Touring Romania

Date of Journey June 2015
Cathy Cooper Twickenham

Last June 2015, I travelled with three friends to Transylvania to do some trekking and sightseeing. The weather forecast was very hot for the time of year. I am a keen photographer so I wanted to pack lightly to allow more room for camera equipment.

At the end of the trip we were staying on a farm owned by Prince Charles so I wanted to have something a bit smart to wear for supper.  I debated what to take and in the end my packing list was minimal but included my stone colour Roamers.  These are my favourites as they are ideal for summer but equally look nice under a dressy tunic.  So for one week, I had one pair of trousers.  I knew that if they got really dirty, I could quickly wash and dry them.  I took a packable waterproof jacket just in case but for the first time ever, no waterproof trousers.  Plus I never go away without my Stowaway Daybag.  I have the smallest size but can fit so much in it including a spare lens for my camera.

When we arrived in Bucharest, it was hot but by the time we got to Transylvania, the heavens opened and it rained for most of the week.

On one of the days, it was planned that we rode by horse and cart up into the high pastures where the shepherds tend the sheep.  It was lashing down. Our guide asked us if we really wanted to go out in this filthy weather but we didn’t want to miss the opportunity of seeing the ewes being milked for cheese.  It is a local delicacy and the best way to taste it is as fresh as possible. 

 We sat in the cart in the pouring rain holding umbrellas and bin bags over our laps to save our trousers from getting too wet. .  

The cart was wobbling all over the place as the horses negotiated flooded streams and muddy banks while we clung on for dear life.

The journey took about an hour and a half and when we arrived visibility was low and the ground like a bog.  Our discomfort though was nothing compared to what the shepherds had to endure.  They stay up in the pastures for months and milk the ewes three times a day.  The milk is collected in buckets and strained to produce the cheese. My friend held an umbrella over me so I could take photographs of the shepherds working in the milking shed.  It was fascinating to watch but what a hard life they have. 

Afterwards we were given some pieces of the fresh white cheese with rock salt.  It was the best cheese I have ever tasted and well worth the wet journey to try it. My Roamers survived and stayed surprisingly dry.  They even looked smart enough for supper that evening. In future even if I go to the Caribbean, I will pack my waterproof trousers.