Friday, 29 August 2014

Day 27 or last day

So, it's finally arrived, our last day. Well kind of because tomorrow we fly out but not until the evening so we get a wee wander around town for the medieval festival tomorrow too.
Today, it's off to pick up our glass, choose the mask we want to take home and say our goodbyes.
Off we trotted down to the pink house and I wish I'd worn shoes because my toes were cold, not liking that.
Photographed the paintings on the right side.

House pic
coloured pic

Here they are, drying out. We had to take them back to the flat which was interesting, walking back with two pieces of glass that couldn't be held properly because of the paint. Successful though.

Time to tidy up flat and start packing. Really hoping everything is going to fit. I have lots of breakable things but lots of bubble wrap.

A chilled out afternoon, partly waiting on the owner to visit with people to view the flat but no-one arrived, quite glad as I had a wee afternoon nap.

Off into town, to the Weinkeller, a lovely little restaurant (very romantic-but not that important to us), and we had a wonderful meal, wine and lots of chat. Ioana joined us for the dessert part which was one of the main reasons for going.
Then off to the medieval festival. Very crowded square but everyone having a good time. Little stalls selling the usual, leather goods (very good quality though), jewellery, sweets, food and beer.
The band sounded celtic which we did enjoy, spoke English to the crowd but not sure where they were from.

wizard float

They had a procession which went around the outer edges of the square with some of the performers waving and posing as they are supposed to do.

Before the procession
Not so easy to see but quite a spectacle.

We were waiting for the puppet to rise which we'd seen earlier today.

It did look odd as it lifted, partly because it showed quite a bit of bare thigh and as it lifted higher some people disappeared up between his legs.
in action

The puppet was amazing, I must admit though that I am spoiled for performances after having traveled with some of the best and seen them countless times. 

A guy did silks hanging from the forks and then a girl joined him for a little bit of doubles. It was a good show.
silks doubles

We had sat down earlier for a drink in one of the restaurants on the square and ended up in one of the best positions.

Tired now so home and getting comfy horizontally.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Twenty 6

Aughh! the days are disappearing fast.
Last day at glass painting and it went so fast, by 11 o'clock I was finished and I wasn't the first.
So here are the backs.
coloured piece

I have had a sneak preview of course but thought I'd make you all wait until tomorrow to get the full effect of the image.

After painting it was into town and we went for food, wandered a little, and bought the bits and pieces we hadn't before. Time is running out.
It's been a little cooler the last few days but today in town was hot enough.

In the square they're preparing for the Medieval Festival, starting tomorrow.

stalls happening
part of the carnival

Last full day and we get a medieval fair, how good is that.

This evening it's been hanging out together, eating, snacks, wee drinks and films.
Off to go and join in.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Day 25

Penultimate glass painting day, and quite eager to start painting.
Silence fell as we all got stuck in. Enjoying the houses, but really making a lot of it up so not sure how this is going to go, seems ok at the moment. This is how far I got today.
the painting in reverse
the front

I completely forgot to reverse the image before printing so it isn't as it would be in the square, and I've also changed a few of the windows.
On to the next image. This one is taken from a photo from one of the works we saw at the council tower by Bernardo Neumann, I have changed parts of it but couldn't come up with something myself in the short time available.
the back
Obviously it's difficult to see how this is going to be, wasn't able to take a photo as the paint was right up to the edges and couldn't turn it round.
But, looking forward to tomorrow when it's done.

Finished and back to the flat before 1pm, not sure quite what to do with myself now. Not such a great day, a bit spittery with rain and a little dull.

Mainly reading my kindle.

It's too soon to leave, much as I'd love to get back, I'm very much torn so another trip to Romania is definitely in order. I think next time I'll hire a car or drive over.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Ok… 24

This morning there was a bit of panic….. no milk, so no earl grey tea! Decision made, I was off and out the door in minutes, off to the shop and then, no milk. Well there was but it was in a machine. As someone else was there getting milk I found out the procedure, Pay for tokens and then get a plastic bottle and stick under the pipe (like getting a coffee from a machine) and press start. Sorted.

Yesterday’s travels to the country made me feel rejuvenated. Excited about starting our contemporary glass paintings. A quick stop to get the images printed and here we go. 

A couple of hours in and I’ve more or less finished the black ink.
design from paintings of Bernardo Neumann
houses in Piata Mica

After learning the technique with the icon painting it is definitely a little faster to do the next ones. An interesting procedure because I’m not exactly sure how this is going to turn out, but looking forward to it.

Vik and I decided to head off for our other exciting thing for today, going to visit the ‘head man’ again for some wee heads. A lovely man to chat to (very good English), he’s off to the biggest ceramic fair there is soon, which is held in Italy. 

two of my new heads
Ioana had shown us images from a previous exhibition he had that consisted of 5000 wee heads, this was in aid of the Hospice House of Hope. He also just opened another in Brasov yesterday. Busy man, and definitely deserves success.

previous exhibition
lots of heads
A little interlude for a cool beverage and back to the pink house to meet up with Monica and Martin again.

Ioana had printed out our certificates and everything was signed and stamped. Looking very official.

23rd day

Today was the earliest we’ve had to get up all month. We had our instructions for getting the right bus, where the station was and that the our seats had been booked. Naturally we got there early and found our bus (we hoped) but no-one said until about 5-10mins before the bus left that we couldn’t buy our tickets on the bus….. so quickly over to the office (which was not obviously apparent), and onto the bus. One of our seats was already taken by a guy and we thought it too difficult to argue so used some other seats. (This proved awkward as more people got on but everyone accommodated everyone else)
An interesting journey mainly due to the slight anxiety because of not knowing whether the stop we were going to Aiud, had a sign to let us know we were there. (Vik checkd the gps on her phone so we knew it was about where we were, then I heard some saying the name and asked, and all was well.

Whew! Off the bus, met up with Martin and packed ourselves into the 4-wheel drive to go the next half hour to the village where Monica’s grandmother’s farm was Gărboviţa.
Already that morning, the family had been making dough, baked in a proper brick (pizza) oven, still hot when we got there. Smelled gorgeous. We were given some with fresh water from the well. Our fresh bread was filled with cabbage and I think onion (cooked). Home-made cordials, elderflower or apricot. Again, delicious! A wee chat about things, how sustainably the farm was run (more on that later), a bit of the history, where Monica’s grandfather had basically built the farm, also the stove in the kitchen, the cello leaning against the flour stores under the stairs. A very clever man.

To work: While Martin sorted and cleaned up the chanterelles, three of us wiped tomatoes and washed them, placing them carefully upside down (so the water runs off) in a large crate. The other two cut them in quarters, while cutting out the bad bits and the stems. So many tomatoes.
cutting toms
getting fire started

While this went on, Monica’s dad collecting wood (made up of the scraps fallen from trees or while pruning), the big pot pulled out and the fire made to cook the tomatoes. I really liked the guard for the fire, the wing of an old car.

toms cooking
This pot was made in two parts and then almost stitched together, very much like the joints made in wood, a medieval technique. Memory card was playing up so couldn't take any more photos.

Was lovely to be working outside, neighbours wandering in and out. (for what, I’m not sure)

When the first load of toms were boiled , the sieve came out, not like any I’d seen before. This was placed over another pot and slowly the toms were added and the juice pushed through with a double roller system and the inevitable wooden spoon. 
tomato squishing begins

getting instruction
I did quite a lot of the smushing. The residue left was put into another big basin and later this was fed to the chickens. (no waste)
the process
Later on, Monica’s grandmother brought used corn cobs for the fire, obviously stored for the purpose.
cobs to burn

The girls went off with Martin, Monica’s dad and Florian to turn some hay and remove weeds from it. (using pitchforks) Vik and I stayed to finish cutting the tomatoes. A tour of the cellar next and the compulsory taste of the wine, using the cellar cups which were a little larger than the usual glasses. 
barrels, not all empty!

A little tour of out the back, with the chickens and pigs. We also saw one of these naturally round stones, supposed to be lucky.
naturally rounded stone
They consist of  sand, which water containing lime had passed over for years and years, slowly building them up. During high water times in the river they come down and are collected by the villagers and used as a kind of lucky décor. During the tour we hung out with the very little kittens and the calf, so sweet.

out back with the chickens
pigs eye view

 Supper…. and what a feast. The best meal we’d had so far. Simple but full of flavour. An aubergine salad (the same as we had made with Anna before), mushrooms (porcine) cooked and seasoned, potatoes, sauted with flavourings (I forgot to ask what), some of the bread that had been cooked that morning and a really tasty cabbage salad made by grandmother (no-one else is allowed to make it)….oh yes, a little more wine and well water. The meat eaters had a chicken (home reared) dish as well which was highly praised.
hens feeding on tomato scraps

After supper, we tried to do more to help, so we were introduced to their method of washing dishes. The first stage was cleaning off all the scraps of food and rinsing them in a bowl of water. This water eventually went to the pigs if veggie and to the dogs if meat content. Absolutely everything used. Made me feel quite humble to think of how much I do waste. Next, water and a little detergent, washed and rinsed off in another bucket of fresh water, then left to drain on a cloth.

As we hung around, really just chatting and enjoying the surroundings, Monica’s mum came out with the still hot, freshly made tomato juice, celery and seasoning added. It was absolutely gorgeous, I’ve never liked tomato juice but that I could drink lots of.

Martin and Monica returned us to Sibiu, another 2 hours or so but very glad to get to bed.

Sunday, 24 August 2014


The days are flying by, it's Sunday already and it's now less than a week to go.
Last night we had thunder, lightening and plenty heavy rain. This morning I wasn't sure about going to the market but the rain had stopped and it seemed to be clearing. So much easier than the last time I went, I knew when to get off and where a lot of stalls were.
Unfortunately the stall I wanted wasn't there.

I walked back again, stopping off at the fruit and veg market for a few things. Decided to buy some fresh walnuts this time, very tasty.

Back to the flat and chill. No plans for the rest of the day, just have to make sure we have our times and where to go for the bus tomorrow because it's off to Monica's grandmother's farm in the country.

key to the door day…21

Late, lazy morning, lovely.
Off to town today to see an exhibition by Bernardo Federico Neumann of part of his collection, 'Abstraccion Surrealista'. Lots of colours coming up.

The exhibition was in the council tower just off Piata Mara and a very narrow, steep climb to get to it. The images were on the 1st and 2nd floors and were indeed incredibly vibrant, although probably more so if they'd been the originals. Interesting work nonetheless.

Bernardo Neumann
Bernardo Neumann

Not easy to take photos as you can see because of the glass and the lighting but gives a impression of what they were like.

After viewing the art it was up lots more stairs to get to the top of the tower.

door to 2nd floor

Tiny wee door, very narrow space but hand rail all the way up, which I was very glad of. As we got nearer the top the floors were smaller and the heat rose quickly, couldn't stay very long but the views were incredible.
roof view from top
Piata Mare

Another pic of the houses with eyes, I prefer the look of the older ones, possibly due to the differing tile colours.

Down again, and what a pleasure to feel cooler each descent of steps. Outside, beside the tower ,an arched tunnel(short) had a gorgeous breeze blowing through so we stood there for a while.
Went for a bite to eat next… my veggie lasagne wasn't veggie, not great and no time to get it sent back for another. Luckily, Megan does eat meat and we swopped, I got her tomato soup which was lovely. Off to meet our lift to the cheese and brandy festival. Not too far from Sibiu.

Amazing view of the mountains. The festival itself was quite small but had a good feel about it. We wandered a little, had some help from Ioana and Leonardo to find the brandy. Hadn't realised it would be in little plastic bottles……. so, a few tastes were had, prices checked and we got a wee bottle to have one night (with juice) between us all.

cheese stalls

Friday, 22 August 2014

20 days and counting

As promised, today you get to see the front of my icon painting.
Saint Nicholas

Really pleased with how it turned out although of course now I can see how I could have done it better, roll on the next one.

A very interesting process, which I'm very glad I've learned. An immense lesson in patience as well.

Those who'd finished went out with Ioana to visit the glass cutters and we now have something to paint our next images on. The workshop was amazing, would love one myself. Although I'd have more shelves and less massive pieces of glass. Not having to be structured with our sizes we kind of made do with some of the pieces already cut, so I reckon that's why we got some extra pieces free. Happy days.
Oops, now Vik and I are going to have to find two images to paint instead of one.

After that it was into town and a wee wander.

gorgeous stone door frame
Pizza and chat before the other's went to the Dali Exhibition and I went off on my own for a bit. Came across this door frame nearby the journeyman's house. Love it.
Was a little less sunny today, making it much more pleasant to wander.
Into a church in the Piata Mara, looked lovely although there was an air of distress, which I think is probably more a feeling I got from watching the people in there pray, didn't want to stay because it felt as if I was intruding in someone else's space and emotional time out.

Off to the art shop, got some gold powder so I can now paint on glass at home…. yippee.
We visited a beautiful little place down some stairs that led off some other stairs.

chillin', choosing wine
view from stairs

The bar inside had lovely little brick arches and felt very cosy but much preferred the outside. There were oil burners going and the smell was beautiful. Up the stairs which I hadn't noticed on the way down were all these heads that had been made by the same artist who made my lady.

heads in pot
3 heads in a pot

Each one of these is different as you would expect but oh so special.