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11/50.- Pears for "Horinca"

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The second day of our visit to Maramures we took the Mara, Iza, Cosau tour accompanied by our guide and by now friend Dan Comanescu. This is an 8-hour tour and includes most of the tourist places alongside the Mara, Iza and Cosau valleys, as well as Sighetu Marmatiei and Sapinta.

Once we enter Old Maramures through the Gutii pass, we will stop by at the Desesti church (1770). We'll admire the cross in Berbesti and continue our trip to Sighet, where we will visit the Maramures Ethnographic Museum. From here, we will continue by our trip to the Merry Cemetary of Sapinta. Then return to Sighet, where we will stop for lunch at the famous Casa Iurca de Calinesti restaurant. Afterwards we will continue to Vadu Izei and go up alongside one of the most beautiful valleys of Maramures: Iza valley. The first stop will be in Birsana where we will visit the monastic compound. Our next objective is the Hill Church of Ieud (1364), considered to be the oldest wooden church in all of Maramures County. We then return to Ieud and Birsana, and we proceed towards Calinesti. Here we will visit the Josani (or Caieni) church (1663), unique because of the paintings by Alexandru Ponehalski (1754). From Calinesti we enter the Cosau Valley and we can admire the wooden gates and the water mills of Sirbi and Budesti.

In this picture I photographed some pears set aside for "horinca" which we found by the road closed to a household. Local name for twice distilled brandy, "Horinca" is the Maramures version of palinka and the second time distillation of traditional and national Romanian alcoholic beverage "tuica" made primarily from plums but also from pears or apricots. Thus "horinca" is much stronger than "tuica" and commonly homemade in most of Romanian villages in Maramures.

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