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Romanian Countryside – Off the beaten path

Romania even though might not be on your Europe bucketlist, has a lot to offer. Most people might have heard about Bucharest, Dracula’s Castle or Transfagărășan Road, but this is not what we are going to talk about. Today we go off the beaten path to my gradmother’s village, Jupânești, Argeș County.

Why should I go there?

There are some touristic villages, mostly in Transylvania, but the traditional southern romanian countryside might be worth a short stop. But why? And my answer to this is because of the raw beauty. There are no souvenir shops, no turists, not even a supermarket, but you can see cows walking slowly on the dirt road, old ladies sitting and chatting in front of their house and if you are lucky maybe a dear or a fox will come your way.

How do I get there?

The village of Jupâneșt is pretty remote, so it is hard to get here if you do not rent a car. But if you plan on renting from Bucharest and you wanna go to Transylvania via Transfăgărășan Road, you should take this route: Bucharest-Pitești-DN73-Jupânești- return to DN73-DN73C- Transfăgărășan . So if you plan on going north, this is a perfect stop for a few hours, maybe for a picnic or just a walk in nature .

Picture taken on a short walk along Doamnei river.

Is there anything to visit ?

Yes, there is! Here we have one of the most important wooden churches in southern Romania. Built in the year 1742 on the place of an even older church, dated in 1636. The church has two unique paintings of hell and heaven to the left and to the right of the entrance.

The church entrance, heaven on the left and hell on the right. Picture from wikipedia.

One cenury later a porch was added to serve as meeting place for the villagers and it also served as school where the priest was teaching the childeren how to read and write. For the history geeks out there, next to the church there are also two grave stones written in chiliric alphabet, in contrast with the other graves in the cemetery that are marked with a cross and the inscription is written of course in latin alphabet.

The front of the church with the porch and the bell tower. On the right next to the church you can see the two small grave stones written in chiliric.

Also just by walking around you will have the chance to see some traditional southern romanian village architecture. Sadly the owners tend to demolish and build something new rather than restaurate, but some houses did survive. For now there are still enough houses standing to make an idea of what it used to look like.

Our holiday house and the multitude of dandelions in our yard.

Last, but not the least, and arguably the most important: Festivalul Țucii (Romanian Plump Brandy Festival). It takes place in an area called Valea Păcurarului where the local producers showcase their drinks. Also you will have the chance to see traditional pottery and costumes from this area. Normally the festival takes place at the beginning of October.

So today we went off the beaten path to see the raw beauty of a remote romanian village, but keep in mind that Romania has a lot of hidden gems, and if you plan to visit it, make sure to stop once in a while and visit something wilde & unique.

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