Maramureș and Bukovina, the two most archaic regions of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were traditionally separated from each other by the north-south range of the Carpathians and the border running on it, but were also tied by the more than thirty ethnic groups living on both sides of the mountain. The Hutsul and Hasidic loggers floated their rafts on both side of the Carpathians, along the Tisza and Cheremosh, the German and Hungarian miners had settlements on both sides, the Romanian peasants of Maramureș went on pilgrimage to the monasteries of Bukovina, and the Hasidic community of Sighetu Marmației was also directed for a long time from the Bukovinian Vizhnitsa.
The border now runs from east to west, cutting in two both regions, whose one half belongs to the Ukraine, and the other to Romania. Their ethnic diversity also declined, but being border regions, and in the absence of industrialization, they still largely retained their traditional culture, wooden architecture, and of course their stunningly beautiful mountain landscapes.
Between May 24 and 29 we start to the discovery of this still largely unknown world. We enter Maramureș through the medieval city of Baia Mare, we tour the Romanian and Hutsul wooden churches included in the World Heritage List, visit the abandoned Hasidic Jewish cemteries, on the market of Sighetu Marmației we still taste something from the former ethnic diversity, go to see the merry cemetery of Sapănța, by crossing the Ukrainian border we have a lunch in the geographical center of Europe, walk to the source of the Tisza, see the beautiful Hasidic cemeteries of Kuty and Vizhnitsa, spend a day in Czernowitz, the former capital of Bukovina with thirty nationalities and Viennese atmosphere, and at Sireth we return to Romania again to visit some of the richly painted Bukovinian Renaissance princely monasteries, also included in the World Heritage List.
Apart from Czernowitz, where we spend a night in hotel, our accommodations will be everywhere in the mountains, in traditional guesthouses. The participation fee for the six-day tour (accommodation + minibus + guide) is 300 euro. Registration and deadline of payment: May 15, Wednesday.