In April, Ileana and I stole some days from our agenda for a short excursion of (re-)discoveries in Romania. Travelling through landscapes of unspoiled nature, 10 to 15 years ago, finding biospheres where man and nature still lived in a perfect balance, not affected by uniformisation and stereotypisation of our so-called “modern” civilization, we dreamed of this region’s potential for developing a high quality ecotourism.
Now, returning to the same region, we were delighted to see that this dream had become reality in some – luckily still quite hidden –places, and under the seal of confidentiality we dare to unveil two of them to you:
Zabola/Zăbala (www.zabola.com): a castle in Covasna, restutited to the family of Roy-Chowdhury, heirs of the century-old Count Mikes family, renovated recently, respecting the structures created by ancestors and nature during centuries (including the reactivation of the water supply system for the artificial lakes in the park), without adding too much modern, disclosing the true spirit of the place. An adjacent building called Machine House was transformed into a guest house with 7 –TV-free! -guestrooms and a little restaurant.
After dinner – created of traditional recipes and 100% local produces, served by friendly and attentive women from the village – Ileana said: “This I could have eaten also at my grandmother’s!” – Could you imagine a nobler distinction …?
Valea Verde Resort (www.discover-transilvania.com): Cund, or Reussdorf in the Saxon’s language, in Mureș district – hard to imagine a more hidden place on the map of Romania. Even so, it was discovered by a German from Hamburg, Mr. Jonas Schäfer, passionate of cooking, who renovated a couple of peasant houses, keeping their character – mind the low doors! – but equipped at 5 star level. And the highlight is the restaurant, of course: a very short menue, of 3-4 dishes, but more complex and creative than in some Michelin – star restaurants, and of corresponding quality, all at highly reasonable prices.
From this excursion we returned to Drăgășani with the revelation that some places of heaven became reality in Romania, step by step forming a whole net of shelters, where we can recover our mind and body, restrengthening our motivation to continue our way which we started 15 years ago in Romania.
8th May 2013
Ileana & Jakob Kripp