Wednesday, 6 June
We left Budapest on an early train from Keleti Station, heading west five hours to the Romanian border city of Oradea. This is one of the places Jane's family lived during the war years before being deported to the camps. It is a place that also kept losing its identity. If you asked Jane's father about his nationality, he would answer "what year?" Hungary became Romania became Hungary became Romania. But it was always Transylvania.
We have been sampling the foods and smells of Jane's mother's kitchen as we travel, passing through a countryside where fields of grain, vegetables, cows, deer and pheasant are abundant. Small, neat red roofed houses dot the terrain, giving way at the city's edge to drab Soviet era apartment blocks. At Oradea's train station we get a ride to the hotel from a Tennessee couple who also took the train, a nice start to our 700 mile journey through the Carpathian Mountains. We hope to hear the gray wolves as we go, as there are still at least 4000 of them.