Not so lost in Transylvania

Blacksmith shop with industrial strength nails
Blacksmith shop with industrial strength nails
City square Sibiu
City square Sibiu

Arrived safely in Transylvania in the town of Sibiu, only slightly misty and light fog. It is light till fairly late and enjoyed strolling around the city squares and along the old wall. The squares were within the fortified walls and protected the guilds of many crafts. The blacksmith’s shop had a good array of industrial strength fasteners.

Lutheran church Sibiu with 4 towers
Lutheran church Sibiu with 4 towers
Blacksmithing display
Blacksmithing display
stone masonery
stone masonery

Note the 4 towers on the church, this meant the town had a legal system and justice would be metred out for criminal behaviour. (we escaped Sibiu without penalty)

Climbed the clock tower of the Lutheran church, the clock was very old, but the driving mechanism was very up to date (electronic). Pipe organ inside.

Outside there was a display of blacksmithing and stone masonery

Stained glass window Orthodox church Sibiu
Stained glass window Orthodox church Sibiu
Inside Orthodox church Sibiu
Inside Orthodox church Sibiu
Carved entrance door Orthodox church Sibiu
Carved entrance door Orthodox church Sibiu

Orthodox church with exquisite stained glass windows, gold leaf frescoes and intricate wood carving.

Road side stop enroute to Biertan
Road side stop enroute to Biertan
? Magic mushrooms at road side stop enroute to Biertan
? Magic mushrooms at road side stop enroute to Biertan
More magic mushrooms
More magic mushrooms

Road side stop along the way, a little sample of what we are expecting in the ARDF area. Interesting fungi. Not the edible kind.

3 walled church in Biertan
3 walled church in Biertan
Door with many locks (19 altogether)
Door with many locks (19 altogether)
Square and round (improved design) towers Biertan
Square and round (improved design) towers Biertan
Shortbread moulds in museum
Shortbread moulds in museum
Genuine Singer machine for sewing leather
Genuine Singer machine for sewing leather
Grave digger's house biertan
Grave digger’s house Biertan

At Biertan, fortified church with 3 walls of protection and if that failed there was the room with the door with many locks. The town was settled by German people and hence the buildings have a similar style about them. Many German people left Romania after Ceausescu was deposed, but send their bodies back to be buried in the cemetery here.

Food and hospitality is excellent in Romania. 250 mls of house white of exceptional quality for under $3 and then complimentary palinka and black currant “cordial”. We enjoyed a late evening stroll around the city wall at Sibiu.

City fortifications Sibiu 1
City fortifications Sibiu 1
City fortifications Sibiu 2
City fortifications Sibiu 2

We thought of you all as we headed off to the salt mine in Turda (this word causes me some grief) today. Salt mining was one of the main industries in Transylvania.

Many flights of stairs to climb
Many flights of stairs to climb
View of lower level from top
View of lower level from top

DSC_0178 (Medium)

Upper level walkway
Upper level walkway
Lower level playground
Lower level playground
Lower level playground
Lower level playground
Salt mine walls and ceiling
Salt mine walls and ceiling
Birds eye view of lower level of salt mine
Birds eye view of lower level of salt mine
Salt crystal formations
Salt crystal formations
More salt crystal formations
More salt crystal formations

Many flights of stairs to the bottom, the queues were quite long for the lifts, so we got lots of exercise. To make it entertaining for the families they have installed a children’s playground on the bottom layer. Of course we had to ride on the ferris wheel, but there was also table tennis tables, pool tables, mini golf, even a pond with paddle boats but no coffee!!

Ewen is still puzzling how the walls stay up. If you take a vertical cross section it looks like a conical flask about 90 metres deep, with elevated platform at the neck. Not good if you don’t do heights very well.

Another interesting old wooden church tucked off the road on the way to Maramures. Inside was particularly interesting.

Typical roadside views
Typical roadside views
Oldest wooden church
Oldest wooden church
Oldest wooden church 2
Oldest wooden church 2
Inside oldest wooden church
Inside oldest wooden church
Inside oldest wooden church 2
Inside oldest wooden church 2
Using a ladder to get into heaven
Using a ladder to get into heaven

May 2010 Foxhunt

   Here is the report for the May Foxhunt.

        Five teams of hounds were greeted by a crisp and clear Autumn evening, as they gathered at the traditional start location in Lytton Street Carlton.  Ian VK3MZ and Roger VK3HRL placed seven 2m foxes in a rough line eastward-ish from Carlton to Donvale.  All teams reported plenty of signal, even with beams on backwards or with elements broken off by agressive trees.

        Hunt 1:
                Ian placed the fox in a laneway running north of Rowe Street North Fitzroy, about three km from the start as the crow flies.  First in was VK3YQN, followed quickly by OW, later by BLN.  FVXN and TXO both missed the switch-off time – in TXO’s case the beam was found to be on backwards (about 15 km away based on scratchiness of comms).

        Hunt 2:
                Roger placed the Gaffer Tape Special on a steep grassy embankment at the south end of East Street Westgarth, about 1.5 km from hunt 1 as flown by a husk-gripping swallow (African or European?).  The first hounds were in the area within five minutes of switch-on.  VK3BLN (Marta) was in first, followed immediately by Josh VK3HGI of the TXO team (apparently with better beam orientation).  OW arrive several minutes later, followed eventually by FVXN.  YQN missed out, with excited runners on the wrong side of the river or maybe not the wrong side, but failing to find the fox regardless.

        Hunt 3:
                Ian placed his fox in Rockbeare Park Alphington, about three km from hunt 2 as glided by an adopted pelican.  VK3YQN atoned for hunt 2’s misery by arriving first, followed by BLN, OW, TXO and eventually by FVXN.

        Hunt 4:
                Roger walked into a park just west of Kim Close (or Court?) Bulleen, along some paths and over a bridge and into the trees and scrub just on the east bank of the river thing, about 3.5 km from hunt 3 as the eagle soars.  Realising that he was carrying two heavy transmitters, Roger decided to place the WIA fox and Gaffer Tape Special about 30 metres apart and run both simultaneously.  The hoped-for confusion was not to be, for most of the runners went straight to one or the other.  Oh well.  Bruce VK3TJN of the YQN team was in first, followed by Josh of TXO, then Ewen OW, David XAJ of BLN and FVXN failed to find the fox.  Upon walking out to the meeting place, Ian VK3YQN regaled the rapt audience with bugle hits such as “Squawk of the Light Brigade”, “Tuppence Revelly” and “I’m Too Sexy For My Horn”, before he was threatened several times and took the hint.

        Hunt 5:
                Ian placed the fox in Ruffey Lake Park, about 4.5 km east of hunt 4 as the ibis shtooms.  Once again the bugle-powered YQN team got in first, followed by TXO, BLN, OW and FVXN.  Clifford’s hat was confiscated by the Good Taste Police but reluctantly returned when Clifford would not stop complaining.

        Hunt 6:
                Roger was *supposed* to set up in a residential street about four km east of hunt 5 as the pigeon homes, but elected instead to run a mobile hunt.  The Gaffer Tape Special was pressed into service as an intermittent fox (with WIA fox’s loop cable tied to the roof of the tremendously versatile Ford Territory).  Roger drove loops of the grid bounded by 34F11 and 48H2.  It was sadistically entertaining to drive behind hounds, give them a burst and quickly turn into a side street, TX off, u-turn then out again in the other direction.  VK3OW was quickly onto this scheme and performed a classic interception – those modern vehicles just seem to bounce off each other.  A couple of minutes later Roger found the runner from the VK3FVXN team and after asking him if “you people are hunting aliens or something” the runner reluctantly looked at the Territory and realised it was so much more than just a passing curious local.  Two minutes later, running Marta of the BLN team also attempted to avoid eye contact with the passing Territory’s excitable driver, but when Roger called out “the signal is REALLY strong around here” Marta seemed to observe a peak in signal strength and her team intercepted the Tertie.  After watching Bruce of the YQN team run up hill and down dale for ages, sympathy kicked in and YQN was ‘allowed’ to locate the magnificant beast of a fox car.  Evenually the TXO team found the now-stationary fox just as time was about to expire.

        Hunt 7:
                Ian placed the supper fox at the 100 Acres Reserve, about two Melway pages from hunt six as the navigator thumbs.  YQN found Ian first , followed very quickly by TXO and OW, then BLN several minutes later and FVXN missed the time limit.

        Teams returned to Ian VK3MZ’s QTHR for Loris’s famous soup, plus hot food, cakes, cold ham and turkey, hard boiled eggs, bags of lettuce and lashings of ginger beer.  After a period of waiting for people to stop talking, and a special invitation to Clifford to *please* stop talking, scores were announced:-

Team            Hunt 1          Hunt 2          Hunt 3          Hunt 4          Hunt 5          Hunt 6          Hunt 7          Total           Place

VK3BLN  5               0               1               5               4               4               4               23              3

VK3YQN  0               10              0               0               0               5               0               15              1

VK3OW   1               5               2               4               6               0               1               19              2

VK3TXO  10              1               4               1               1               9               1               27              4

VK3FVXN 10              9               9               10              9               1               9               57              5

        Well done to VK3YQN for the win, and OW for a consistent evening.  BLN faded a bit in the second half, while TXO could have been in second place but for the poor choice of beam orientation on the first hunt, Gary.  FVXN – persevere!

        June’s fox will be the VK3YQN team.

73’s,
        Roger VK3HRL