Scenery east of the town of Trai Mat near Da Lat, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Da Lat, Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What is a Wallachian?

Well, we'll get to that in a minute. Yesterday morning, we headed out fairly early because we had to meet our train schedule. The train doesn't go by that often so we planned on making the 9:35am run from Zasova to Roznov pod Radhostem. It's only 7 kms (3 miles) and we got on with no problems.

But then we had to explain to the ticket girl on the train that we wanted a return ticket. We had both memorized the word to use when asking for a return ticket. Zpáteční. Yeah, right. Even if we remembered the word, do you think we could say it properly?

Ended up pointing back and forth and saying the names of the towns. Too funny. Got the ticket though, cost was 51 korunas ($2.55) total for the two of us, round trip.

We got off the train and we were headed for the Wallachian Open Air Museum. I think I had heard the term "Wallachian" before, but couldn't have told you what it was. Wallachia is a geographic region of Romania, and people from that region settled here in the 1600's. This area is known as Moravian Wallachia.

There is a little train that can take you through the park to the museum entrance.

So the Museum is mostly an outdoor recreation of what a village from this area would have been like in the 1800's. There are three sections to the museum, and you can pay to see each one separately, or you can pay an all inclusive price. I have to say, I wasn't all that interested. I've seen these types of "what life was like back then" displays, and didn't really have any ambition to see one again, but Ruth wanted to go. We couldn't decide on which of the three to see, so we paid the 180 korunas ($9.00) each to see the whole thing.

We started off at the Wallachian Village. It was another beautiful day, and it was fine just wandering around.

An original peasant homestead.

The house above was constructed in the mid 1700's. This home was still in use in the very early 1900's and a large family with eleven children lived there! There's also a place inside the house where young domestic animals could stay overnight nearby the oven during winter frost.

The schoolhouse.

More farmsteads.

Each of these homes were open for viewing, but I found them to be all pretty much the same. 

The windmill was interesting though.

They actually had a guy in there grinding grain to make flour.

A loom in one of the houses. This is for you, Karen!

The Wallachians were shepherds.

We spent a couple of hours in the "Wallachian Village" part of the museum, and it was nice just wandering around. Then we headed for part two, which was called "Mill Valley". This part was only accessible with a tour guide and you were not free to wander around on your own. By this time it was about 12:30pm and it was getting pretty busy. The tours left every half hour, and we managed to get into the 12:30pm one, along with about 30 other people! I think they should limit the number of people because when you have to deal with the slowpokes of the group, it becomes a pretty tedious hour. You spend more time waiting for other people than you do seeing the sights.

The blacksmith operation was interesting.

We ended up cutting this part of the tour short. We saw another tour group heading back to the exit and we joined up with them. Besides, a lot of what we were seeing was similar to what we had already seen in the Village.

So then we headed over to the "Little Wooden Town". This had a few interesting buildings, even though they were reconstructions.

The church.

Typical Wallachian style. Kinda neat!

So overall, the visit to the museum was just okay. Ruth certainly enjoyed it more than I did, but if we had to to it over again we would have paid the reduced price of 100 korunas ($5.00) each to just see the Wallachian Village part of it. By the time you've seen that, we found the rest to be a bit repetitive.

So we left the museum and headed through the central plaza of Roznov.

Roznov pod Radhostem has a pretty central area.

Our couchsurfing host Blanka had told us about a short 3km hike up to a castle ruins, so we headed over to the trail . It was a pretty steep hike up, and we did take one wrong turn that brought us by this...

Standing at the top of a ski jumping ramp gives me confirmation that the people who do this are a little nuts!

We made it to the castle. This is what they think it used to look like.

But this is all that's left!

We did get a great view though.

And then we took the train back home. Had to rush down the hill though to get to the train station in time because there would have been a two hour wait if we missed it!

Today, we have a 14 km hike planned in this beautiful area!


  1. Not a baaaaaad way to spend the morning. (hey, you put in the sheep pictures, don't blame me)

    I've seen my share of recreated old villages, both over here and back home. With the exception of the language being different, life in the those times was pretty much the same all over.
    It sucked.
    So thanks for taking the pictures. Saved me the trip.

  2. A little like our experience at the Folkmuseum in Oslo. After a while, the buildings and the stories all sound the same.

  3. Still a nice day to wander about and explore new places, thanks for the tour.

  4. I would have liked the recreated tour too Ruth, glad Keven relented and let us see it!!! It certainly is a beautiful area you are in.

    1. Thank you Barb. It was nice but as Kevin said it did get a bit repetitive at times.

  5. I've never been to Europe. Are all the places you've visited as nice and clean as they appear in your photos?

    1. Yes, they are Chris! I think that there has only been the odd time that we see some litter, but in general very clean.

  6. I would have hiked through the little Wallachian villages with you Ruth, I love old towns and buildings, I always think there's so much character to them.
    I really like how most all European towns have a definite central plaza, they look so pretty and inviting. Enjoyed the picture of the blacksmith shop, Calvin always finds these sorts of things interesting :)
    As always, thanks for sharing.


There are more comments on our facebook page at

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.