Our nearest city is Brasov – the most beautiful city in Romania, in my opinion. Medieval bastions, cobbled streets, elegant 18th and 19th century civic buildings and houses, stunning churches, parks and gardens, public squares, and the citadel. All set against the green darkness of Mount Tâmpa and the surrounding forest and hills.
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…
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…
Magura is a brilliant place for cloud-watchers. Any other members of the Cloud Appreciation Society in Romania? This is the place for you. Last night’s sunset gave us a double hit, one puffball looming over Pestera, and a pod of spaceships hanging over Piatra Craiului. Stunning. [For other cloud pics, see earlier post.]
Three adventurous characters from the ancient deserts of the Middle East plunged into the dripping green forests of Transylvania for three days of culture shock. David Lowidt takes up the tale…
“We – Roni, Moshe and I – were three mature walkers (some would say old) from Kibbutz Hatzerim in Israel who were looking to stay somewhere a little bit different. Off the beaten track, back to nature, simple life and conditions, see how the locals live etc. And that’s how I found this blog written by Arabella who lives in the beautiful village of Magura in the Carpathian Mountains, and she arranged for us to stay four nights with her neighbours Maria and Chivu Cotinghiu.
“We arrived on Tuesday 24th June 2014, late afternoon. It was chucking it down with rain and we had loads of wet clothes from the soaking we had suffered from the morning’s walk up to the Babela rock in the Bucegi Mountains, but it didn’t take long for Chivu to get the wood burning stove on the go, for Maria to bring us a plate of tasty cakes and for Chivu to start plying us with his homemade high alcohol content drinks. How could we not feel at home?” Read more…
22nd April. Should be green and balmy, blossom bursting, bees a-buzz, lambs leaping, ad inf. Is it?
Is it diddley.
Here was the weather on my birthday, two days ago. The morning’s offering of snow having melted, this was the next white dump on its way.
And here we are this morning, back to winter clothes. Bees and birds are back by their firesides, blossom is struggling to get back into its shell, lambs are shuddering with cold and the cats are snoring by the blazing fire in my study.
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
This summer we’ve had visitors coming and going like wasps to a picnic. To close the season in early September, a group of expats living in and near Brasov came to Magura for the weekend. Drinks and dancing at Roxana’s house followed by supper for 12 and a movie show chez moi on Saturday night, then the next morning a hike round the village viewing spots, and lunch (again at my place) for 17 on a gloriously sunny Sunday. Only one Brit (apart from me) in the group: a happy mix of French, German, Ukrainian, Russian, American and Romanian. Lots of energy and great ideas, amazing stories and lovely gifts – a promising group.
If you have any memories you can share here, do please leave a comment (if you have a photograph to add, please email it to me).
Vegetarian lunch (with a nod to the carnivores) for 17 on Sunday. Went down well after everybody had been hiking for two hours…
Catalin and Julia relaxing after lunch
Hans and Iris
Stefany and Adrian
Georgiana, Robert, Anca, Sebi and other village children dancing in traditional dress for the visitors to Roxana’s house