Transylvania Pilgrims

In August, 2004, twelve pilgrims from the First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist of Bridgewater, Massachusetts made the congregation's first visit to its partner Unitarian congregation in Haranglab, Transylvania. The travelers included two children, three teens, and seven adults. The trip involved flying from Boston to Bucharest, Romania, visiting our partner congregation and many Unitarian and other significant historic sites in Transylvania, and returning via Budapest, Hungary.

Click the dates in the itenerary below for photos and stories. Also see my August 2010 PowerPoint presentation, and feel free to contact me with any questions.
The Pilgrims
Pilgrims ready for departure from Bridgewater

NOTE: All video clips require the free Real Player plug-in. Some require you to turn your head sideways. The resolution of the web-based video is not great. If you would like higher-resolution clips (in Windows Media format) on a CD, feel free to contact James.

August 12
After an overnight flight from Boston via London, we arrived at Bucharest Otopeni airport, where we met our guides and drivers. We depart for the Carpathian resort town of Busteni, Sinaia, where we spent our first night.

August 13
Morning tour of Peles Castle in Sinaia, former summer residence of the Romanian royal family. Cable car ride to mountain top near Sinaia. Overnight in the fortress city of Segesvar (a UNESCO World Heritage site).

August 14
Morning free time in Segezvar, followed by a visit to the fortress church at Biertan (another UNESCO World Heritage site). Early evening arrival in the village of Haranglab. Dinner and overnight with host families of our partner congregation.
Haranglab Parnter Church August 15 (Sun)
Morning services in Haranglab with partner church, followed by afternoons with our host families and a dinner at the parish house.

August 16
Explore partner village and visit nearby churches. Overnight Haranglab.

August 17
We visited Szeben and Gyulafehervar. Overnight in the guest house at the Unitarian guest house in Torocko.

August 18
had a  hike and picnic lunch in Torda Gorge and a scenic drive through Torocksoszentgyorgy, th Golden Valley, followed by a very brief visit to Kolozsvar  on our way to Panzio (B&B) in Kis-kapus.

August 19
We visited a small shopping area near Kis-Kapus in the morning, and spent the afternoon in downtown Kolozsvar. We returned to the Kiskapus Panzio for dinner, a birthday party for Paloma, and our last night in the country.

August 20 - 21 (Fri - Sat)
We departed for Budapest after a lovely breakfast at our Panzio in Kisskapus. It was a bit disconcerting to be driving toward the border of a country whose government had collapsed the day before, but we did not experience any problems We explored Budapest in the morning, prior to departure via London. Our luggage liked the trip so much that it spent a few extra days there!

Note from James
Unless otherwise indicated, the photos and captions presented here are the responsibility of geographer and UU James Hayes-Bohanan, one of twelve pilgrims on this journey. (My thanks to all of you for your patience with my constant shutterbugging!) The twelve of us were cared for by two drivers, two translators, PCC travel guru John Dale, our hosts in Haranglab, and numerous local guides, ministers, and hosts. Every place we went has three or four names, and everything we did was done in two or three languages. Plus, I'm terrible with names in the best of circumstances. No photograph lies, but the stories told by each photo are subject to interpretation. I invite fellow travelers, our hosts who might be viewing these pages, and others with experience in the region to share any corrections, rebutals, or elaborations at

All photos presented here were originally shot at 2MB resolution, which is adequate for 4x6 prints. I have not posted the higher-resolution versions, but I would be happy to share them on request, along with many photographs from the trip that are not included on this web site and higher-resolution versions of the videos.

Finally, have no fear: county maps of Romania (and other maps as I get them ready) are coming to this site!

Thanks for exploring this Transylvania site. Click below to return to: