Mountain farm in the Rucar-Bran passage

by admin on 28/06/2012

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Having passed Dracula’s famous castle in Bran, we drove into a picturesque valley, called the Rucăr-Bran pass, flanked by steep hillsides and a wide creek at its base. Before our next visit, we had to give a ride to a local woman, Mrs Rodica Cojenelu, who would show us the way to an enclosure for some 80 cows. The owner, Mr Sumedrea Georgel, lets his animals stay foraging from spring to autumn in this fertile place.

Having ascended a rather steep and very green hillside, we could see a hut and some horses in the foreground and an enclosure with lots of cows in the background. A shed near the hut housed a group of piglets, while the pigs were more or less sleeping in the mud nearby. Entering the enclosure with the cows, we could see four men milking cows manually. Sitting on a one-legged chair, they made the milking look easy, while the cows being milked seemed like they weren’t even aware of being milked.

Walking around the enclosure, I could see a hut made of sticks and covered by plastic, one near to each side of the enclosure. Since a very dense forest  was quite close, and big carnivores like wolf and bear live there, it was only natural to think that the cowherds were sleeping in those plastic huts at night in order to protect their animals. Of course, they also had a lot of livestock guarding dogs.

They would make cheese after our visit, but it would probably be made in more or less the same way as we had seen several times before.

On our way back to Bran, we could see several persons scything and harvesting hay in quite steep hillsides. When they were high up, it seemed like they put a canvas on the ground, covered it with hay, closed the canvas around the hay and pulled it down. In fact, the whole valley looked very fertile, and harvesting hay for the animals should hopefully last through the next winter.

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