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Published: August 5th 2009
Sibiu day 7-8 (June 13-14)
A return trip in our van with the wooden bench seat to Sighisoura where we caught a local mini bus to Sibiu. The bus was packed but we arrived in good time our driver handling the crazy overtaking of other vehicles. A taxi took us to a hotel a bit out of town, so we would need to relay on taxi’s to get us around.
A visit to the local art museum, and a walk around the old town was the order of the afternoon. Sibiu had recently been the European Capital of Culture and so was looking pretty pristine.
The following day we had a full schedule, taking a private van to a glacial lake in the nearby mountains. The road up the mountain was pretty windy, but worth the bends. The views were great, and the lake area itself stunning. There was even some snow which snowboarders were taking advantage of and managing to avoid ending up in the lake, even though the incline looked pretty steep to me.
From there we came back down the mountain to visit a stud for Lipizzaner horses. These are a particular breed that
were used during the Austro-Hungarian empire for the use of the royals. One of the features is a very curved back. We had brought apples to feed to the horses, which they enjoyed. We were encouraged to feed them to the male horses in the stables, for some reason the mares out the back of the farm didn’t warrant the same treat. These stables had fallen into disrepair for some time, and were owned by the government. It has now been given a new lease on life with support from the government and better management.
Our next stop was a monastery, which holds a special place in Romania. Many official meetings are held here and it is able to be secured for important visitors. There were some unusual spiral pillars that decorated the buildings, as well as some lovely mosaics and frescos. Lunch was at a nearby trout farm, where we sampled the local fare. And then were able to see lunches brothers and sisters in the ponds out the back.
Our final stopping place was at a local carpet washing establishment. We were shown how they used the local stream to churn a large wooden washing tub
that could take many large carpets. From there the same stream with a waterwheel was able to power several other devices that pulled the threads to form long hair like finish on particular types of carpet. This was the common method and type of carpet but it is no longer as fashionable, so we were lucky to see a skill that may not be around too much longer.
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