Call It Backpacking

Occasionally, the heavy pack can be off your shoulders – here I've just bartered my knife for two pounds of delicious cheese, which made the young shepherd (note the characteristic Romanian cowboy hat) we met in the Lala Valley on our first day in the Rodnei Mountains (August 1981) so happy that he insisted on his poor horse carrying my backpack. I'm not sure that I got it right (Romanian is similar to French) but it seems he was carrying back some of the cheese made at the shepherds' hut that they were obliged to deliver to the dairy in the town before they could re-purchase it from the co-op (actually state-owned). When I asked about the bears, he said they preferred horse meat or mutton to humans. All the local people we met in the mountains of Romania in those days, although they often looked wild, were friendly and helpful.

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Tomek Lodowy

Tomek Lodowy - Dec 29, 2008 3:16 pm - Voted 10/10

great memories

I was born in August 1981...God, and these mountains were always so magic as I see, great shot, great feeling, Rodnei rulez, superb shot...August 1981, not bad... !

Tomek

yatsek

yatsek - Dec 30, 2008 6:40 am - Hasn't voted

Re: great memories

Could feature on the cover of On the High Uplands :)
From what you write it's clear the mts haven't changed much. Have you popped in here? Another interesting area, hardly ever visited, is the mts west of the Retezat (surely Piatra Craiului, Făgăraş and Retezat are the rockiest and most like the Tatras but I bet you're aware of the fact). As to Aug '81 I get the feeling it was sort of last month of my life actually--the life I'd known at least, on a political/professional/personal/mountainous level. When I was released from the army next year, everything was completely different. Couldn’t even escape to my beloved mts to regain balance. But now it seems possible - as you happened to be born in Aug '81 – that nothing really dies as it's always reborn like the decimated (in the past here and now in Romania) forests of the Carpathians:D

peterbud

peterbud - Jan 5, 2009 10:04 am - Voted 10/10

fabulous shot

meeting of different worlds, as the faces tell...

yatsek

yatsek - Jan 5, 2009 11:21 am - Hasn't voted

Re: fabulous shot

Highly appreciated observation, Peter. I think it includes the horse's face as well, no kidding here. I wonder if the contrast can be even starker these days - What would you say?
BTW I'm also glad you don't mind some ancient creatures having sneaked into your main ridge of the Rodnei while you were off the Net :-)

peterbud

peterbud - Jan 6, 2009 5:38 am - Voted 10/10

Re: fabulous shot

I'm rather glad to have this photo attached. Actually I think it will get featured with the next update ;)

As for today's contrast, have a look at the photos on this blog, they were taken in September by a group of 'székely' guys who cycled around the Rodnei massif. Too bad you can't enjoy the text but the photos speak for themselves.

yatsek

yatsek - Jan 6, 2009 7:13 am - Hasn't voted

Re: fabulous shot

Thanks a lot for the link. The pics surely speak without words and they do say it all.
BTW "Székely" because they have/had families there, or as they just like the area for "sentimental" reasons, like Polish people still like Czarnohora?

peterbud

peterbud - Jan 6, 2009 1:39 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: fabulous shot

Székely-s are an etnographic group.
Check the smaller red island here

yatsek

yatsek - Jan 6, 2009 2:44 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: fabulous shot

I once read a history of Hungary:) So, do you mean the cyclists are real "Szekler's" as we call the Székely-s in Polish? (I only had a quick look but have just finished today's shift so will get back to that page soon:))
Thanks also for the map - seems really good!

peterbud

peterbud - Jan 7, 2009 3:50 am - Voted 10/10

Re: fabulous shot

Yes they are szeklers, tough guys :)
There's a more detailed map here for Transylvania

yatsek

yatsek - Jan 7, 2009 1:45 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: fabulous shot

Thanks

klwagar

klwagar - Feb 27, 2009 9:43 pm - Voted 10/10

love having

some history and info on a place I certainly have heard about but just haven't had to the opportunity to know. What is the meaning of the works szeklers? I know that they are a certain group of people just wonder what the literal meaning is if there is one.

yatsek

yatsek - Feb 28, 2009 2:48 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: love having

Glad you like it this way. A pic can be worth 1000 words but it can't - just like words can't either - depict everything. Here's a link to an excellent history of the lands (Hungarian-Canadian cooperation:)) I received from Peterbud the other day. As to the word "Szeklers", I've heard it may derive from something that could translate as "frontier men/defenders" but don't take it for granted:-) If Peter knows, he'll surely let us know:)

Tomek Lodowy

Tomek Lodowy - Feb 28, 2009 6:31 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: love having

Central Europe with its richness of cultures is absolutely magic place, that's no doubt!
I remember some fascinating lecture on my studies treating about those prehistoric and almost forgotten ethnic minorities in Romania and around Carpathians, the definition of where the name for "Szeklers" come from one can find in wikipedia, so about another minority considered as Old-Hungarian one called "Csango" living still in mountainous areas of Romanian Moldova...

Jacek, once again, I love that photo. It just kicks ass with its climate!

Tomek

klwagar

klwagar - Mar 2, 2009 1:00 am - Voted 10/10

Re: love having

thanks for the links!

peterbud

peterbud - Mar 2, 2009 5:44 am - Voted 10/10

Re: love having

The origin of the word, just as the origin of Szeklers, has multiple explanations, none of which can be proved thoroughly against the other. So, we are left with myths and legends, about which you can read more in the wiki page or the source Jacek already gave. The situation is even more complicated and foggy in the Csangos' case...

yatsek

yatsek - Apr 4, 2009 4:14 am - Hasn't voted

Re: love having

I just came across another explanation of the origin of the word Szekler, which is that the name stems from the Turkish word srkil-sikil which means 'noble one'. So it'd be close in meaning to 'knight/sir', I think. (The funny thing is it seems most works on Transylvania are now written in Canada or CA.)

yatsek

yatsek - Dec 9, 2009 2:33 am - Hasn't voted

Re: love having

Szeklers in a nutshell and with illustrations

klwagar

klwagar - Dec 10, 2009 10:13 am - Voted 10/10

Re: love having

hey great link, thanks

yatsek

yatsek - Dec 10, 2009 6:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: love having

That's exactly what I thought :), thanks for checking them out.

Marcsoltan

Marcsoltan - Jul 12, 2009 11:44 am - Voted 10/10

This is why...

I love Summit Post so much. You read public comments from every corner of the earth and learn.

Thank you Jacek, and thank you everyone for all your contributions and commentaries.

Love these old photos. Thank you Jacek for getting this thread started.

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