Haranglab Pilgrimage
August 19, 2004

Photos by James Hayes-Bohanan, unless otherwise noted

My friend Julie observed that this was a day that I must have been feeling poorly (we seemed to each take a turn), because I was taking relatively few photographs. I do, however, have a few photos and observations to share.

As we drove from Kis-kapus to go shopping, we passed a caravan of RVs from Germany. Some even had the caravan camel motif! I felt like I was back in the U.S., except that truly outsized RVs were not to be found. On the way to Koloszvar later in the morning, we stopped in a convenience store/gas station. Because there are no old convenience stores in Romania, they all seem especially clean and shiny.
Caravan C-Store!

Paloma loves to shop, especially on her birthday!

Throughout the journey, we had resisted buying crafts, because our guides told us we would have an opportunity to get the best prices and selection near the end of our trip. We had a brief but enjoyable time exploring the shops here. It is located directly on the highway, where the normal rules apply (i.e., none), so extra care had to be taken.

I was intrigued by the vests in the shop in the photo below (right). The shopkeeper assumed I was German, so I finally got to use a language I know (somewhat)! I paid her in U.S. currency, and she was delighted to give me change in small U.S. bills. They are nearly impossible to cash in Romania, so when I presented her with a chance to get rid of them, she evidently ran home to get them!

High roof Vests

In Koloszvar, we visited the First Unitarian church, where Francis David proclaimed that there is only one God. Our translator Reika's father (whom we did not get to meet) is the minister of this historic church. The table at the left commemorates over four centuries of this history of this church; on the right, Reika discusses a stone in memory of Francis David.
Anniversary The rock
Flowers and organ
This sanctuary is especially beautiful and nicely adorned, though simpler than most of the churches we saw of this size. We did not hear the organ, but is was impressive just to see.

This particular church has several ornate collection boxes. I do not think they intend to collect more money this way; it may simply be that each box is quite nice to look at.

Collection box

Outside the church office we found this U.S.-style sports car. It has a Pontiac Grand Am nameplate, but more closely resembles a TransAm. After a week in Europe, such a large sports car seemed completely out of place. Reika told us that the characters who tend to drive these are a lot like mafiosos, but "at least mafiosos dress nicely."
We were fortunate to meet Reika's brother, who shares a birthday with Paloma (and with Bill Clinton, Tipper Gore, and Ogden Nash).

Back on the street, Kristen took a little rest, and did not even notice the doll that was eyeing her through the window!
I have to assume that it was in honor of our visit that one of our Dutch hosts in Kis-kapus wore his USA shorts!

We knew enough about Hungarian hospitality that we were able to assure Paloma that her birthday would be recognized. She was in a somewhat crabby mood that morning and said, "Yeah, but they won't have candles!" We did not answer that challenge, but were grateful and a bit surprised that evening, when our hosts presented an extraordinary ice cream cake (melon flavor - very refreshing), complete with the familiar birthday candles.

I thought that our host looked remarkably like former Baltimore Mayor William Donald Shaeffer.

The cake!