Time to move on, so we loaded up our bikes, left the cobbled streets of Sighişoara behind and headed south east to the small Saxon village of Viscri. One of the oldest and best preserved fortified churches of the area is to be found in this sleepy little village – and on the UNESCO World Heritage list. If you could close your eyes to the inevitable pylons and handful of cars it was a trip back in time to a simpler, and arguably less complicated, way of life. Pastel houses, set back from the road, formed a wide avenue and an occasional horse and cart trundled by. Ducks and geese owned this highway, heckling us as we approached, but more than happy to forgo their position and settle into the small stream trickling down the wide, grassy verge. Turning off the dirt onto cobbles we headed up to the twelfth century church and its heavy fortifications. The view from the top of the main tower across rural Transylvania was beautiful (if only the light had been better for photography ), a panoramic vista that stretched for miles in every direction.…. and the view down the inside was one to lighten your footsteps as the floor creaked, the slender hand railing swayed and holes in all four floors provided a shortcut to terra firma. After whiling away a pleasant few hours we had to leave, so we reluctantly turned our wheels to the dusty winding track that lead us past sheep and cattle milling around water troughs and out into the gently undulating countryside we’d surveyed from the tower.
(All images are copyright to Noeline Smith)