Saturday, April 29, 2006

Romanian Countryside

Since Stephen has Monday off work (it's May Day) we decided to head to the mountains of Romanian. We are staying with a village family. We have rented two rooms from them. They speak no English but with Stephen here that's no big deal. He is doing great speaking Romanian and carrying on conversations with them. I'm just smiling! :)

When we arrived today we headed to the town of Bran and toured the castle. Vlad, the impaler, used it as his headquarters. Our culture nicknamed him as Dracula but in reality the Romanians view him as a champion of the people. The castle is made right into the mountainside. The last royalty to reside there was headed by Queen Maria - you can imagine the reaction that got from a certain member of our family!

This is an agricultural area and we saw lots of farm equipment, ranging from tractors to mules to families with hoes! We stopped on the side of the road and made these pictures of a herd of sheep. Steve tried to talk to the shepherd but he didn't get much more than the air is clean here.

We eat breakfast and supper with the host family so we headed to the house for a meal around 6:30pm. The houses here are actually fairly large. There is even a yard which Maria has been roaming in since we arrived. The family has a small farm in the back of the house. Maria has reported seeing chickens and hearing goats and cows!

They cooked the meat over this real wood stove. We had chicken, lamb, beef and veal. Stephen tried it all and was a happy man! We also had bread with butter (they churned!), tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and cake. It was all delicious!

Tomorrow we plan to do a little hiking. Stephen is studying a trailmap now so he can find a trail to suit all our requests. This should be interesting. The lady asked what time we wanted breakfast and then laughed when Stephen said 7:30am! So I'm not sure what time we'll head out.

Maria just ran in from outside, the lady took her to meet the sheep and Maria was allowed to pet the baby lamb. She was so excited she ran right back out saying something about scraping off the bottom of her shoes with a stick. I don't think I WANT to know what she means by that! Ahh the country - isn't it grand?