Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sighet and Around

Since we left Cluj on a 7AM bus, we arrived in Sighetu Marmației at noon and had plenty of time to find a hotel and then head out to Săpânța to see the so-called Merry Cemetery. There are no buses to Săpânța so we eventually figured out out to find a private car for hire. Well, they kinda find you. If you are standing in the right spot - in this case on a corner near the crosswalk after the  roundabout - a black station wagon, usually a VW, will pull up and shout their destination. If that's the way you are headed then you're set. So after 20 minutes of standing in the wrong spot, a helpful local got us in a car to Săpânța.

Sighet, only 1 km from the border with Ukraine, marks the northern most point of this trip at almost 48 degrees north latitude. After seeing the Merry Cemetery the first afternoon, we subsequently made day trips to the surrounding valleys to see the old churches, the one at Budesti is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and to check out what's left of the old ways: farming, architecture, dress, and religion.


The tombstones at the Merry Cemetery are painted in blue and have scenes and verse recounting the decease's life and in some cases death.
Sapanta, Romania

Sapanta, Romania

Sapanta, Romania

We rode the bus to Bârsana to see the new Monastery and the Old Church. It happened to be April 23rd, St George's Day (of  dragon slaying fame) and the Monastery was busy with a seemingly continuous outdoor service.
Bârsana, Romania

Bârsana, Romania

We walked the 4kms from the Monastery to the Old Church enjoying the sites on the way: locals on bikes, wooden gates, fields, and houses.
Bârsana, Romania

Bârsana, Romania

Bârsana, Romania

Bârsana, Romania

Bârsana, Romania

Bârsana, Romania

Bârsana, Romania

The Old Church at Bârsana.
Bârsana, Romania

Headed to the Festival (we think).
Bârsana, Romania

It is not uncommon to see a horse cart in downtown Sighet.
Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania

Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania

The border with Ukraine is just 1km from Sighet. We walked to the Romanian side of the bridge for a look.
Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania

The Thursday Market at Ocna Sugartag.
Maramureș, Romania

Maramureș, Romania

Near Sarbi.
Maramureș, Romania

Maramureș, Romania

Traditional water mill to wash wool - Sarbi.
Maramureș, Romania

The Old Church at Sarbi. We were surprised to see sheep skin rugs inside.
Maramureș, Romania

Maramureș, Romania

Church foundation and wooden bell.
Maramureș, Romania

Budești Lower Church (1643) - a UNSECO Monument.
Maramureș, Romania

Maramureș, Romania

Budești Upper Church.
Maramureș, Romania

Walking to Breb.
Maramureș, Romania

Maramureș, Romania

Maramureș, Romania

Maramureș, Romania

Making Cheese.
Maramureș, Romania

Inside the church.
Maramureș, Romania







6 comments:

Kathy said...

Glad to see that area hasn't changed much! Still has horse-drawn transport and women in layered skirts. Wasn't wowed by the cemetery, but loved the gates and wooden churches.

Crash Eddy said...

Re: Merry Cemetery Are you telling me that the first photo in your post depicts someone who was killed/run over by a vehicle? I should have such a tombstone.

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, that would not be an accurate depiction of your life story. For you, I'm seeing a picture of a lanky man flying off a bike :)

Sun-Ling said...

@Kathy, I thought the cone-shaped hats that men wear look really cool. It looked to me that area is not getting as many tourists as they once hoped/are hoping for.

Liz said...

I am fascinated by the merry cemetery. What are the requirements for getting in other
than being dead? Specific religion, family, town of residence?

Sun-Ling said...

@Liz, I too think the merry cemetery is highly unusual and unique. It is in the cemetery of an orthodox church. I presume one would have to be a member of that church.