As a tour guide, I had many chances to stay overnight in all kind of places all around Romania. I’ve stayed in 5 and 4-star hotels – taking advantages of their many offers, from king size beds to wifi Internet, in medieval building, some of them 800 years old, or in traditional guest houses, where the owners’ hospitality can match the beauty of a room.
Well, nothing matches my small-2 kilos tent with its tiny veranda pitched beneath a ridge of Fagaras at an altitude of 2400m (7874 ft) on a rainy day. The silence, disturbed by the rain drops only, the fresh air, the smell of the rich grass, the staggering alpine landscape and the emotions of a secluded adventure are by far much better than a 5-star hotel.
Despite my tastes regarding types of accommodation, I must admit there is a place which impressed me a lot. It is Casa cu Zorele or Morning Glory House. While driving 100km/h between Brasov and Sighisora, at a certain point you’ll pass by the small village of Crit located in a valley. From the main road you can see its old fortified church and the reddish tiled roofs of the scattered houses. Few travelers observe this village, fewer visit this quaint place.
If your curiosity, or something else, pushes you towards the village of Crit, once at the outskirts of this place you’ll have the impression you made a journey hundreds kilometers long and now you are in a very remote place of Transylvania. Deeper in the village, on the dirt roads, where the dust behind a wooden cart traps like in a phantasmagoria the shimmering light of the mornings, you’ll have the feeling you made a trip not just for hundreds of kilometers but a trip back in time hundreds of years.
Trapped by each detail of this world you’ll observe the old houses built by the Germans, some of them 200 years old, now dwellings of gypsies and Romanians, the animals – cows, horses and many others, walking freely on the roads or the people greeting and scrutinizing you in the same time.
In order to make this place even more interesting and attractive, a couple from Brasov had quit the jobs and adventured in buying an old German house in Crit. From the outside it looks like an ordinary house of this village, although it’s clear from the first glimpse somebody properly takes care of it. But once in the interior courtyard, you are astonished by the medieval feeling of this place. Everything looks neat but in the same time very old and in very good conditions. You would say the first owners of this place have just left the house and in the evening you would expect to see them coming back to their house. Each detail is like a rural symphony of the Saxon life, the ceramic tiles embellishing the windows frames, the wild flowers and plants of the courtyard bringing a corner of the nature in the yard, the old door handles reminding of the ancient crafts, the barn telling the visitors this was a rural house.
They renovated this house taking in consideration the traditional methods of building a German house, adding to each room a private bathroom. The rooms, quite large, respect the old atmosphere of the Saxons who colonized Transylvania 800 years ago, the German furniture adding a beautiful touch to this atmosphere.
To this beautiful renovation of an old German house I must add the owners who manage to become the main attraction of this place and it is quite hard to do this when taking in consideration this forgotten and bucolic village. This family, middle-age, is a great pleasure to be with for a couple of days or more. The owners, educated, speaking French, Italian and English, will be more than glad to give you information, talk with you about these places, to assist you with good advises.
The Lady of the house is not just a pleasant presence but a great cook, her meals being just precious and delicious moments. By any reason, don’t skip their dinners and breakfasts. On the other hand, the man of the house can arrange different entertainment activities. He can arrange a wooden cart ride in the village and its surroundings, he can organize for you a bicycle tour in the vicinity or he can take you to observe old and dyeing crafts like the one of the charcoal makers.
Of course, I don’t like to transform my recommendations into beautiful apotheosis and I’ll try to find things I didn’t like. Well, there is no one. Despite all these, I must say I didn’t like owners’ negative attitude regarding a certain city of Romania. It is good to criticize things that are not as they should be and Romanians have this quality in criticizing themselves but rejecting the values of a place just because it has many other problems it’s just a mistake. I understand their mistake ’cause I did it myself, too.
In the end I must say if you want to dive in the history of Transylvania, to observe the old architecture, to enjoy tasty meals and have interesting conversation or just to relax then this is the place: Casa cu Zorele.
Web page: www.casa-cu-zorele.ro
Location: Crit – 31km from Sighisoara on the national road DN13
by Daniel Gheorghita
Licensed Tour Guide