The day will come when I will die. So the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my allotted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze.--Richard Bode

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Another good day in Romania

Jessica and I got up late today, and headed down a very rough road to our first destination of the day: a town where there is a "Merry Cemetery". This place was so unique. Church was going on when we got there, and the place was packed. A lot of the worshipers had to stand outside. I went in, just to see what was going on, but found myself in a throng of standing worshipers. Romania is certainly a religious country, especially now, I think, since there is no communism to tell them that religion is bad.

Look at this little girl. She is all dressed up for Sunday worship.

There were many, many village people milling about, unable to get into the packed church.

They were certainly a colorful lot. Not the men, though. The men were dressed up, but in somber black suits with white shirts.

You could buy a dress for yourself or for your child there in the town if you had a hankering to do so.

A man who is a language teacher from Bucharest happened to be there leading a group, and he and Jessica were able to communicate in French. He told her how to tell traditional dresses from more modern ones. He also explained some of the tombstones.

Here are some of the tombstones. They are each made of wood.

Each is blue to symbolize the soul flying up into the blue sky on its way to heaven. And on the front is a picture to show what the deceased did during life. This man was obviously a carpenter.

Its called a "Merry Cemetery" because of the poems or epithets on each tombstone.  Here is one in the original Romanian along with its English translation. Notice that it rhymes in Romanian, but the rhyme is lost when it is translated into English.

Sub aceasta cruce grea
Zace biata soacra-mea
Trei zile de mai traia
Zaceam eu si cetea ea.
Voi care treceti pa aici
Incercati sa n-o treziti
Ca acasa daca vine
Iarai cu gura pa mine
Da asa eu m-oi purta
Ca-napoi n-a inturna
Stai aicea draga soacra-mea

Under this heavy cross
Lies my poor mother in-law
Three more days she would have lived
I would lie, and she would read (this cross).
You, who here are passing by
Not to wake her up please try
Cause' if she comes back home
She'll criticise me more.
But I will surely behave
So she'll not return from grave.
Stay here, my dear mother in-law!

Further down the road we found what must surely be one of the most beautiful sights in Romania -- the Monastery of Wood.

All the buildings were made of nothing buy wood. The buildings and the landscaping were absolutely gorgeous. But I think the place is an Abby and not a Monastery. There were a lot of nuns working there.

I wanted to show you a picture of their hay ricks. There are two kinds. Which do you think is better?

Somehow the center pole holds the haystack up.  And here is the second kind. It is like the hay is hung over a high fence.

I guess Jessica is saying that she doesn't know which of the two types is better eight (Actually, she ran over there just to show how big the haystack is.) She didn't even take time to take her helmet off because I was parked on the road and traffic was whizzing by.

We've been riding through the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains all day on roads that are sometimes so smooth, even if curvy, that it is easy to do 60 miles and hour on them, and at other times are so rough that thirty miles and hour feels like it is going to shake the bike apart.

Once, the road just stopped at a railroad crossing that was all torn up. I am not sure how long the detour would have been, but some girls on the other side of the tracks told us by gestures that we could get back to the road by following a little dirt lane.

Gotta be careful on these Romanian roads. You never know what might be coming down the opposite lane.

Jessica took a picture of our shadow, which I think is kind of cool.

We are in a nice hotel again tonight. They are really inexpensive here. We are in Transylvania. Tomorrow, we plan to hit the road early so that we can get to Dracula's Castle (actually, Vlad the Impailer's Castle) early. It is about two hours away.

More later,
Ron and Jessica

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