Each summer an entire class of Flinn Scholars engages in a group study-travel seminar. This year’s seminar, held in Hungary and western Romania, runs from late in May to mid-June. Here’s a day-by-day account.
Patrick Martin (’11)
Happy Birthday Shantanu! This beautiful day was spent half in Ti^rgu Mure(s,) and half in a nearby nomad camp. Our tour of the city brought us to three beautiful cathedrals. The first was a formerly Catholic, now Calvinist cathedral in which the only decorations were dozens of crests mounted on the walls representing important Transylvanian nobility, but otherwise the walls were completely white, contrasting with the ornate cathedrals of other faiths we had seen. After the Catholics had lost that church they built another one which we visited second, which was the most decorated church we had seen. Unfortunately we couldn’t walk all the way in, but we could see the ceiling covered in depictions of Biblical figures and stories. Our final church was the Orthodox church, which was the most decorated church we had seen and ever saw. The walls were covered with portaits with highly reflective halos that I can imagine being even more brilliant at noon when the Sun would shine through the stained glass Jesus on the ceiling.
The second half of the day was spent at the nomad camp, which involved a short but steep hike up a large hill to a beautiful view. Wild mint grew everywhere, providing a wonderful smell to distract from the nettles that attacked a few of us. Shortly after returning from our hike we were provided with mountain trout for dinner followed by Shantanu’s birthday cakes! Our time at the nomad camp finished around a campfire that could not pop microwave popcorn at all and the largest cultural shock of the trip: there are no marshmallows in Romania.