Living in Spain, vol. 4 – Martin Lang
Going on a trip to Transylvania first appeared to be very similar to going on a trip to Slovakia – it’s the same except Dracula. Traditional cuisine seems similar, majority of cities seem similar – you know, that hipster vibe of modern European cafes and bistros around one corner and depressing soviet run-down architecture on the other –, countryside seems similar potholes on the road seem similar, … it is all very similar is what I am trying to get across here.
Yet, there are few gemstones hidden in this otherwise quite familiar region in form of natural spots, traditional villages and hundreds of castles and fortresses. Besides, for Andrea the experience was rather exciting as she was not exposed to a post-soviet country before, though now she has seen more than enough I am happy to say.
What appears to be emphasized the most, as we are driving through Transylvania, is not as much the anticipated omnipresence of Count Dracula – nobody really cares – instead, it is the traditional way of living, which still thrives in the most beautiful and colourful villages we have ever seen.
Hidden in the valleys and beneath the hillsides of Carpathian Mountains, these villages offer us a glimpse into the past – old cottages and stone houses well taken care of, shepherds spending their day outdoors, accompanied by cattle and their faithful dog companions, traditional cuisine including sheep cheese dishes, heavy creams, potato cakes and many more … all is here for us to experience.
Because you see, the city of Cluj looks like Brno, only slightly smaller, but never have I seen such well-preserved and still functioning medieval fortified churches as we saw on the road from Sibiu to Sighisoara. Brasov looks like Bratislava, but never have I seen cows grazing just under our windows as we saw in one of the picturesque villages, we had an opportunity to stay in for a couple of days. These subtle, yet very memorable, experiences are the ones that made our trip unique, instead of an overcrowded Bran Castle where once, possibly, maybe, probably not Count Dracula spent the night.
The climax of our journey is a serene stay at the Airbnb cottage where we spend our time reading books we finally got time to read, warming up in front of the fireplace, because even though it’s August, nights are quite chilly up here, taking long walks, enjoying morning coffee and evening wine on the porch, and watching sunset together … cliché but true. This is what Transylvania meant for us and this is what we enjoyed the most.
Now it is your turn to enjoy the video bellow and we will see you next time!