Four hours north of Bucharest, Transylvania is another world, and this, without doubt is the way to explore it. The biking itself is a combination of trail and road routes, the scenery breath taking, and the history we encountered on every turn, quite extraordinary. Although a historian by training, I had absolutely no idea of the deep Saxon influence in this region, almost every village we visited having a fortified Saxon Lutheran chapel, which, and thanks to Mircea, we were able to visit and explore. They, the Saxons arrived it seems in the 13th century, thriving and retained both their language and culture for over 800 years, until the combined efforts of Stalin and Ceaușescu drove most of them to return to Germany in 1989. It wasn't all history by any means, everywhere along the route we stayed with local people, their hospitality overwhelming, the food delicious. I especially remember a cabbage pie that Anca and Charlie, our hosts at Saschiz served up one evening sitting outside in the evening sun, washed down with home made elderberry wine ( hard to beat ) Another highlight was an evening spent at Mihnea Virgolici horse ranch near Prod, a charismatic character with a magician for a cook. Can't speak highly enough of Mircea Crisbășanu, professional, knowledgeable and extremely entertaining. One thing that became abundantly clear to me was that Transylvania will not stay like this for very long, so now's the time to visit !
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