Transylvania has always been a charming region since my younger days, and if it wasn't for years of scheming and fantasizing with a dear old friend, I found myself there. The convenient proximity that we each happened to be to Romania, had us meeting up in Bucharest this past Autumn. Winter snuck up over the duration of the trip, and single shirts and shoes were quickly layered with everything we had to wear. As a wildlife biologist, and frequent birder, Dave showed me the intricacies of the unique, yet familiar ecosystem of the Carpathian Mountains. We spent a few days trawling canyons, ridges, meadows, for a Chamois. These elusive goat cousins, are often busy battling for female attention in the end of Autumn. It was a fruitless search, but I did find out that our modern "shammy" has origins in that of the skin of an actual chamois. Soft and absorbent, it perhaps was used to polish royal paraphernalia in the castles that peppered the local hilltops.
We scampered up hills, creeks, under, over, around, seeking the rare species that populate Transylvania during this seasonal change. The colors that characterize the anticipation of winter are beautiful, and these particular mountains had a rather magnificent display of reds, yellows, and deep greens. Driving through small farm towns, the people were beautiful and hardy. I've always found mountain people to possess the disposition of rugged calmness, much like that of their rocky homeland.
Every day, there was some abandoned structure to admire, whether it be a water tower, church, or unidentifiable concrete box in the middle of a swamp. We climbed inside, around, upstairs, pondering the stories the walls and broken windows might tell if they could.
We sustained ourselves on local haiducec (outlaw) sheep cheese, tripe soups, fruits from roadside stands, & not to forget the outrageously cheap, surprisingly un-filling, hot cheese-filled Luca.
Here are some photos that I took. have a look.