October 18, 2008

The Illustrated Gravestones of Cărpiniş
Apoldu de Sus, Romania

Stephan, itching for a good walk, asked me to join him for a saunter to the nearby village of Cărpiniş. Tucked perfectly into a towering foothill of the Transylvanian Alps, the secluded village was off the beaten path, and infrequently visited by anyone not associated with the town itself.

Our walk began some seven or eight kilometers (≈five miles) from Cărpiniş, on the outskirts of another village (a 15–20 minute drive from Apoldu de Sus). Our walk was double that distance, as we did it there and back.

Gently rolling hills of pasture with the occasional stretch of withered grape vines constituted the bulk of our landscape as we walked the gravel road. Stephan's planning a three-month trip back to Australia starting at the end of December, and we each chatted about travel, experiences, impressions, tips and lessons learned.

The small collection of crumbling homes that represented Cărpiniş was generally forgettable, but proved to be good destination for a walk with no other purpose than to walk. We made our way to the tallest point in town, a hill upon which a small locked church was surrounded by graves.

We enjoyed a brief snack while I took great interest in the gravestones, many of which were adorned with images of the deceased. Fascinating…

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