I want you to think back to when you were a child and had a big box of Crayolas with an assortment of colors. Do you remember all the colors? Do you remember the color Voronet Blue? It's a bright blue, the color of the sky. Think back. If you remember or don't remember, did you ever wonder where the names of these colors came from?
We did and one day in Romania we came upon the origin of the color name 'Voronet Blue'.
We left Bucharest for Romania's north-east, an area known as Southern Bucovnia, to spend some time in the countryside and to visit the famous painted monasteries of this region. We notice time and time again that big cities have a lot to offer but it's nature, mountains, animals and houses of worship that give us the peace we ultimately seek and we are reminded why we are on this trip.
Our first stop was Voronet Monastery. It was 2 kilometers south of the small town of Gura Humorului so we decided to walk. On our way we noticed that every single woman was wearing a babushka, that there were more horsecarts then cars on the roads, and that animals were all over the roads. Chickens, cows, horses and small kittens -- they all shared the road with us.
We chased and squeezed every animal in sight and finally arrived at the monastery. The breath-taking exterior frescoes had a bright blue as their background, the color now known as Voronet Blue the world over, and found on those Crayola crayons.
We spent a few hours there just relaxing, enjoying the frescoes and monks around us and then decided to set up our tent by the Moldova River. We cooked our traditional dinner -- pasta with greenbeans and nutella on bread for dessert -- played Cribbage (thanks to Bart and Kristin for this inspiration) and fell asleep with the sound of the river at our feet. Life doesn't get much sweeter.
The next day we visited Humor Monastery and Moldovita Monastery both similar in style to Voronet -- tall, thin, wooden buildings with simple walls, and shingle roofs, peaked three times in the typical Orthodox style -- but each unique in its own way and each with different colored roses in bloom in its courtyard. The high fortified walls around each monastery reminded us of the 'Muslim threat' that once pervaded these lands.
It's times like these that we remember the color Voronet Blue from our childhood and that it's the simple things in life that make us most joyful: animals, the smell of roses, making dinner together and taking time to be still.