The Spray discovered no new continents on her voyage, nor did she seek new worlds. But to find one’s way to lands already discovered is a good thing. No king, no country, no treasury at all, was taxed for the voyage of the Spray, and she accomplished all she undertook to do.
JOSHUA SLOCUM, the first man to singlehandedly
circumnavigate the globe from 1895 – 1898
EMERALD WINDS waft o’er the oceanic expanses of Carpathian forests, I sense their fierceness and power. The time has come to raise your flag, little brother! Sail and become a child of Carpathia! You have no more excuses; I have so praised the pilgrim games, Romania, and her mountains even more. The sooner you set sail, the more likely you are to glimpse that land as I have known it. Hesitate and you may forfeit all and have nowhere to go. For even in Romania, people are destroying the wilderness at incredible speed; that which has been called progress hurtles ever onward like some unhuman force, a charging, unstoppable boulder. But a beautiful sort of poverty is still to be found among the Romanian mountains, as is the solitude of Asia-like plains. Shepherds there still speak a clear, hard Roman tongue and their boots, coats, and cheeses are still homemade.
Many more beautiful lands likely exist whose mountains are mightier, valleys longer, pastures and forests vaster, and lakes deeper. But, for now, there are no other such places you can go to whenever you wish, whenever you feel burdened and wistful or yearn for mountain summits, solitude, freedom. Decide to go, and in a few short hours you are sitting aboard a train, celestial carriage, bound for Transylvania, Wallachia or Moldavia. No need for prior self-abasement, months of begging, bribery, and extortion. And none of the disappointment that awaits when your request to travel to mountains far afield is rejected. Freedom and independence, yet another reason I love Romania! And once you have circumnavigated all the Carpathian Mountains and played all the games, you will better understand the verses of poet Friedrich Nietzsche from his century-old book on holy Zarathustra, “My wild wisdom became pregnant on the lonesome mountains; on the rough stones did she bear the youngest of her young. Now runneth she foolishly in the arid wilderness, and seeketh the soft sward—mine old, wild wisdom!”