COVASNA COUNTY, A MELTING POT BETWEEN CULTURES AND… THE COUSIN OF LOCH NESS MONSTER (COVASNA)

Covasna County is located in eastern Transylvania, at the internal curvature of the Carpathians, and it tends to become a major tourist destination for those wishing to discover Romania. Until recently it used to be promoted rather as an area of interest for Hungarian tourists, but Covasna is now opening its doors and proposes some very interesting landmarks, that informs about the customs and traditions of the area. Covasna County is known as the “Land of Mansions” and thermal waters, with no more than 200 mansions and castles that are speeded all across the land, awaiting visitors.

Discover the art of sculpture in corn husk

At the Tourist Information Centre in Ojdula you will greeted, among others, with a table on which there are hand craft items that are made from corn husk. You will immediately discover their author: Szabó Erzsébet “Bimbi”, illustrator and forewoman in this complicated manufacturing craft, who had arrived to Ojdula a decade ago and learned this activity from a master in this traditional craft of Odorhei. We are sure you will like it so much that you will certainly want to acquire some of her creations, which have been presented to a multitude of national and international fairs and exhibitions and have also received several awards and praises. A simple demonstration of making a flower of husk will makes you applaud and realize that folk artists deserve a bigger appreciation.

Learn to prepare kurtoskalacs

Kurtoskalacs, the famous Hungarian desert known throughout the world and adored in Romania at any fair or festival has its own “secrets” of its preparation. Shaped like a pipe, made of wheat flour, milk, eggs, yeast, butter and sugar and seasoned with various spices and flavors, it will make you want to try it more than once; the dough is stretched into strips and rolled on a wood cylinder that in placed on top of a charcoal grill and revolved permanently, to bake evenly. The sugar that is “splash” all over the dough is roasted, then the “pipes” are seasoned with different flavors: cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut, vanilla. The name “kurtoskalacs” comes from kürtő – which means “chimney” and kalács – doughnut. According to the legend, the first kurtoskalacs was prepared in Szekler Land for misleading the Tatar invaders, deprived of food, but it is considered that its  “ancestor” is the German Spiesskuchen gingerbread baked on wooden rollers, spoken in a manuscript of Heidelberg. The first recipe that appears under the name of kurtoskalacs is found in Countess Maria Mikes’s cookbook, in 1784.

Hunt the prehistoric aquatic monster on the Saint Ana Lake

Lake St. Ana is the only volcanic lake in Romania, located in the crater of the massive volcanic massif Puciosu Ciomatu Mare. A trip here is almost obligatory, whether you go hiking or by quads, followed by a spectacular full of adrenaline two kilometers long descent on the mountaincart and mountainbike.

You can do several water sports on the quiet lake, which has a maximum depth of 6.4 meters: put on a neoprene suit, grab a plate and try to keep your balance on it without falling into blue water. It is pretty difficult but it’s totally fun. Like any place of its kind, Saint Ana Lake has a legend of its own, one of them telling about a young woman who was to be married against her will by parents. Because she did not want the man proposed as her future husband, she threw herself into the lake on the wedding night, which then received her name. Another legend tells about two ogre brothers who had two castles, one of them having a terribly beautiful chaise, won at a game of dice. Not to be outdone, the other brother put another wager that he will come with a chaise that was going to be even more beautiful. He got one and hitched eight gorgeous girls instead of horses. They failed to move the heavy carriage and the tyrant got angry and began to lash the young girls. One of the eight girls named Ana, cursed him and the curse was fulfilled: the place was devastated by a severe storm, after which the castle of the tyrant and his chariot were ablaze. On the place of the ranked castle was then formed a tranquil blue lake.

Another interesting urban legend states that a water monster similar to Nessie has been seen swimming along several times. It is believed to be a species of ancient dinosaurs that survived the mysteriously extinction and lives peacefully inside the waters of this lake, but divers that had been sent to look for it found nothing.

Besides the wonderful traditions and interesting legends, the surroundings are truly marvelous, so you have plenty of reasons to come along and plan a holiday here, in Covasna County.

Photo source:

Picture 1: montaniarzi.ro; Picture 2: nauticamagazine.ro; Picture 3: wemakechimneycake.co.uk; Picture 4: prinlume.ro; Picture 5: prinlume.ro; Picture 6: hailabord.ro