Poienile Izei - Maramures

In 1968 I set out from London on a student ticket to Belgrade accompanied by my Honda 50 scooter and a miniscule tent. I traveled 50 miles to the Romanian border through eerily quiet Serbian villages. Crossing into Transylvania was a revelation. I found myself in a wonderful landscape surrounded by wild flowers and peaceful mountains. People were friendly and hospitable. That place and those mountains got under my skin in a way no other place has ever done.

 

40 years later I went back and to my amazement discovered little had changed in the countryside. I ended up staying with a family in Vadu Izei  in the county of Maramures, some 70 miles north of Transylvania, and was taken to see the uncles distillery 100m from the house. I was hooked!! As a whisky photographer in Scotland , what I saw in front of me was unbelievable- like being transported back to the Scottish highlands in 1820, when every family had its own still. I felt myself compelled to make a record of this before it disappears which it inevitably will.

 

The slide show on the next page is a taster of images from this project taken in all seasons. There are many interior shots of Cazane ( distilleries). Hopefully the cosy soporific atmosphere comes across to the viewer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     camping with a Honda 50  1968                                                                                                                                                                                                 transylvania 1968

The Village Distilleries of Maramures - A Romanian Odyssey