duminică, 19 octombrie 2008

Good news from Maramures and Vaser Valley

The remains of floodings are nearly gone.
The roads are open (except some local roads from Viseu de Sus and Poienile de sub Munte areas). The houses which were destroyed, are rebuilt. The weather is nice, dry but quite cold (the first snow falled up in mountains in 23th of September). Today, in the early morning was 0° C, and now there are around 10° C.
The work on Vaser Valley railway continues. Our government paid another 500.000 euros for the rebuilding of the area. If the money will be enough, and the weather will permite, the works will finish next spring.
Until then, the train pulled by the steam engine no. 763.193 (Krauss, from 1921), has started to run up 8 kilometres on the valley, every weekend!
And finally, at Sighet was reopened after many years, the main hotel of the town: the 3 stars Marmatia Hotel (49 rooms).
So, all the tourists are welcomed, yours hosts are back in business!

miercuri, 30 iulie 2008

Very important!!!

Due to heavy floods which covered Maramures last weekend, Vaser Valley was washed away. The narrow gauge train line was destroyed. The steam engine train ("Mocanita") doesn't go up anymore.
In 26 of July, the floods destroyed kilometres of train rails. Many bridges were destroyed. At that time, on train were 192 people, which were blocked at Faina. They slept there, and at Bardau and Novicior forest camps, whithout clothes, food, medicins or any help from outside. There is no cell phone signal, nor other sorts of communications. Even radio stations were out.
Only the second evening (27 of July), the tourists received help from Police and Gendarmery (a team marched by foot, through the water, for 22 km to reach the camps).
Fortunately, all the tourists were alive, only a Belgium women was sick.
Part of tourists went down to Viseu de Sus by foot, and the others were evacuated by helicopters.
On the same time, on Vaser Valley died 4 people (three due to a landslide, and one teenager fell into the river.
In Viseu de Sus town is disaster. Many parts of the town are still isolated, without any acces and without electricity. The entire Vaser Valley is isolated.
Sighetu Marmatiei town is out of running water, since 27 of July (due to Tisa river floods, which destroyed the town's water plant.
The trains which link Sighetu Marmatiei to Cluj, Timisoara and Bucharest, can't reach the town (the rails were destroyed on several places). So, the trains go now only to Viseu de Jos station (which can be reached from Sighet only by bus or car.
The situation will become normally as follows:
-The Sighetu Marmatiei running water will come back in three weeks.
-The rail between Sighetu Marmatiei and Bucharest will become operational again, in several months.
-The "Mocanita" steam engine train, will restart, maybe, next year...

duminică, 6 aprilie 2008

2008 Maramures festivals

This year Maramures will host several important events and festivals. Please note that dates may be subject to change.
The Orthodox Easter: 27th April. People go to church in traditional costumes for the midnight (or early morning) mass, taking with them a bowl of Pasca eggs and steak, where these aliments are blessed by the clergy. On returning home from the mass, people first eat some of the sanctified aliments and only then the rest. The pasca is a round shape Easter cake.
Dragomiresti's Village folk festival: 4th May. Traditional music and dance, the town's saint patron (St. Thomas). Folk music and parade of folk costumes.
Tanjaua from Hoteni Village: 11th May. The first ploughman festival, held every spring in this small village. The villagers wearing their traditional costumes, celebrate the most hardworking man (the one who ploughed first his field). He is seated on a small carriage pulled by young men. Pairs of young men carry take on the role of oxen, raising the decorated yokes and pulling the train out to the river. Folk music and parade of folk costumes.
Sieu's Village Folk festival: 17-19 May. Dance and songs singing contest for children and adults. Parade of folk costumes.
Repedea's Village Festival of the Narcissus: 24-25 May. Ukrainian minority folk music.
At the end of May, take place Sighetu Marmatiei's Village Museum Open Day. Good traditional music, dance and costumes.
Ocna Sugatag's Village Festival of the Goulash: 6th June. Hosted by Hungarian community celebrationg its national dish: the goulash; cooking contests.
Budesti's Village Folk Festival: 15th June. Folk music and parade of folk costumes, dedicated to children.
Valeni's Village Folk Festival: 16th June. Traditional music, dance and costumes.
Petrova's Village Folk Festival: 16th June. Other folk festivals are held in June in Borsa, Viseu de Sus towns and Rona de Jos village.
Vadu Izei's Village Wedding Festival: 28-29 June. Traditional wedding rituals, popular costumes, dances and songs.
The Day of Dragomireşti's Monastery’s Patron Saint: 20th July. Pilgrimage to the monastery and its "miracle-working" icon.
Vaser's Valley Festival, Viseu de Sus town: 6-7 August. Dedicated to the German minority.
The Saint Mary Holy Day, Moisei Monastery: 15th August. The most important orthodox pilgrimage from Maramures.
Rozavlea's Village Folk Festival: 16-17 August. Traditional music, dance and costumes.
Round Dance at Prislop, Prislop Pass (1416 m altitude), near Borsa town: 17th August. One of the most important Maramures's folk festivals, with thousands of participants.
Rona de Jos's village Folk Festival: 17th August. Traditional music, dance and costumes.
Botiza's Village Folk Festival: 23-24 August. Traditional music, dance and costumes.
The Village Dance (Breb, Sat Sugatag, Hoteni): 24, 31 August and 7th September. Traditional dances and music.
During summer take place other folk festivals at Crasna Viseului Village, Sambra Oii Pass, Leordina, Ieud, Stramtura Villages and so on.
The Birthday of the Holy Virgin: 8th September. The Saint Patron of Ieud-Deal, Calinesti-Josani and Harnicesti wooden churches. Pilgrimage.
The Campulung la Tisa's Village Grape Ball: late September - early October. Dedicated to the youth of this hungarian village.
Sighetu Marmatiei's Days: late September-early October. Cultural events, beer festival.
Sighetu Marmatiei's International Poetry Festival: 2-4 October. Poetry recital, book releases.
The Ocna Sugatag's Village Grape Festival: 11th October.
St. Parascheva Day: 14 October. Day of Deseşti and Poienile Izei Churches’ Patron Saint.
The Dead's Day: 1th November.The people reconnect to the dead, lighting candles in the cemeteries and offering food to the poor. The legend says that ib this night the dead's souls come back to visit their loved ones. Almost all the towns and villages.
Saint Archangels’ Day: 8th November. The Patron Saint for Sighetu Marmatiei Orthodox Cathedral, Rozavlea and Stramtura wooden churches. Pilgrimages.
Saint Nicholas Day: 6th December. The Saint Patron of Budesti Josani and Susani, Bogdan Voda, Glod, Feresti and Cornesti wooden churches. Pilgrimages.
Viseu de Sus's Winter Customs Festival: 14th December. folk costumes and traditional performances typical for Christmas and New Year.
Marmatia Winter Customs Festival, Sighetu Marmatiei: 27 December. A very important (40 years old) festival celebrating winter traditions in Maramureş. Big carnival parade: hundreds of costumed and masked people from Maramures villages and other regions, horses and children sing carols and perform traditional winter plays.