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.

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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.

 

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11 comments

  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!

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  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!

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  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.

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  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!

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      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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