Overjoyed and overstimulated at the Hoteni Festival in Maramureș

We’re in Maramureș, Northern Romania, close to the border of Ukraine.  I need to go to sleep, but I’m overstimulated by the memories of the dancing and singing from today’s Hoteni Festival.  The festival is a sort of agrarian fertility rite, a celebration of the first man to plough his field. The man is brought in by procession on a chariot covered with tree branches and colorful streams of paper, pulled by young guys.  They douse the winning farmer with water and then around goes a bottle of brandy—now let the music begin!

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We’re sleeping in the village of Breb for a few nights and since there are no restaurants, we ate dinner at the house of a neighbor lady.  Everything she served us, including the wine and butter, was made by her from her own garden and animals.


The stove in the house of the charming neighbor lady, who is well aware of what a wonderful cook she is.

I’m overwhelmed by this trip.  In terms of cultural immersion, on a scale of 1 -10 we’ve already hit 15.  Naturally, I want to post a gazillion pictures, but that will have to wait until I have a faster WiFi connection.

P.S.  in keeping with my oversharing habit of telling you about my bathroom experiences, I feel entitled to tell you that there were no bathroom facilities whatsoever available at the festival.  I peed in the woods.  Twice.


How we got to Hoteni: Florin from Casa Muntean drove us.

Where we slept: Village Hotel.  Price: €30 for a double.  Recommended: yes.



  1. On a scale of adventurousness, you score a 20 out of 10! I can only imagine the research you did to make this trip such a success. You go, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Claudia–I have a hard time thinking of myself as adventurous when I have such bad fear of flying!


  2. I’ve heard a few times recently how great Romania is, and this isn’t helping me not jump on a plane there right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do it–it’s super budget friendly too!


  3. This sounds sooooo awesome!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was super-awesome Lucia. We wanted to hear folk music and we got it in spades, along with adorable children, fun dancing and some unique singing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your posts. So nice to see you finally out of the cold and rain. No blue poncho today. Thanks for including us on your travels. Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Bruce. The Infamous Blue Traveling Poncho did make an appearance, but it was short lived.


  5. When traveling, meals cooked by locals who take such pride in growing and producing their own sustenance have to be the best on the planet. I’ll take that over a Michelin restaurant any day. What an awesome treat!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a wonderful treat–and this lady just kept on feeding us. Oh man, was I ever stuffed!


      1. It’s the universal truth of all grandmothers everywhere – they never think you’ve eaten enough food, even though your tight pants are telling you otherwise!

        Liked by 1 person

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