Seriously, the Roma king passed away last night in Turkey. He was from Sibiu which means his body along with 250,000 Roma ( read gypsies) are coming to Sibiu for his funeral in the next couple of days. I am leaving tomorrow so I will probably miss most of the craziness.
I am still having a blast. A lot of my plans seem to be falling in place except some of the “minor” details of Maramures (like how to get from Sighet to Botiza, 60km, where there really isn’t any public transportation). I wrote the last couple of sentences a couple hours ago and then had a minor freak out about my upcoming trip to Maramures.
There are a lot of unanswered questions that I have that are rather important like how I am going to get around, where exactly I am staying, and that people probably won’t speak a lot of English since the young move away because there aren’t jobs and most of the elderly speak minimal to no English (French and German are more common). I think that my traveling people skills have increased since I started traveling a couple years ago. When I started traveling a couple years ago, I don’t think I would come up to a table of people speaking English and ask if I could join them. I have done that a couple times this trip.
Today I rented an old rigid mountain bike with probably 35-38mm tires and went for a ride. Using cached google earth data I made a loop of 3 villages. The challenging portion of the loop was at times no more than a semi worn tractor path, but after a couple wrong turns I ended up in my intended town. Along the way I stopped at a 15th century church fortified with walls on top of a hill, a couple Saxon fortified churches (they used them as the defensive points in the towns), end this really odd church that I have included pictures of. I saw a man using a scythe and it was the classical image that you would imagine: a 40 year old, straw hat, 3 days of stubble over a sharp jaw line, a half often faded blue button up shirt, blue jeans, with a content non stressed look on his face. While on my ride, before I even left town I got turned around and a guy stopped his car and asked if I was lost. It is that type of hospitality that I really haven’t found to this extent in other places I have traveled.
I honestly don’t know when the next time I will be online after tomorrow. I don’t think I will have Internet in Maramures so there is a chance the next time will be when I am at the Heathrow airport.