After a few days of fishing Tarnava Mare we want to taste the pleasure of being in this part of Transylvania also by visiting some other great sights. One of the highlights of the eastern part of the Transylvanian Highland, is Praid. And when I say Praid, I’m not referring to the locality itself, but to the massive salt deposit (that reaches 2,7 km in thickness) that has been explored here since Roman times. So visiting Praid is almost naturally associated with the huge Salt Mine and to the Salt Mountain SW from here. Just imagine a whole industry developed here based on salt: mineral waters, sapropelic muds and all kind of salt products. To all these there’re of course the salt-related services that Praid has to offer: SPAs, the adventure park in the salt mine, restaurants and churches in there, the tourist paths through the salt mine and other ones along the salt canyon at the Salt Mountain…
After 15-20 years of not visiting these places, we’re very curious to experience the geology of the site again, so we spend the first half of the day walking through the salt canyon and through the salt mine. The sights are just as breathtaking as they were 20 years ago!
At the surface again, there’re 20 degrees more than 120 m below, in the salt mine, where there were 16⁰C. Despite the heat, a portion of traditional food is more than welcome, so we order stuffed cabbage and pork knuckle: just D E L I C I O U S!!!
The plan for the day is full, so we hit the road again towards another important site: Corund village, where old tradition meets the present and where nature is a part of people’s lives. The village is best known for the local pottery and for another special handicraft: the processing of tinder. So we’re thrilled to visit two of the local craftsmen, who have done magic with tinder. It’s incredible to see, how a mushroom can turn into a hat or a purse, or a table-cloth…
Back to our base camp, hustle and bustle! :) Kids all over the place, trying out their fly fishing rods and all kinds of casts, obviously exercising what they’ve learned that morning. I didn’t expect to see so much excitement among them! 20 girls and boys, between 6 and 16 years old, came there in a special summer camp: the first edition of the fly fishing camp, organized by the local fishing club, AVPS Tarnava Mare, in collaboration with the sports club “Fly Fishing Extreme”.
For the next days the kids learn not only casting techniques and fly patterns, but they also learn more about types of fish in the area, about their habitat and eating preferences. Moreover, with the friendly invitation of the organizers, we can also share our knowledge with the kids. Thus they find out more about how people and fish are interconnected: not only through the fun of fishing and eventually eating them, but also through their importance for the local economy and the life quality of the locals. Hence they become aware that taking care of the fish and their habitats is taking care of themselves and of the community they visit as fishermen. We’re very pleased to have had this opportunity!
The camp’s program ends of course with a fly fishing competition and a rewarding session, so highly motivated, kinds show their skills and their thrill of catching and releasing beautiful fish. I’m truly surprised to see such a cheerful atmosphere, such joy on the children’s faces and concentration when needed!
It’s just amazing to see such good initiatives as this fly fishing summer camp in our country and it’s been great to have got the chance to meet responsible local players, who not only love nature, but also think outside the box and care about the future!
Having only a few days left for our project in Retezat Mountains, our last trip before we leave Transylvania leads us to the cultural highlight of Transylvania – Sighisoara, the city with the best preserved medieval center in this part of Europe (listed by UNESCO in 1999 as World Heritage Site). It’s the end of July, time when the medieval festival takes place in the former citadel, so we’re eager to get there and see what is all about.
There’s an impressive, 4-pages-program that encompasses medieval music concerts, theater plays, dance shows, costume parades, film projections and so on. We decide to just walk through the citadel and have a taste of the entire scene :)
It’s a lot going on in every small market place within the citadel and on its narrow, medieval alleys. The bustle makes us wanna escape for a moment and climb the “School’s Hill” and soon after to visit the Clock Tower, the 64 m high symbol of Sighisoara, from where we’re impressed by the whole medieval scenery in the lights of the sundown.
It’s been great being here and we’d be excited to guide you next time to see all these beauties! Fly fishing will also be big on our “menu” so we could mix culture with sports and nature in a very pleasant way :) For details, look at our tour 2 and don’t hesitate to contact us!
Smara & Liviu