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Monday, October 17, 2011

Maramures, Romania

It's probably time to pause and recap just where we are.  This map shows the current political boundaries of what you might think of as "counties" in Romania. 

You might notice that the Moldova "county" sits adjacent to the country of Moldova.  Country boundaries are not always drawn to take into account local ethnic backgrounds.  It is worth reading the Wikipedia history of Romania and the Wikipedia entry for Balkanization to get a feel for why there is not an easy way to look at a person and guess that they are Romanian.

There are some pretty steep mountains between most of these regions in Romania.  We spent the better part of Sunday crossing some of them as we drove from Gura Humorului in Moldova to Sighetu Marmaţiei in Maramures.

It has been an unusually cold week or so in this part of the world and we drove through a mixture of early winter snow and fall color.

Along the way we saw some villages with beautifully decorated homes and neat little farms.
RomaniaSunMon-01 RomaniaSunMon-02

Near the summit as we crossed over into Maramures, we stopped just to admire the scenery for a few minutes

Coming down into Maramures, there were more small farms and the occasional flock of sheep with shepherds.
RomaniaSunMon-04 RomaniaSunMon-07

It was pretty clear that we were in a different region when we saw some of the local women walking home from church.

This is a region of historic wooden churches and we stopped at this one.  The priest came down from the new church to show us around this old one.  Of course, the interior has many paintings on the wood walls and the construction details are interesting too.
RomaniaSunMon-05 RomaniaSunMon-1-1

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