Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Torockó/Rimetea- October 21-22, 2008

Back in the aqua mobile and on to the Transylvanian village of Torockó. Upon arrival we had a fantastic meal, beginning with pálinka of course, and consisting of a carrot and parsnip soup, meatballs, and mashed potatoes.

After dinner I walked through the village and as there was so little light pollution I was able to look at the stars! It was so nice to see stars again, and whats more, the milky way. After such a wonderful evening it was a pleasure to be able to turn in for the night.

Before breakfast the next morning I was up early and decided to walk around the village by myself. It was during this time that I snapped some of my favorite shots of the entire trip. Then I headed off to eat. For breakfast we had coffee, tea, csipke bogyó lekvár (a thick rose hip jam), bread, meats, cheese and my newest obsession: zakuszka! Zakuszka and csipke bogyó lekvár are traditional foods of the region and are served as hearty supplements to the winter diet that usually lacks any fruits or vegetables. The rose hips contain massive amounts of vitamin C, as does paprika, but the peppers aren't grown in the mountains and what paprika is here must be imported from the Carpathian basin and greater Hungary. Zakuska contains some paprika but is a special mixture of tomatoes, onions, and eggplant as well. This wonderful sauce is spread on bread in the mornings and couldn't be more delicious!

After breakfast the whole group went to the Torockó museum that captured village life as it was when Transylvania was still a part of Hungary and fame and riches of this village was brought not by tourism, but sweat and toil from the iron mines and forges. During the 14th century German immigrants moved to the area to mine and smith the ore found there. This continued until industrialization moved the jobs out of the village collapsing its industry and artistry.

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