Sounds of Romania: A Cowboy and his Trumpet

On day one of my hike into the Rodna Mountains last week, I thought I heard a trumpet or other brass instrument in the distance. Soon after, we saw a shelter appearing on the horizon, which turned out to belong to a cowboy and his son. They herded cows and horses; made cheese and kept a little lamb beside the fire in their very snug hut. The cowboy also turned out to be the trumpet player – or whatever it’s called. 

He kindly offered us shelter against the rain and offered me and my friend, and the two loyal stray dogs that were following us, some home-made cheese. And on request, he was happy to play his instrument again – although he kept saying nu e bun astăzi– meaning ‘It doesn’t sound good today’. But I loved it. Hope you will, too. Here it comes:


Such a wonderful and generous man. Maybe the people here are so merciful, kind and hospitable because the landscape and climate can be so merciless. People really look after one another here. That is what the word respect originally meant: it comes from Latin respectere; to look back. Maybe we need to return to that definition, and learn to really see and welcome the other.

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