Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Greetings from Transylvania

How wonderful to be able to write that! Alas, I am not able to podcast it as promised. I have made several recordings. But - and I don't mean to disparage the Romanians who are wonderful, hospitable people - but in the land where the bullock cart is still a common form of transport, broadband was always going to be hard to find!
So I'll content myself with the written word... and keep that brief for now, as I am not sure how long this will take to upload.
Romania is wonderful, a series of highlights. My first nights were spent in a homestay in the village of Arefu at the Tomescus, where Maria fed me from her yard - all families here keep a few pigs, cows, chickens, ducks and grow vegetables for pickling. Meat heavy, delicious and heady when washed down with tuica, the home made plum brandy. Bizarrely, I spoke more Romanian than they spoke English, my few words gleaned from my Berlitz book on the flight down.
I then climbed the 1400 steps to the ruins of Vlad's castle at Poenari and had it to myself for five hours essentially. A magnificent position, surprisingly small, it could be held by fifty men - which I am sure is all he could trust.
And last night I drank a dark beer in the house in Sighisoara -Transylvania proper - where Dracula was born in 1431.
It's curious - what does an author hope to gain from these trips? A few facts, sure. Yet things are obviously different now than 500 hundred years ago - no internet cafe, for a start. But there is an atmosphere, in a house, a ruined tower, a stand of beech. I sit, make the odd note, then close my eyes for a while. The writing will come later. But images are lodging, many subliminal, to be conjured later at my desk in Vancouver.
Enough for now. I hope this works. And that I can add my podcasts from Bucharest. Though I may have to wait till Istanbul.
Glorious sentence to write! I pinch myself, and hit 'post'.


Blogger Gerald Vanderwoude said...

Podcast is up at

8:40 AM  

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