I followed the trail up through a pine forest towards a peak and it began to snow.
The snow was so heavy that I was forced to beat a retreat.
Battling wind and cold rain, I came to the outskirts of a village.
On an unsealed road, wet and muddy, I saw water flooding down channels between the houses; the sound filled the air and voices seemed to come from nowhere.
Rounding a bend, I passed a small shop.
Opposite was a blunt looking concrete hall, communist- era heritage. The door was open and the air filled with the sound of men singing. I peered through a window and saw 20, 30 men sitting either side of a long wooden table, tankards of beer in front of them.
They seemed to know the words and tune to the song by heart – they sang in near perfect harmony.
A little later, I was brought to a halt by another kind of singing: a loud clacking and honking.
Spanning the road was a large flock of geese. They were white geese, with orange beaks. They looked elegant in the grey and the rain.
They seemed strangely excited.
There was no one around. No one seemed to be leading them or herding them (herders are a common sight in Romania). But they must have been domesticated geese. Wild geese would never choose a village backstreet to land in.
Had these geese escaped from their compound?
Irresistibly lured outside by the rain and the sound of the swelling waters in the nearby creeks?
I stood there and watched them, engulfed in their music.
I edged around them.
They stayed where they were, in no mood to go anywhere.
Singing in the rain.
See also ‘Schiphol Geese’: