Thursday, November 17, 2011

Surprising Signs # 7 - Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania

Travelling in rural parts of Romania can at times feel like you've suddenly warped back to the 19th century, and nowhere is that experience more awe-inducing than in the northern region of Maramures. Horses and homemade wooden carts remain a major form of local transport, not just in village laneways but also on major paved roads where they share the crowded lanes with passing Dacias and other horseless carriages of the modern steel variety. Driving on such roads requires added vigilance and a sense of adventure - you may need to brake regularly not only for horse carts but also for random herds of sheep or goats blocking both lanes.
This sign in the outskirts of the city of Sighetu Marmatiei indicates that horse-drawn carts are not permitted beyond this point, since the city streets are too narrow to allow cars to get safely past them. These signs are common in many towns and cities in Romania where it needs to be made clear that modern vehicle transport must take precedence and that there is to be no horsing around. :)

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