Many of our guests carry a camera on their travels with us, but – and I hope I won’t cause offence by saying this – few have been able wield it with greater effect than photographer Viv Blewett.
Along with nine friends, Viv spent a week traveling by bicycle, on foot and in horse and carts through the Saxon villages of Transylvania with us a couple of years ago. We asked her to choose a few of her favourite photos from the journey and to explain her choices.
1. Lady in Biertan
This lovely old lady sitting outside her house in Biertan, home to the first fortified church in the region to be listed with UNESCO, was happy for me to take her photograph. The colour combination of the rusty background and her clothes go so well together and I love her gentle hands and her trainers.
2. Mr Schass
Mr Schass, the Keeper of the Keys of Richis church, is the last Saxon in the village. Sergiu, one of our guides, is translating his stories for us. Mr Schass’s hand gesture and Sergiu’s expression perfectly convey what is going on.
3. First Horse & Cart
When we were driven from the airport to our first stop in the village of Cund, we were so excited to see a horse and cart. We soon realised that it would be a sight we’d see many times a day. This shot of a farmer making his way home with his cart full of hay was taken while on our own cart ride…
4. Carpet & Colours
I love the colours and textures of the brickwork and the carpet hanging out to air. Everywhere we stayed I took photos of the mats and woven wall hangings.
5. Daia Dirt Road
When I talk to people about the villages and the main roads being dirt tracks this is what I keep in my mind. This shot of Daia is a perfect example of what we saw in many of the villages. I love the pastel colours and the threatening sky.
6. The Blacksmith’s Wife
The blacksmith’s wife: the blacksmith was out for the day with his brother – apparently a rare occurrence – but his wife was kind enough to let us in to see the small forge behind the family home.
7. The Shepherd
After a two hour cart ride in the rain up the hills to the shepherd’s hut we were welcomed into their meagre living quarters and invited to watch the milking of the goats. This shepherd had just picked a rather large mushroom.
8. Three Friends
Once again I have chosen a photo of people. When I look at it, I wonder if these three also sat together on this seat when they were young adults, teenagers and even as toddlers.