7 July 2008. A picture from the Hungary/Romania trip.

I’m so breaking my rule. Two pictures in this post. But I can’t help myself.

In the morning, some of us went over to the dairy to move some hay bales. This was not the most active of trips and so I was thrilled to go and work. Alas, there were enough of us that it didn’t take very long and so we begged to shovel manure. We got to, and Levente, the minister and Brandon, the Peace Corps volunteer, were amused by our enthusiasm.

The dairy is part of Project Harvest Hope. This organization promotes economic development in Transylvania, with the idea being that if their are economic opportunities then more people will have the opportunity to stay in their village. You can read about and see pictures of the dairy here.

Our next stop was a visit to the salt mines. Parajdi Sobanya (aka Salina Praid) If I remember correctly, this is still a working salt mine, but we went where the other tourists were. It turns out that spending time in a salt mine can help with respiratory diseases. So entire families come for a period of several days or a week or two and spend several hours each day in the salt mine. My journal says, “They [the children] play, so there is ping pong and badminton and slides and it’s all kind of dark and salty tasting.” If you go to this link you can scroll down and then click on several pictures of the salt mine. It’s a bit bizarre to wander though and dodge the hundreds of families playing and hanging out down there. There is also a chapel and an art gallery as well as a museum. I think the visit to the salt mine qualified as the oddest stop on the trip.

But then we went to the most magical place ever. It was a mineral lake, with so much salt we bobbed around with no effort whatsoever. It was also warm. Alex and I particularly loved it and had to be motioned out. I have no idea where this place was, or what it was called, but it was wonderful.
Back in the village I caught this picture in front of the church. In the villages, many people still use wagons for transport. It isn’t unusual to see them, but I still got excited every time. As you can see, one of the men is waving at me. Hungarians are incredibly friendly and generous, a fact that makes the area a very nice place to visit.
After this wagon went by, the cows came home. They wandered up the street and one of them peeled off from the herd and stood at the gate of the house next door to where we were staying. The women of the house came out, opened the gate and in she went for the night.

2 thoughts on “7 July 2008. A picture from the Hungary/Romania trip.”

  1. Maybe that is where that phrase comes from…who knew that they actually came home on their own accord. Love the pictures! -S

    PS- I am starting Saturday catch up after four 12 hour days this past week getting really, compulsively, perfectionist ready in my classroom!!!

  2. I love this cow story. She sounds like a cow invented by Beatrix Potter.

    I never knew cows came home on their own until I heard the stories about Val's family's ranch. Every summer they would drive the cows up onto the Forest Service land (they had a permit), and then at the end of the summer the cows would decide their vacation was over and would wander back down into the valley. Neighbors would call each other up and say they'd noticed one or another cow over near such and such bridge or barn, and the family would go over and pick it up.

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