Dreaming of Wolves

Local transportation in the Barsa Valley, near Zarnesti, Romania. ©Jürgen Sauer

Traditional life and wildlife in Transylvania: under threat

The automobile does not yet dominate transportation in this rural region of Europe. Consequently, suburban sprawl is practically non-existent and large tracts of forest still carpet much of the mountainous terrain of the Romanian Carpathians. Here large carnivores have found a refuge: Romania contains more wolves, bears, and lynx than any other region of Europe west of Russia. Economics are changing rapidly, however, especially after Romania's admission into the EU in 2007, and development is infiltrating the region.

The Barsa valley lies along the northern edge of Piatra Craiului (King's Stone) National Park, and is primarily used for grazing livestock, but trophy homes are beginning to spring up in the valley and on the surrounding slopes. In Dreaming of Wolves you will encounter an ancient, traditional way of life that still clings to many rural areas of Romania. As you read entertaining anecdotes about local shepherds, farmers, and villagers, as well as fascinating synopses of the complex and turbulent history of Romania, you will discover how the dramatic history of the country and the daily lives of it's people have been long colored by the presence of wolves.

© Alan E. Sparks. All rights reserved.