Shepherding is still a common vocation in this Eastern European country, where the alpine meadows of the Carpathian Mountains provide rich pastures in summer. Flocks are brought down to the villages for winter, which sets off a string of shepherds’ festivals – an example of Romania’s deep-rooted cultural traditions, passed down since medieval times. Nea Dan, pictured here in the village of Bran, has been a shepherd all his life – it’s not easy, he told photographer Eduard Gutescu, and very dangerous on account of the wild animals. His only friends, he said, are his six dogs who help protect his flock. Romania has the biggest remaining populations of wolves, brown bears and lynxes in Europe, and these creatures loom large in local folklore. As large as Dracula, whose ‘castle’ looms over Bran and is the main reason tourists visit. But they really should be coming here for the scenery: ‘Anyone travelling to this region would be amazed by the landscape, especially in autumn (October),’ says Gutescu. This image was his entry in the 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest. To see more, visit travel.nationalgeographic.com.
the saricӑ, is made This ‘inside-out’ coat, fleece, and is unique of leather and unspun to the southern Carpathians