Mountains, Valleys, and Kingly Castles: From the sylvan environs of Brașov to the Wallachian Plateau


In a small valley cut between two hills packed thickly with green trees, I sat ensconced in a wooden chair in the outdoor restaurant of my roadside motel. There, I supped on vegetable soup and “Transylvanian” Tochitură (a Romanian and Moldovan pork dish) with egg and polenta. As I waited to order, the man who had kindly given me a lift in his cart an hour earlier appeared. I translated the word...

The Transylvanian Heartlands: From Cluj to the mountains west of Brașov


We went south: through the freak downpours characteristic of mountainous regions, we sped along the newly completed motorway, skirting the western regions of Transylvania. Two hours later, we drew up by the site of the old Roman fort at Alba Iulia, a Transylvanian capital in days past. With the sun now back out in force, we strolled around the later-Hapsburg fortifications and restored old town...

Crișana and Northern Transylvania: From Oradea to Cluj


Come the morning, I set off from my roadside hotel just over the border into Romania. It was raining fairly heavily, and I followed a rather token cycle lane just to the side of the main road, where a long line of lorries and trucks queued towards the border. The winds picked up and it soon began to lash it down — though I had dressed fairly appropriately for the weather, I was drenched in little...