Friday, 23 November 2018

VLAD LAND THURSDAY - GOING GOTHIC

THURSDAY

BUS CHATS Each day on the bus TGA gives us all a mini lecture on given topics. Thus far we have covered history (several talks on this) and some geography, taxation, education, healthcare, cars in Romania, talks on politics, with more promised, also opened up for us; the Roma people, the referendum last weekend, the former royal family, and promised for today, Thursday, the Jewish community – origins and current state in Romania. TGA’s political and social disposition is thinly disguised and I have yet to come to a view. There will be more time for this on these bus-chats.



The museum tour in Sibiu
Thursday and a museum tour in Sibiu - This is a delightful collection of Romanian art and artefacts from homes and churches across the country. The whole collection and was brought together by a Samuel Bruckehthal, a wealthy nobleman who also gave his house, in the main square, over to have all these knickknacks properly housed.  Worth the wander, lot of Baroque decorative pieces, silverware and paintings and icons from churches, plus a Gothic font which was lovely to look at. 

More coach time. It is another day of medieval rooftops; cobbled streets and line wash ochre walls. Our morning coach takes us to Biertan and then onwards for an afternoon arrival in Sighişoara. 

We arrived in the fortified church in Biertan. 


The church, which sits in the highest point of the village, was encircled by three sets of walls. Graceful inside the church had been heavily restored by its worth and character shone through on this warm morning, the sun blistering through the East window and onto a small font which was situated in the chancel, afore the alter which was unusual.  However outside a view across a hundred rooftops and once the other visitors; our tour party, a gaggle of Japanese and two delightful Italian boys had defended back down into the town, all was peaceful.

Cake, coffee and back on the coach.

These places, in spite of the punishing schedules, time deadlines; rendezvous points and such, these places can be delightfully quiet. This morning when I awoke at just before 5 there was silence apart from the distant and consistent barking of one dog high up in the town here, Sighişoara. No traffic, no airplanes and no builders’ din which where we live is constant. From morning to night.

By just before 3pm yesterday we were deposited at the hotel and given the rest of the day off.  

After unpacking the four of us went exploring. One hundred and seventy nine steps took us up to the top of the town to a lovely church ‘The Church on the Hill’. A real piece of Gothic loveliness restored yet unbowed. On this occasion the late afternoon such crept in through the windows as I made a drawing, the first piece of serious Gothic draughtsmanship I have attempted for sometime. This church, like that that at Biertan was taken over and loved-up by the Saxons of Romania.