Idicel, Transylvania, Romania
Tue 2 Nov 2010 10 °C
Set the time machine to 18th century, we're going to Transylvania.
Where horse and cart is literally the standard form of transport and most have never ventured further than the nearest town. The villagers here tend to live on land that has been in their family for generations. Their living is made from that land and so they have little or no monetary income. Each property has its set of fruits, vegetables and animals for produce. If for example, you don't have a cow for milk, you trade your neighbour a bottle full for a bag of beans ('Jack and the beanstalk' reference not intended).
Most jobs are done by hand as machinery and chemicals don't seem to have made it here and the villagers wouldn't be able to afford them anyway. Until now, seeing a scythe, for me, meant that the grim reaper, death was coming to collect his latest victim. Here it is simply the only way of cutting grass to make hay for your animals. Oh and the hay stacks - this is what they were meant to look like, the way Disney told us they should in all those cartoons. Big cone shaped tops dotted throughout every field look as though you could hollow them out and use them as huts.
This is one of the last places apparently, that practice the tradition of sending their flocks of sheep and goats away with the shepherd for the winter. Shepherds are unique characters who spend months on end, alone in the hills with only the animals to talk to. And here the phrase "waiting for the cows to come home" is proven not so ironic as at the end of the day, a whole herd of cows wanders into the village from god knows where, and off to their individual owners, waiting at the front gate.
Farming, peasant style, here in Idicel, Transylvania. (Still no sign of vampires.)
(But then, I have been eating a LOT of garlic)