For everyone there is a place where the soul feels at home. For me that place is the Danube Delta. The memory of the summers spent there, in a small fishermen village on Sulina branch, from an early age and until adolescence, is something I cherish deeply.
On our most recent trip to Romania, a few days ago, I knew there wasn’t enough time to go to the Danube Delta, yet I wanted so much to get a taste of it. For this we drove to Jurilovca, a quaint, picturesque village some 50 kilometers away from Tulcea (the gateway to the Danube Delta). The traditional whitewashed houses, with window sills painted in mesmerising shades of blue, with carved, wooden gables, and surrounded by colourful flowers – all visible marks of the Russian-Lipovan influences in the area – sent me right into the village of my childhood, a Lipovan settlement itself.
I could not believe my eyes when entering the yard and then the house in which we were to spend the night in Jurilovca. La Lipoveni is a treasure, a dream come true for all those willing to experiment something genuinely authentic and traditional. It’s like staying in some relative’s house, expecting to hear them shouting from the kitchen that lunch is ready, at the same time asking you to close the door to stop flies get in.
Everything about this place – the house, the vegetable garden, the trees, the flowers, even the cement pavement outside, with the cracks made by the passing of time – reminded me of the house in the Danube Delta where I used to spend my summers as a child.
At night, the sky was just as clear and full of stars as I could remember it from those times when my father would show me the the constellations. In the morning, waking up here and having a coffee in the garden, smelling the peonies and listening to the song of crickets – that was pure bliss. My soul was at home.