Posted by: Sheridan Flynn | February 29, 2008

Romania and Bulgaria

Our final night in Romania was spent in an area called Snagof. Never heard of it? Neither have I. Buried deep in a snowy forest, situated right by a frozen lake we made our through the rural dirt tracks to our hostel. Beyond the dense trees lay some small boats which were moored on the shore. Further down I could see what seemed to be holiday camps which were closed for the winter. The scene reminded me of an early Wes Craven film. Clearly us Ozbussers were the only tourists in town. The hostel was surreal. It was like a world war two refugee camp run by stray dogs. There were a couple of ex-KGB look-alikes randomly patrolling the grounds and I could hear wolfs in the distance. I was half expecting to see zombies or Anne Frank. Or both! Having said that… It was warm, clean, friendly and (if nothing else) an interesting experience.The following morning we hit the road early and headed towards Bucharest. Yet more Romanian landscape. Bare and seemingly infertile. Vast expanses of ploughed dirt. I can’t help to think how these people have suffered throughout the years. For me, the real beauty of this country is its people. Cautious, warm, hospitable, and very very straight forward. I can only imagine what kinds of changes Romania will be going through in the near future. However, I hope with their recent inclusion into the EU, life for the average Romanian will greatly improve. By late morning were sailing past no-mans land, and into the Bulgarian countryside. As soon as we cross over the Danube (which represents the divide) life instantly changes. Suddenly I feel a few degrees warmer. Out of nowhere, packs of multi-coloured tower blocks spring out from the ground. A soft winds blow rows of washing which hang from the balconies. Rusting satellite dishes and weather beaten air-con units hang out of the sun faded tiles and brickwork. Blinds are fully open letting in the daylight into people’s homes. This country seems happy and alive.Winter has been around for a long time but you can tell spring is on its way. Freshly ploughed fields unearth a chocolaty brown soil. Patches of melting white snow take refuge in the shade. Vibrant green foliage appears on smooth grassy hills. Buildings with cracked plaster reveal terracotta coloured stone. Big old ladies wrapped from head to toe in black, red, and green fabric tend to their gardens. The sun is intense and saturates everything in its glow. We head into the mountains and into the clouds. For a few minutes, were in a picture postcard landscape of shadows and silhouettes and in no time, we ascend into a maze of windy little roads. I bounce uncontrollably in the back of the bus trying desperately to write this post. My pen shoots all over the page. My handwriting looks like really bad shorthand. After a while I give up turn on my iPod and watch what seems to be an amazing film roll by my window.  

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Responses

  1. Shero ur a mad thing!!

  2. brillant great writing. mick


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