Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Long Ride, Short Post

Today I rose at 5:30, met my dean at 6:30, then drove with her to Bucharest. She has a one-day seminar to lead here tomorrow, and then will return by train to Cluj. She said this trip was for her a holiday, as every other day of the year she has to work. Having seen her in her office last Monday, I believe that.

It was a nice day, my first sunny day in Romania, and the scenery was beautiful. We drove through German-culture Szekeler villages with polychromatic tile-and-masonry houses along the streets, and through Roma communities. We encountered Roma (aka "Gypsies") living in their traditional nomadic covered wagons, many hitchhikers, and a few beggars along the highway. We drove through the Carpathians on a road reminiscent of New Hampshire's Kancamagus Highway, listening to Beethoven on the Ipod. About 100 Km north of Bucharest we finally found Romania's one stretch of divided highway. As we sped along it, a Gypsy on his wagon was driving above us, right in the middle of a new concrete overpass, with horse, driver and wagon all silhouetted against the afternoon sky. It would have made a National Geographic cover. But I didn't get the photo.

I was glad we weren't on a train. Bucharest was nine hours' drive, with several stops, including one at a beautiful Orthodox monastery in the mountains. I did get pictures there, and will try to post one or two soon. But tonight, I have to sleep. Fulbright orientation starts early tomorrow, and I feel like a whipped dog tonight. I am at the Hotel Casa Victor in Bucharest. Nice little place. I am going to call Shirl, and then hit the sack.

2 comments:

Andy H said...

Good luck, and welcome to Transylvania.

From a Brit who lives in Transylvania but who used to live in New Hampshire!

PS the Szeklers/Szekely are Hungarian not German - the area you drove through was Saxon (and therefore German as you say) not Szekely

Duncan McDougall said...

Thanks, Andy. Send me a comment with your e-mail or phone number. i will reject it, but will contact you privately. Then maybe we can meet one day. -DcMcD