Forget frost – this is the real Transylvanian, Carpathian, Central European start to the New Year… Hard winter, knee deep powder, frozen pipes, icy fingers, cats by the fire, sun making diamond dust of the snow… Happy New Frozen Year!
If there’s wind as well as snow, the drifts can climb at least halfway up the kitchen door…
After weeks of searching for firewood, I have enough to see me through till the New Year, at least. All too many people in rural Romania are struggling to find firewood this autumn, and those that find it have to pay twice or three times the normal price. It’s a scandal of old-fashioned proportions, with poor forestry management and pathetic governance of illegal logging.
So I’m extremely grateful, in this chilly start to autumn, that my neighbours have come to my rescue and found me a stock of logs for the winter. Tonight I’ve been cosying up to my soba and basking in the gentle warmth of a wood fire.
We’ve been warned! Yesterday we had our first taste of snow – wet and transient at village level, it left a dusting of powder on the higher forest slopes.
The first dusting of snow yesterday, above the first turning leaves
This morning, there was a proper covering of white ice on the mountain ridge and its rocky sides – hidden by cloud yesterday – but by the afternoon a warm sun had melted most of the snow. Bucegi was better covered, but still, not quite winter. But it’s coming!
Piatra Craiului this afternoon
Bucegi with its first autumn snow. But the village meadows are green enough for Spring.
My new book, Fericita in Transilvania: drumul din Liverpool in Carpati, will be published by Editura All in mid-November. All about my life in Magura – how and why I came here, and why I’ve stayed – the book tells the story of why an English woman left a world-famous city for a remote mountain village in Romania.
Follow the book blog to find out about the book launch, events, signings, talks, offers, competitions and more.
If you’re searching for the right Christmas present, this might be the solution…
In October 2011 we were sitting in the main square in Sighisoara’s ancient citadel, when we noticed the chestnut tree over our heads. The long drought over summer and a short burst of snow had confused the tree, and amongst the swelling chestnuts and the shrivelled leaves were fresh green leaves and white flowers. The poor tree didn’t know if it was coming or going. Lots more photos of autumn colour in the new gallery
June’s wildflowers, blooming before the solstice, are pictured here in a new photo gallery to capture your heart and bring you to see the botanical treasures of Transylvania. Here are some of my favourites…