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A Village in Rural Romania

What do you imagine Romania is like? I’ll stake cash that you wouldn’t imagine the rural paradise we’ve found ourselves in. Fate has brought us to a village in rural Romania, Breb, in Maramures. It’s quite possibly the most beautiful, unspoiled place I’ve ever been. Maramures is the county in the north of Transylvania tight on Romania’s border with Ukraine and it’s very close to paradise.

A meadow in a Romanian village

Bucharest was an eye-opener, a city we loved far more than expected.  A pleasant sleeper-train journey to the north of Romania and we are in another world and time. The little village of Breb in Maramures County is the most lovely, peaceful, beautiful place I think we’ve ever visited.

There is no traffic, no noise, just birdsong and humming bees. The grass grows long, lush and studded with wildflowers. Every villager produces fruits and vegetables in the gardens of their traditional homes and owns at least a few chickens if not cows, sheep, rabbits, goats and pigs.  It’s early summer here, some days are hot, others cold, the weather is yet to make up its mind. There is still a little patch of snow up on the mountain.

There are no real shops, pubs or restaurants. Everything seems home-made, but these people aren’t poor, don’t think that. They live well in this village.

My children have been wandering the meadows, picking wildflowers and playing in the icy stream. They can roam around the village safe from traffic and any other hazard, with the unlikely exception of wolves, bears and giant Romanian shepherd dogs.

We’ve seen none of the above around the village, but we have seen deer just outside town.

I thought I’d share with you some images of this beautiful place. I wish I was a “real” photographer, I’m not, but these photos will give you an idea.

This is our home in the village, a loft room above an animal shed, currently occupied only by chickens. The wooden shingles are made in the village. We have good wifi and electricity, the kitchen and bathroom facilities are in another building.
Every home has an outside toilet, a good way from the house.
 Sledges wait for winter snows on the side of the barn in a Romanian village.
Sledges wait for winter snows on the side of the barn.
Not many village buildings are painted, but most have these poo shoots to muck out the dairy cattle housed inside.
Traditional Romanian dancing on Sundays in a neighbouring village. With a handy bottle of polinka stashed in a belt.
This wasn’t put on for the tourists, there are hardly any.
A posy of wild flowers my son picked in the meadow.
A friendly cat to stroke
Dam building in the stream that flows through the river in Romania
Dam building in the stream that flows through the village.
Chef gets a cookery lesson in this village kitchen, which is also a bedroom. The stove keeps this room warm in winter.
The wood fired cooking stove.
A village garden
A house well stocked with wood for heating and cooking.
Another typical village house and barn.
Horses in the orchard.
This is billed as Prince Charles’s hose. It’s not, but he was involved somewhere. Huge gates and outside pots are typical of Maramures.
A shot of home made cherry palinka before dinner

So what do you think?
Would you like to live here or would it be your worst nightmare?
I ask because we’re seriously considering buying a little place here to use as base. The kids love it, but could we take this much peace and quiet and harsh winters? We can afford it, but would it work for us?

I don’t know yet, watch this space.

UPDATE: Romania won. Our hearts are forever lost to this village. It’s now one of the places in the world that we call home.

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