We were planning on trekking in Transylvania, Romania, in September, like we did the year previous. But it was a hot summer that year, indeed, the hottest September ever. Temperatures in Transylvania were well over 30.
So we waited until the beginning of October before leaving. By that time, the temperatures were in the low 20’s. Half way through October however, it suddenly turned cold – one of the coldest autumns on record. Cold and wet.
The change came suddenly. I remember it well. We arrived in a village called Lazare on the Monday and went for a walk in the nearby hills. It was hot and we were wearing only light trousers and shirts.
In the course of the following week, that changed dramatically.
On Tuesday we woke up to a misty grey sky and rain. The hills were too muddy to ascend, so we went for a walk over a back road leading out of the village….and on the way saw a farmer battling with his horse-drawn dray in the rain….
And another wheeling his bike through the mud…
In village back lanes, the dogs moped about in the water and mud……….
On Wednesday we hitched a ride with a gypsy couple into a nearby town and stayed there a night. In the drab weather we walked to the outskirts of town, where the suburbs met what was left of the industry – and unique kind of landscape in itself.
On Thursday we went to the bus station and caught a bus over a high range of mountains – which were deep under snow…… to our surprise.
Behind that one high range however there was far less snow, although in the village we stayed in, it was nevertheless very cold – around 10 during the day and -5 at nights. Many of the houses had small graveyards – past generations buried on their own farm….
Yes, autumn had well and truly begun. Fooled by the hot September and ten sunny days in October, the trees were deaf to the song of the seasons. A sudden burst of cold and grey and wet sounded the alarm. With an almost exaggerated vigour they made up for lost time; their leaves suddenly changed colour
From this point on, the autumn paths were paved with wet leaves, brown, yellow, red. blue – until the first snows came.
And they too came early that year.
Autumn paths through snow forests……
See also :Autumn Paths – part 2 (Romania)