I’ve now loaded up a few links to videos about Magura and the surrounding area. Some of them are images of the village with no voiceover, some are mini-documentaries in Romanian, and there are a couple of American-voiced Dracula-based vids. If you make or find any good vids, do please let me know and I’ll be happy to post them here.
One of my favourites is the real-time drive from the edge of Zarnesti up to Magura – the road I take every time I need any shopping, or have to head off to Brasov, Bucharest or further afield. I love this road, but it can be a challenge if you’re not concentrating. If you’re thinking of hiring a car for your Magura visit, I’d get a high-wheel based 4×4…
Trent Shelton, a passionate traveller who runs a specialist travel agency in Chicago, is our guest writer today. You can see where else he’s been exploring on his own blog, On the Road
The Romania you’ve always dreamed of
Trent caught a Magura man scything the September hay, known as otava
As I planned my next destination on my whirlwind trip in Romania, I started talking to a Dutch couple in their early 30s who were staying in the same Bucharest hostel. It was the typical conversation that you have with almost every traveler: “Where are you from?” “How long are you traveling for?” “Where are you going?” “Where have you been?” However, with this last question, both their voices became excited as they described where they just came from. They described it as one of their favorite places they had ever been which, when stated from experienced travelers, is something never to be taken with a grain of salt. They were, of course, talking about Magura…. Read more
A few miles north-east of Sighisoara is the Saxon village of Biertan. Its quiet isolation gives no clue to its importance in medieval Transylvania, which was considerable; the only evidence immediately obvious is the fortified church which looms over the village, too substantial for a sleepy place in the middle of nowhere.
We stayed at Pensiune Unglerus, a house in a quiet street a couple of minutes’ stroll from the Unglerus restaurant nestled in the skirts of the great walls of the fortified church and decorated with weapons, armour and pastiche furniture from the chivalric Middle Ages.
The church needs time for proper exploration and it would be worth reading up on its history so you know what you’re looking at.
About 2.5 hours’ drive from Brasov, so three hours from Magura – an easy and excellent weekend sortie.
Stunning masonry and paint detail on the church ceiling
A large lock and a cheeky novice monk, aka a modern Shelagh.
Painted wood shows details of practice and the date
We never did discover what these amazing terraces were for. Vines, maybe?
The great fortified church of Birthalm (Biertan)
Fortifications seen from outside the great walls
Colour and caruta.
The tower over the entry point
Massive stone door gives some indication of the importance of this church
Hobbs the mountain cat takes a nano-second’s rest in her Spring leaping among the blossom. The mirabel (corcodus) trees in the garden are in full flower, with bees and other insects going mad with spring fever. It’s infectious: the cats spend a lot of time in the air at the moment, feet touching ground (or branch) only rarely as they fly about in the April sunshine.