Get up to Maramures, on the border with Ukraine: we stayed in Sighet, a border town with an oddly stately and historical feel to it, in a decent hotel, the Coroana, redolent of other days: a fascinating market selling local agricultural produce and splendid, head-scarved old matriarchs sitting behind stinking vats of good cheese. Visit the Museum of Arrested Thought, housed in the old Ceaucescu era prison for moments of genuine sadness and quiet despair, but then hire a driver and go on to the Merry Cemetery that makes mortality amusing and vibrant and then on further to the wooden churches, redolent with genuine piety and a sense of community that previous regimes have clearly failed to touch – and all in a bucolic world of green, wild-flowered neatly scythed meadows and horses and carts that Hardy would have recognised and was mourning for well over a century ago.
Str. P-ta Libertatii nr. 8, Sighetu Marmatiei 435500, Romania
+40 362 103 244
Google map: bit.ly/117c5qx
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