Our first Saxon Trek day was an easy one, just for warm up. We walked about 13 kilometers, for about 4 hours, from Roșia to our final destination for the day, Hosman.
We had initially planned our trip to start and end in Sibiu, but we had to reconsider the whole thing as we didn’t have enough days to finish. So we changed our starting point to Roșia, a village 20 kilometers from Sibiu, where we left our car and where we would return to recover it in the last day of our trip. We also had an initial plan that we would try to become friends with the locals and convince them to let us sleep for one night in their houses. We tried to make it happen, contacted people in the villages, tried with all of our connections, but unfortunately this was not a real success. So we had to plan the trip as to get every night to a village where guesthouses were available.
So here we are on the 22nd of September 2019, in Roșia, parking our car and starting our trip, on a sunny and warm day, with a clear sky and the Făgăraș Mountains showing themselves in the background.
Roșia is a small village mostly inhabited by elders and Roma people and with only a couple of elder Saxons still living there. It’s a forgotten by time village, nothing notable happening these days to help it modernize and give people better living conditions. Many people have left the village, either to work in Sibiu or abroad. Many of the people still living here work in factories in Sibiu, buses come to pick them up and get them back home every day.
We found Roșia quiet and almost empty, as every village would be on a Sunday morning. Towards noon, the main street got a bit busy with all the old ladies coming out of church and enjoying their chit-chats and with kids running around.
As many villages in the area, Roșia also has an old fortified church. A Romanesque basilica dates to the 13th century; surviving elements include the choir; triumphal arch; pillars between the main and side naves; and parts of the north portal, including the windows and upper level. Fortification work took place in the 16th century, with most of the windows and the entrance room in the western part daring to the 18th. In the 19th century, the nave was given a vaulted ceiling held up by pilasters with capitals. The church resisted numerous armed attacks, including in 1600, when the army of Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazu) burned the village to the ground. However, the fortifications now lie in ruins.
After walking around the village for a bit, we started our trip for the day, in the direction of Cornățel. As mentioned before, we tried to stay away as much as possible from the main paved roads. So here we are on a dirt road, leaving the village behind. Quiet and no trace of people around us. Except for some shepherd’s dogs who insisted on barking at us and scare us a bit. I am always scared of these creatures and every time they showed up, I panicked a bit. It was probably one of the reasons I couldn’t get 100% comfortable with the trip. Still nothing dangerous happened, but it’s better to stay away from them and try to annoy them the least possible.
Getting to Cornățel, we had to follow the main road until getting to Nucet, as there was no other option instead.
We quickly passed Cornățel and before getting to Nucet we turned a left and headed over the hills and pastures in the direction of Hosman. This last part of the trip was the most enjoyable – we saw deer, foxes, pheasants freely walking around. There was so much quiet around us and for the first time we felt so good that we’re away from all the city noise. We stopped for lunch somewhere on the way, enjoying the view.
About one and half hours later we could see Hosman in front of us.
We stayed in some friends’ guest house, right next to the fortified church, and enjoyed a proper countryside evening with them. Hosman has a beautiful fortfified church, very much worth visiting and a bunch of active modern-peasants (neo-peasants like they like to call themselves) who do so many good things for the village and the Hârtibaciu Valley.
A must visit place is the Old Mill from Hosman, a living museum and a place where lots of events happen, aiming to promote the village and the small local producers around the area. Din Hârtibaciu, cu drag is a local trademark, including a list of selected local producers. If you’re lucky enough Luijza is around to open her bakery for you and get some fresh bread and pastry.
Our first day a relaxed and easy one, with a short trek, but with enough time to blend in the village life, to learn to absorb the quiet and the feeling of time standing still.
Here is the map of our first day.