One might say that winter is the season to stay mostly inside and dream of summer’s warm and sunny days. Of course, when having a family with kids this becomes a bit difficult to achieve and alternatives have to be found. But lucky for us, the Sibiu County has so much to offer in terms of family escapes.
Every year, in the last Sunday of January, Agnita becomes the home of a very special event and of one of the few authentic and original traditions still standing in Romania. It’s not something about which you hear too much in the news, but living in Sibiu you get to know things after a while. It’s the first time we got the chance to see live this beautiful tradition and we’re already waiting for next year’s edition.
Hiking the Făgăraș Mountains ridge is, let’s say, one of the main goals of any true hiker and mountains passionate from Romania (although nowadays you meet mostly foreigners on the peaks). The Făgăraș Mountains are the highest in Romania, with heights reaching 2500m and the ridge is the longest in the country – about 90 kilometers.
Mid-November, when normally we would begin our winter hibernation, we still found enough energy to go out of the house and enjoy a special brunch organized by My Transylvania. They organize the open-air brunches in the rural areas around Sibiu, mostly during warm season, starting with the end of spring, throughout the summer and ending with the first cold days of the autumn.
Our last stop from the second road trip through the Saxon villages was Slimnic, also known as Stolzenburg. Slimnic is on the way from Sibiu to Mediaș, two important cities in the South of Transylvania. In the medieval period the road connecting them was constantly under threat of enemy attacks.
On the road from Mediaş to Sibiu there is a village with an unusual name called Axente Sever. Until 1933 the name of the village was Frâua (Frauendorf in German and Asszonyfalva in Hungarian). The new name comes from Ioan Axente an important figure of the Transylvanian Revolution of 1848. He was born in the village and hence the authorities gave his name to the village in 1933. The first mention of the village comes from 1305.
Valea Viilor (English – Vineyard Valley) got its name exactly because the Saxons living here were producing quality wine. The hills surrounding the village were perfect for having vineyards and the sun helped the grapes ripe exactly as much as needed so the wine had an excellent taste.
We arrived in the Dealu Frumos village on a Saturday evening during one of our tours through the Saxon villages from the Hârtibaciu Valley. Dealu Frumos (Schönberg in German) is said to be in the exact center of the country. The first mention of the village was in 1280 in a sales document and the author was writing “happy is the wonderful town in peacetime …”
The third stop on our second journey through the saxon villages was Merghindeal. In the old documents the settlement was called Marienthal (Maria’s Valley). The legend says that a young woman called Maria helped the Saxon colonists find the place where they would build their village and so they named the village after her.