One Sunday in the countryside

A good breakfearst, 8 hours, it is time to leave Vadu Izei, the sun is with me. At the first intersection, I stop to greet the dumb deaf boy with whom I had sympatisé. There he renders the services which he can. He enters the bar and returns with a lady which goes in my direction. I deposit her in Barsana, about fifteen km further, just opposite the beautiful house of the craftsmen artists of the wood to which I visit yesterday morning. Some kms still after the monastery and I leave the tarred road to engage my car in the small ways and to test my shock absorbers.

The countryside is beautiful this morning. After the rains of the night, the meadows raise their more beautiful green and the haystacks smoke under the sun.


 On the other hand one sees nobody in the meadows, on the ways no man or any woman with rake on the shoulder, not the least cart charged with hay or wood and drawn by one or two horses: it would be to make offence to work the Sunday.
I cross a first village to the idle, observing the elegant wood houses, and frequently stopping me to admire the splendid carved gates which mark the entry of the properties. I make a halt in Glod, the following village. I accompany a man to the church, it enters there, I stay around. And around, it is the cemetery. Not a cemetery ordered well with alleys and quite vain tombs, mineral universe which one finds on our countries. Here, of modest crosses from of an insane grass tumble and long-lived flowers, under the fruit trees. Life.


I carry on my way on these country roads, diluted by the rains when they are inclined, exposing their rocks, or dug ruts filled with water at the flat places.  Cut out wooded hills of meadows, narrow valley along a brook, tops releasing of the remote sights, and in the hollow, another village, Poleinile Izei. The bells sound when I that point reach, it is the hour of the mass in the new church, a delirious of covered metal turrets. And opposite, the fine wood church forsaken. Precisely, the Mister who keeps the key is there, and I can visit the interior: an accumulation of icons decorated with embroidered white which fill space. I stay by observing the people going to the church in their more beautiful clothes, the women and girls scarf on the head, the men out of felt hat.
 I go down the valley which leads me to Botiza. Still a wood church which is detached on the sky. I reach that point by a broken way, here also it is the hour of the mass, the church must be full for ten men and women follow the office to knees in front of the entry. Contrary to the preceding ones, this church seems relatively recent but it is superb. I do not weary myself to return visit to the least wood church, and it is here in Maramures that they are most elegant, glazes of fine shingles of spruce marrying the curves and recut at their end to create beautiful drawings and to accentuate the undulations. Humble and superb, with always this high arrow which culminates, prowess of architecture.

  I arrive finally at Botiza. Naturally, it is always the mass. On the other side of the bridge, a broad gate of wood makes it possible to penetrate in the enclosure of the church, of the churches since now the old wood church is accompanied by an imposing white masonry which is not even enough to contain all faithful this orthodoxe religion. About thirty people are in the entry, and well of others scatter around, ladies, girls and children, under the porch of the wood church, in the cemetery, approaching time to other of the entry to know where is the office, making a sign of cross and setting out again in small groups, strolls some, in discussions. As I want to await the exit of the mass here and that it lasts, I make like them, in this environment of traditional clothes, the injuries in white blouse bordered of laces, a skirt where dominates the red color, and on the head a dark scarf with reasons for flowers. I invite some of them to pose for me, and it is with a smile that they accept.  

  It is a crowd coloured which leaves the church and spreads itself in the village, each one not very in a hurry to regain its house. The grocer is full, the children eat to an ice, men discuss a beer in the hand. The bar also is full and I am delayed there in front of a good draught beer. I course with foot this long village, observing the details of the wood houses. Hold, one builds a new church, a tumble of beams and beams, the carved wood pillars of the porch are in place but today the building site is in rest.

The clouds now invaded the sky, I carry on my road.


 Other villages, houses with beautiful gates, other wood churches. I visit the interior of that of Rozavlea (18th century) with the walls entirely covered with well preserved naive paintings and reproducing evangelic scenes, the work of a local artist.

As I move on Ieud which would be one of most beautiful of these villages, of large drops start to fall. A Mister makes me sign, I bring it to his house, at the other end of this long village, of the kilometers. As I return towards the center, the storm falls down, violent one, of the cloudburst. I could benefit from it to eat a piece but I am wedged in my car, opposite this establishment marked "Bufet". I benefit finally from a light lull to cross the street. But in the bufet, nothing to nibble, only men and drinks, I am satisfied with a beer by observing the players of jaquet.

 It rains, extremely, useless to continue the visits, I will return tomorrow in Ieud, I turn over to Botiza which I choose like place of stage, in the beautiful Sasului valley that I descended this morning while arriving at this village. The storm was calmed but the small brook grew bigger as well as he threatens to carry the small footbridge of wood which spans it here, opposite the house where an injury receives to me while speaking French. Yes, I can be placed, in this wood house built to accomodate the tourists like me, behind the house of the owners where, on a covered terrace, young people are on the point of having fun the festival. I visit them, all is in place, the computer and the sound system, but the storm shut off the current, they are waiting, theyoffer a beer to me.  I benefit of the return of the sun to go up the valley. I say hello to hens, with cow which only grazes along the road, with the horse and with his owner with whom I discuss one moment, approving his words or pronouncing the few Rumanian words which I know, to start again his conversation, impregnating me with the music of the language and newcomer to be followed with the few words which I understand, I like. Of return to the house, the injury which received me invites me to eat with her and her brother, if it is my hour. Of course, I did not eat a day, as usual. A large section of spruce is used as table, of smaller of chairs, the meal starts with ritual aperitif, small glass of brandy of house, the horinca. Then soup, then the chicken not labellized but 100% bio. A treat.  

  This sympatic woman and very connected ecology says me that it is the mayor of Botiza where is practised a craft industry of beautiful blankets wool dyed of vegetable colors, it will be necessary that I am interested in it tomorrow -. We discuss his work, and of the mine (and her brother profits from it for a consultation from architecture), rain, innondations in Moldavie and secheress in occident.

There the current returned, we eat with the music, young man invited his friends for his birthday, traditional music and disco music but anything in English.
A group of Israeli tourists arrives up to now in charettes with horses, dance on the road what amuses the old injuries which discussed in front of the house. Then turn back.


People who pass by car, with foot or with cycle, stop to draw from the water of the well, to fill of the bottles. This water has success, one ensures me that it is very good for digestion, I will fill my bottle of it before setting out again.

Time thus passes to share the life of this end of the village.

As the night starts to fall, the storm returns, as violent as in afternoon, and shuts off the current again. There is for several hours certainly, also the young people give up the ones after the others. No more music, no more festival.

I planned to go to find them, I will lie down this evening with the candle, and rather early.

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