The bee keepers in the villages, in the mountains of Romania, rise very early on Saturdays, the market day.
They arrive, by car, motorcycle and by horse and cart to the village centres and set up their stands. The golden honey is labelled according to the plants growing near the hives. Their customers are discerning; tastings and discussions are lengthy before a price is agreed and a purchase made.
On sale too are shoes and clothes and pots, pans and household goods.
By eight o clock the barbecues are working, smoke rising to join the last tendrils of the night’s mist. By nine the bars, cafes and restaurants are full. Waitresses are rushed serving strong black coffee with sugar and a generous hint of something alcoholic as a chaser.
In the village I am in, there are deciduous trees comforting the road. Dark trunks, a cover of deep green before the sun fully rises over the mountain.
When I leave, and start riding, the tree cover changes to pine. The mountains are higher, the slopes steeper and the hairpins sharper.
An hour and down to the plain, a perfect valley through which to run a road but the engineers had different priorities, perhaps, as I climb and twist another mountain.
Finally, it is apparent that the road builders did this to afford me one last bite of the Romanian mountain cherry.
Such an amazing country, such amazing people.
A bientot Romania. I hope that I’ll return
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