If you visit Maramureş, it’s definitely worth making a stop at the wonderful little town of Baia Sprie, just 10 km from Baia Mare. For two reasons: the potter and the Blue Lake.
Daniel Leş, ‘the slave of the earth’, was born into a family of potters and painters in 1972. Now, he has his own workshop in Baia Sprie, at Casa Olarului (The Potter’s House), which is also a pension, run by Daniel’s wife Daniela. ‘Clay. Craft. Soul.’ is his motto: the craft of pottery he describes as ‘that act of enlivening the earth with a gesture of “imitatio dei”; a form of expression by which the artist reflects his inner universe’.
Daniel also offers pottery workshops for children. But whether you get your hands dirty or not – your stay at Casa Olarului will be memorable for sure. You will also get fed well – every breakfast and dinner I have had there has been excellent. On a side note: Daniel also features as Jesus in the annual Easter procession in various places around Romania.
The Blue Lake
From Casa Olarului, it is just a 30-minute walk up through the woods to Lacul Albastru, the Blue Lake. It is a collapsed copper mine and is a great little lake if you want to go for a swim. It doesn’t look blue all the time though – it changes colour. It was pretty green on the day I visited it. There are three routes up to the lake; I recommend going up by the yellow circle trail and coming down by the red cross trail. All trails start from the main road.
Take the no. 8 bus from Baia Mare to Baia Sprie. Casa Olarului is a short walk from the main road, at Strada Luncii, nr.1.
Like what you’re reading? Subscribe and receive an email notification for each new blog post.