blue skies and bright sunshine have kept us warm so far. It’s a bit windy at the moment but, it really isn’t cold.

 

The route Jan 2018 3
The route so far. Jan 2018

I’m now in France but wanted to share with you a couple more shots from Romania that I took over the Christmas and New Year period. No doubt you’ve seen my Bear Dancing blog posts (one and two), but I wanted to share with you something different this time: these photos I shot around the festivities and show people I met and experiences I had.

 

A woman selling corn and candy floss on a night market stall

I met this woman selling sweetcorn on one of the days of the festival in Comanesti. She spoke no English and, if I’m honest, I didn’t spend much time with her – which is a shame. But we didn’t need words, a smile and a nod was enough. It seemed that sweetcorn and candy floss were the 2 big food groups as there were several stalls selling both.

A man plays the trumpet as part of the New Year celebrations.

Another man who I didn’t spend much time with, mainly because he was playing his trumpet. But I knew he was a friendly chap from the smiles and the light in his eye. I would have loved to have spent more time with him as he seemed an interesting guy with stories to tell.

An elderly man sits on his bed reminiscing about the past

Now, this man I did spend time with and an interesting character he was too. He is 87 years old and father to not only the mayor of Comanesti but 8 other children too. He lives alone and spends most of his days reading and looking after his chickens and cows. He sat on his bed for about half an hour talking about the past and life under comunist rule. Special moments like this alone really make my the journey worthwhile.

A grandmother feeds her sheep

Keeping farm animals is common in these areas, many families have a couple of sheep or a few chickens, perhaps a cow or 2. I got the impression that this wasn’t always just a money-saving exercise, rather something people did as a tradition or out of habit.

2 local men travel to collect wood on a cold morning

These 2 men actually pulled into the layby behind me where I had stopped in anticipation of them passing. As they stopped and had a smoke and a bit to eat I approached them and tried starting up a conversation. At this moment I was without my guide so I was reduced to English. Let’s just say the conversation didn’t get far but they were happy for me to take a few photos before they got back on their way.

 

On this trip, I had a translator but he wasn’t with me 24/7 and therefore I there were times when I had to get by on my own – and my knowledge of the Romanian language is zero. But these moments that often start out as awkward interactions often end up being the most memorable. Anyway, that’s all I have for you today and all I have from Romania for the moment. Don’t worry I’ll be back soon with more more updates from my adventures.

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