After a smooth 2 hour train ride I was met at the station depot by Mr. Saure, an agronomist engineer who volunteered to show me around town. He spoke very little English – so we headed right to the local museum where we were met by Dan who spoke very good English. This museum is not your typical village museum – rather it encompasses 40 acres of which a number is set aside for orchards, a demo vineyard and many building representing the types of residences you would find in various parts of the country.
Mr. Saure then introduced me to several of his friends – one a farmer had setup a small table in front of his farm and house and was selling fresh tomatoes and grapes by the side of the road. Then over to another friend who was whittling away his day by fishing for carp in his small pond and drinking beer conveniently cooled in the icy water from a spring on his property.
Then it was on to meet my host family. The grandparents – their son and his wife and their two children all live in the same house. No one in the family owns a car so they bike to work or walk as needed. With an orchard, a number of animals and a small farm, much of what they need comes from their land. We have fresh warm milk in the morning and evening as their cow is milked twice daily.
Making spirits from locally grown prunes is very common in this area. Like other families, the family I was staying with had a number of large containers of fermenting prunes in their backyard.