Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Hideg nincs csak szar ember"

"No cold, only weak men"

This quote aptly describes the pilgrimage. It was a really great time.

We left early on Friday, hit up a tiny town called Lompirt. The church there was decorated with the painted wooden tiles, beautiful. It was also the home of Ady Endre's ancestors. We got to see the house and the table where he wrote.

Next stop was the salt mines. Torda. Beatiful. The EU gave them over 5 million Euros to improve the site, and improve it they are. They are building many different attractions. Soon there will be a theatre, a ferris wheel, a lake to row boats and many other things. It is due to be finished in October so I hope to see it soon.

We made it to Korond late, but were still sucessful with out purchases. I bought 4 mugs and socks. I had to restrain myself from buying more.

Our homes at last. We had delicious soup and pork stuffed cabbage.

It was an early morning, the bus was leaving at 6 in order to make it to Csiksomlyo on time. They were expecting delay from the Romanians. We did make it to the site just over two hours before and proceeded to climb. It was quite the trek. I am not sure how long it was, but I would say that it was nearly 5kms up to the top. It was a nice walk, until it started to rain. Then it became even more fun in the mud. By the time the service started the field was filled with people, not to mention the people who were hiding out in the woods. There were probably about half a million people in that valley, celebrating that Protestantism and Zsigmond were defeated in 1567.

The walk down was a slow. It took a long time when we were all going up, but now, with everyone trying to leave at the same time, the paths were filled, people were trying to scale the hills and make it to the bottom safely. This was much harder than you think because it was now pouring rain. It took up about 2.5 hours to make it back to the bus and we were soaked. Despite the rain, I want to go back next year.

Sunday, we headed to the old border. A train filled with Hungarians was due to arrive between 11:30 and 12 and so the station was filled with people waiting to greet them. When it pulled into the station, the train was filled, all 13 passenger cars. It was the longest train I have seen so far. I could not even guess how many people got off the train. The sun came out so it was a much more pleasant day. We climbed up to the castle where there was a band playing. They were really good. I have to see if I can get any of their music.

On the way back we stopped at the big church in Csiksomlyo. There were still plenty of people around, but much less than on Saturday. We also stopped to see one of the churches in Csikszereda. It has a unique design. I really liked that there were the four angels on top looking down into the church.

Day four, time to return home, but we got to see many things along the way. We stopped in Szekelyudvarhely at the park. It was filled with Hungarian statue heads. Next was Farkaslaka. A small shopping site and the site of Tamasi Aron's tomb. I bought a shirt and some blueberry palinka. Yum!

Traffic was really bad. We eventually made it to Kolosvar and went on a tour of the town. We got to see the birthplace of King Matthias this time, but it was restricted access because it is part of the University. Continuing on our journey, we eventually made it to the border. On the way out and in I got a stamp from Hungary but nothing from Romania. It now seems like I just disappeared for 4 days. Making it home at just after 10 on Monday night, it was a really good trip. I want to go back to the pilgrimage next year but I was certainly glad to be back in my own house.


Sorry for the very long description. I had lots of fun and want to remember it!
Here are some photos:

Lompirt

Ady Endre's table

In the salt caves

Ferris wheel, inside the caves


Csiksomlyo


The village that was flooded by Ceauşescu. The white line in the distance is the steeple of the church.


Scenery in Transylvania. a rarity of the trip, the sun!

Gypsy house.

A church in Csikszereda

Ili looking at the pictures, something she did almost the entire trip!

Pilgrims, Jamie and Ili

3 comments:

Tara's Fan said...

OMG!!!

Tara visited my City! :)

Next time you should visit the Roman Catholic Church in Torda! It’s one of the oldest and most interesting Churches in the world (historically, culturally, etc…).

For a very long time, it was the residence of the Transylvanian Diet, and the Hungarian Diet was held here in 1467, by King Matthias Corvinus (not bad for an old Church to house the Parliament of 2 countries!).
And it’s the birthplace of an entire religion (Unitarianism).
But the most important event that took place in our Church, is the world famous Edict of Torda.

In 1568 the Edict of Torda, also known as the Patent of Toleration, legislated officially for the very first time in the world, general religious freedom, freedom of conscious and tolerance!

Turda gorges are a very good place to visit in good weather (a complex natural reservation, which contains botanical, geological, zoological, archaeological values and amazing sceneries).

A very unique and interesting place is Hunter Prince Castle (it’s a Restaurant & Hotel complex in medieval and Dracula style).

MH

MH said...

Usually Csíksomlyói Búcsú is very hot, sunny, dusty and crowded (sometimes 2-3 million people). Heat Strokes are common.

Hmm, maybe the visit of the Canadian Princess of the Arctic has something to do with the new weather at the Csíksomlyói Búcsú…
:)

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