Transylvania has universal name recognition for being associated with the Dracula story, but there’s so much more to this region of Romania than vampires.
Here’s how Hugo Cox described one of the idyllic villages of the Transylvanian countryside over the weekend in the Financial Times:
Viscri is one of the more notables villages. It’s also where Prince Charles is deeply involved in the preservation of Transylvania’s unique culture and heritage.Perhaps the biggest joy of my trip was meeting Sara Dootz, the 77-year-old Romanian lady who serves as the keyholder of Viscri’s Saxon-era fortified church. The church is one of several fortified churches listed by UNESCO.
Dusk in the main street of Viscri, one of several hundred ancient villages scattered through the remote foothills of the Transylvanian Alps, features a peculiar daily routine. A procession of cows, goats and geese saunters un-shepherded, down from the hills to pass the night in outbuildings attached to the village’s farmhouses. It is a bucolic picture in a land that time forgot, where hay is still harvested by scythes and remote valleys are scattered with wild flowers and rare birds.
If that sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. I know because I had the same experience as Cox when I visited Transylvania in the summer of 2014. It’s why I ranked Romania as the No. 1 must-visit destination of 2015.
Dootz’s family came from Saxony in what is now Germany over 800 years ago. Talk about mind-boggling, especially for an American whose family has only been in the United States for about a hundred years.
Read the rest at Medium.
— Dennis Lennox