B R E B
Sometimes you just fall in love with a place you visit..... When I visited Breb it was love at first sight. And, it looks like this love turned out to be mutual :-) Breb is a rural fairytale located in the northern region of Romania named Maramures, at the foot of the cockcrest peak of the Gutai Mountains. Maramures is one of the best kept Europe's secrets, the place where the time hasn't moved for decades, a place where traditions, wooden art and human kindness are well preserved. Close to the Ukrainian border, Maramures covers 3381 SQ km of valleys, beautiful villages, hills and mountains (up to 2303 m high). On this small surface are preserved over 100 wooden churches (8 of them are listed on the UNESCO list) Maramures is also called 'the land of wood'. You can find the wooden art everywhere, it's hard to believe that this beautiful art is made by a human being.
Breb is one of the villages where time has stood still. There are very few cars and the locals either walk or ride in horse-drawn wagons. The rocky roads will lead you through the village and you will pass by the most beautiful wooden houses with wooden roof tiles and veranda's painted in different colours.
While walking through Breb you will get in touch with the rural life soon just by looking around, seeing the inhabitants living their daily life. They eat what they grow or raise, build homes from trees in the surrounding forest and drink water from deep wells in their yards. The family cow, which lives it's entire life inside their barn, provides milk each day, from which yoghurt, butter are made. Goat milk is made into delicious, pungent cheese. You see chickens, goats, pigs, dogs and cats living in harmony with their owners. Two small shops in the village sell the few necessities that must be purchased, such as olive oil, batteries etc.
But for the most part there is a subsistence lifestyle. Most residents have electricity and flush toilets, but many of the women still wash their clothes by hand in streams, and when the brutal winters descend, wood-fired ceramic stoves provide the only source of heat. I can describe so much more about this magical village, but as you might know....sometimes words just aren't enough. This is something you have to feel, smell and see with your eyes.