First day of the cousins and candlesticks trip.... my cousins Hugh Rogovy and Arthur Schankler and Hugh's son Asher are joining me on my research trip to Radauti, in northern Romania, to work on my (Candle)sticks on Stone project, about the representation of women in Jewish tombstone art. My project isn't a "roots" project, but Radauti is the town from which our grandparents emigrated to America and where Ettel Gruber, the great-grandmother of Hugh, Arthur and myself, is buried.
Ettel Gruber and two granddaughters, Radauti, 1936
Hugh, Asher and I picked up Arthur at the Budapest airport this morning, and we drove all day, winding up tonight in Bistrita, in Transylvania (a town known to readers of Dracula.... we are staying tonight in a modern hotel named after a fictional one in the novel).
I haven't been to Romania in three years, so I'm interested in seeing the changes, now that the country is in the EU. There certainly seem to be more roadside hotels, restaurants and advertising, and there has been some work on the roads themselves.... We've eaten wonderfully today. Ciorba at a gas station cafe, served with cups full of sour cream and hot pickled pepper... tonight in Bistrita, everything from mamaliga with Branza cheese to stuffed cabbage (sarmale) at a terrific traditional restaurant, Crama Veche....
On to Radauti (and the ancestral village, Vicovu de Sus) in the morning.