A View to a Picnic
Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania
In what will quite certainly become one of the best moments of our entire journey in Romania (and undoubtedly one of my favorite collection of images in the Snapshots gallery), our final day with CouchSurfing hosts Janos and Ary turned out to be a real stunner.
Driven out into the scenic backcountry on a handful of bumpy, waterlogged dirt roads, the small village of Sükö was the last populated place seen as we headed further and further away from civilization. It probably took us an hour in the aging European 4×4 to reach the point where we disembarked and proceeded on foot.
Autumn is in full force in these parts, with fiery colors erupting from the deciduous trees, playfully intermixing with the ever-present greens of the perennials. A storm was moving in from the direction of Odorheiu Secuiesc, lending as much character to the skyline as the trees did the rolling countryside.
I took the burden off Tatiana by wearing Aidric for our brief ascent to what looked like a ranger station's tower, a few hundred meters in the distance.
It'd be at the base of this tower that we'd watch Aidric frolic in the dry fallen leaves and drink a bottle of wine while admiring the spectacular view. Atop the tower I snapped a large quantity of photos that would eventually become some of my favorite high dynamic range image (HDRI) composites to date (a technique lovingly used with landscape shots on the ground as well).
During our picnic conversation at the tower Tatiana got on the subject of her love of cooked mushrooms. On the way back to the vehicle Janos and Ary quickly crisscrossed the path and scampered about, skillfully sniffing out some of the largest edible mushrooms I've ever seen. Their basket was simply overflowing by the time we'd reached the 4×4.
Later that evening, Janos' mother fried up a few of the mushroom caps for us (in what instantly became one of Tatiana's top memories for Eastern Europe).