Dancing with the Gypies

I am putting together a tour called “Dancing with the Gypsies”. It’s not easy, as no Romanian will help me. I am slowly building up my knowledge on what Gypsy tribes do what and where they all live. I am enjoying the research and am amazed at the different cultures there are within the Gypsy communities in Transylvania. A lot of the tribes have no idea the other tribes even exist. It’s weird to enter a community and know more about where they have come from, that they do themselves. I have a long way to go, but when I do finally have the tour in place, I will enjoy taking guests to meet the characters I am meeting and beginning to understand… and who are teaching me how to dance, like a Gypsy. If any one wants to join me on my little explorations into the unknown, let me know and we can discover...

A walk beyond the forest

Saturday morning. Mid August, the sun is shining and I step out of my home in Breb with my camera – detestation unknown. I see the neighbors and Georgy Pop making Horinca in Maria’s Casan. We say hi and Pertu our other neighbor appears and tells me to buy his land down at the cross. This is all before nine o’clock and within five minutes of leaving the house. Only the day before we were stopped by a guy on top of his huge Maramures gate. ” Hey, English guy, I have to take down my gate, it’s going to fall into the river other wise. You buy it?” “How much?” He scratches his head and says “400 euro” A 50 year old wooden gate, hand carved and over 7 meters wide… I mean, what else can you say “OK, will bring down the tractor and you can put it on there, will pay you next week.” no images were found I guess Petru had heard I was buying and wasted no time. Hill Billy turned up with his sheep, he was my que to leave and I said I would walk with him. ” Where you going?” I asked as we started to walk. ” Up the mountain, in the woods” he smiled threw his caner ridden lips. I had no plans, so the woods it would be. We walked up and out of the village avoiding the fallen fruit on the road and into the hills above. Hill pointed out where every one was neglecting their land. Not keeping the trees trimmed the way they should and...

An Orthodox Easter in Romania

“I rarely go to church at Christmas, but I always go at Easter” This is what I was told when I asked “ How big a deal is Easter here in Romania?” In the UK Easter is, 3 weeks off for the kids and you get the bank holidays, so prime time to bugger off. Here in our village of Breb, its Christmas all over again and every one comes home from their jobs abroad. Below is a set of pics I took over the Easter weekend in...

Traditional Wedding in Maramures, Măriuţa and Laurenţiu Şandor

‘So, being a God Parent, is there anything we have to do?’ I asked “Like say something at the speeches or something?’ ‘Your going to be God Parent Duncan?’ ‘Yes’ ‘When?’ ‘Tomorrow’ ‘Tomorrow? And you don’t know what your supposed to be doing?’ ‘…no’ ‘Have you bought your candles?’ ‘Why do I need candles?’ Watch the film of Măriuţa and Laurenţiu Şandor’s wedding in Breb and you’ll find out...

And they say 2012 is the big one?

A year ago I was living is Siwa Oasis, looking forward to a busy tourist season as there had been no troubles in Egypt for some time. As for Libya our neighbor… well nothing happens there. I had no idea 2011 would work out completely different to how I had planned. Penny and the kids went through not one, but two revolutions, one one either side of Siwa as I watched from Bucharest; my new home, where I spent the entire year building a paparazzi team. The kids managed to get back to Romania in March, Penny staying on for six weeks whilst Angus and Claudia lived with me in Bucharest brushing up on their Romanian before heading up to Maramures for the summer. Penny not happy with building one, built two houses this summer with the help of Maria and Nicu our team in Breb. I kept going with my projects here in Bucharest. We had 11 front pages in August and www.workintraveller.com, my travel site for people who want to carry on their careers whilst workin their way around the word, is now finally in development. It’s a huge project and will take many years to complete, but for now, at least it has started. We opened Somewhere Different – Transylvania in October and are staying in the Maramures mountains for the winter to let Angus and Claudia go skiing and to finish of another villa in the village so we have a capacity of 8 for next summer. We have gone from a building site to being a fully licensed Pension. Bookings in Egypt are now...

An October deadline

It’s been an interesting summer here in Transylvania. The weather has been great. I have made a new video called ‘The House that Penny Built’ (Part 2). It show’s what we have been up to, why Claudia wanted to buy some Viagra in Sighetu and fellow’s Penny’s ever encroaching deadline of our first guests in October. Will she be ready in time? Click the link here watch it villa in breb maramures you need to scroll down the page a bit to see the...