Wood charring at the Kalonda top:
From the beginning of the 19th century wood charring was a home industry in the woodlands al over the Carpathians basin. Burners looked for flat clearings in the woods. The cut wood was put near and on each other forming a pile. This is called the "boksa" and then they covered this pile with earth and tree leaves. There is a hole inside the pile which is filled with stickers or dry tree branches. The wood pile is lit from the top. It glows very slowly for 8-12 days. After this they uncover the pile from the earth and cover it with coal powder, till the fire dies out completely. The coal is transported in small sacks. A few decades ago people were transporting coal from one town or village to another by horse cart and their products were bought by smiths, locksmiths and housewives. Today wood charring people produce coal only for industrial orders.
The name of Corund is inseparable from the folk ceramics and pot industry.
"Corund" is a brand name. Some people in Seklerland believe that special dishes like stuffed cabbage leaves are the best if they are prepared in a pot from Corund. The whole main street of the village is a pottery market. Unfortunately the real folk products are less and the cheap useless stuff, the kitsch is more and more. If you want to buy some real ceramics buy only from famous and old craftsmen. Typical motives are the birds on a branches or deer or different flowers and the tree of life. The original colors are on white base yellow and brown motives but the white with blue is also popular. Near the pottery we can admire the tinder crafts carving a great variety of handbags, caps and tablecloths. Not far from Corund there is a cliff called Firtos and many legends tell about this place. In the same area you can find a curative mineral water spring containing iron, indicated for people suffering from stomach-problems. Every year on the first weekend of August there is a special pottery market called "Arcsoi vasar", where potters from the area try to present and sell their products.
Praid is the centre of the Sekler 'Salt Country', one of the most important salt-mine places of the Carpathian Basin, at the foot of Gurghiu Mountain, at 500 m altitude.
Praid is surrounded by salt mountains which give the salt for the salt mining industry. Measures show that a 2600 m low salt block has more than 2 billion ton of salt. The salt mine is open for visitors, you can get down by bus which goes in every 15-20 minutes. The huge salt rooms and glamorous salt walls offer an amazing sight. The mine is not only opened for tourists but also for asthmatic people. There is a chapel inside the mine from 1993. There is a well equipped playground for children so they cure themselves while they are playing. There is a souvenir shop, a cafe and an exhibition. There are many classical music and other concerts all year round. You go down through 1,500 m tunnel down into 80 m depth, into the stomach of the salt dome. The average temperature is 16 C so you should wear warm clothes.
Not far from the entrance of the salt mine there is a lido/bath with salty water which has a very curative effect on rheumatic problems. Look at the site below for more information: http://www.salinapraid.ro
Visiting the salt mine is not advisable for people who suffer from high blood pressure, heart diseases, neuroses, claustrophobia, for drunken people and pregnant women.
Odorheiu Secuiesc - Lupeni - Corund - Praid (about 45 km)
Have a nice trip!