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Fruit Trail

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The human mind has not been given to man in order to dominate nature, but rather to learn how to follow and obey it.

(Eötvös József)

Although I came across these thoughts of Eötvös József only later on, when we designed the route for the Fruit Trail our instinct guided us in the spirit of the above quote.
The Fruit Trail of the Odorhei region is a thematic notion; it is actually a tourist route to be traveled by bike, having an approximate length of 75 km.
The Fruit Trail of the Odorhei region is a thematic notion; it is actually a tourictic route to be travelled by bike, having an approximate length of 75 km.  it passes through the territory of 14 municipalities belonging to five communes.
The settlements are: Păuleni, Firtuşu, Inlăceni, Firtănuş, Ceheţel, Turdeni, Tărceşti, Benţid, Păltinis, Lupeni, Bisericani, Morăreni, Cireşeni şi Forţeni.
Along the 75 km long route, tourists are guided by inscriptions containing the letter C and a golden yellow apple, as well as by 21 info boards and 86 direction indicators.Traditional fruit cultivation has a rich past in the entire the Odorhei region.Being a favorable area for growing fruit trees, in the old times fruit cultivation represented an important source of food, income and product exchange, while in the present it has started to become re-evaluated and local products, along with pure, fruit-based food started to gain more and more importance.
The Fruit Trail wants to assume its role in attracting attention on:
The time for change has come, we have to preserve our existing values, but also establish orchards again, live and act in a conscious spirit…

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Logo story

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We tried to design and create a logo that, without any previous insight, would provide an impression to express the Spirit of the Fruit Route.

The Spirit is all about an inward curving road, which awakens the feeling of infinity, durability and eternity, therefore trying to express the properties of the everlasting nature. The winding road in the middle of the symbol, on a turf-green field, ergonomically placed between three hills, typical to the countryside, below the blue skies of August and a brilliant golden apple all try to transpose the feeling that the viewer would actually feel and live in these landscapes.

The golden apple and its well-defined beams is a unification of the symbols borrowed from the szekler folk tradition of headboard carving. This is how it embodies the life-giving Fruits, the Light, the Deity, which we perhaps have to pursuit in the eternity of nature, beyond the hills, at the end of the road, or maybe just within ourselves, to try and bring it back to life.

All this Mystery and Spirituality is reflected by the image of a tree shaped by the road, expressing the ancestral and the respect for tradition that can be felt in the noble simplicity of the true szekler people; at the same time, it is associated to the szekler saying according to which fruits grow in trees and even if they fall, hopefully they do not fall far from their trees.

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Etiquette for behavior

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In order for the villages and landscapes visited during the Fruit Road of Udvarhelyszék not to get affected, we consider imperative the compliance with the following recommendations:

  • When in villages, or even just outdoors, walk around in a quiet, calm manner, making sure to disturb as little as possible the everyday life of the local communities or the surrounding natural life;
  • Respect the world of local customs, try to humbly  understand the region and surroundings;
  • Whenever taking photographs or making videos, please be courteous to the locals desire to contribute;  
  • Do not consume any fruits from the crops of the privately owned orchards without the expressed permission of the owners;
  • During the fruit-tasting with the expressed consent of the owners, pay increased attention to preserving the integrity of the trees;
  • Respect private property;
  • Do not go off the designated routes with concern to the surrounding arable lands;
  • Please take any garbage or waste that may occur during the visit and place them in the garbage collectors particularly placed for this purpose;

Why pay attention to this?

Because if we do not, then directly or indirectly, we can contribute to the destruction of exactly the same local values, that urged You to come and visit this region.

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Dear visitor!

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The website you probably just discovered has been created through the Fruit Route of Udvarhely Region, (Romania) initiative of the Vulticulus Geographic Society of Székelyudvarhely. We want to say a few words about this initiative, the 75 kilometers, the 14 villages in the “teaser” below.

Our story goes back to the beginnings of the Fruits of Our Traditions (FRUTRAD) project (2009) initiated by the Civitas Foundation for Civil Society from Székelyudvarhely. A fruit-expert training course was started within the project financed by the Norwegian Government, open to the application of farmers living in the Udvarhely Region, and the demand lived up to the expectations.

I myself took part in this training and on one of these occasions a spark arose due to one of the trainers, according to whom it is not only possible, but highly advantageous to create a connection between fruit-growing and tourism.

This spark slowly grew into a self-standing idea, as at that time I was still a student at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Geography and Tourism.

The idea transformed into a thought, focused around creating a cycling route to include all the cultural and natural values of these communities and at the same time, improve the economic situation of the locals, all this in the spirit of sustainability and moreover, love of nature.

The Fruit Route of Udvarhely Region was initially created as a plan for a more practical subject of my final exam, up until the Civitas Foundation announced a competition having the theme of fruit-growing, hoping to mobilize as many people as possible and gather interesting applications.

Once I got acquainted with the Vulticulus Geographic Society and with the help of my tutor professor, together we wrote the application and put together the details.

Next to the other interesting applications that were however on a more modest scale, they were also surprised by the Fruit Route and tried all throughout the positive feedback to give sufficient impetus for the future.

After having won the competition, in the beginnings of the Fruit Route, was that a 3-member all-in for work team was formed:

  • Kilyén Barna, the president of the Vulticulus Geographic Society undertook the responsibilities of the marketing plan, design, corporate identity and editorial tasks;
  • Me and Magyari Attila have undertaken the organization of the field work, the gathering of data and information, the research on the values of the communities, the logo design, copywriting, and the task of contacting the representative people of the 14 villages.

Our work received a great deal of support and help, as well as quality management, from several students from the tourism-geography major through their volunteering, editing, digitizing maps, proofreading and declarations, highlighting in particular the patience and help of some of our more eager professors.

In the following lines, emphasizing our own experiences, we strive to mention all major steps, keeping in mind all those who, by setting goals similar to ours, seek to bring their work to a successful close. Although we can only mention the most meaningful of our experiences, we gladly offer our help to anyone who is active in similar projects, also because at certain phases of our work we would have appreciated some points of view, other than ours:

  • Logo design, brochure writing;

Writing the brochure of the project was an important tool for us, especially during field work, as we gladly handed them out to anyone who showed any interest in our work.
Read more about the logo under the logo submenu.

  • Creating contacts, taking interviews, field surveys, and GPS measurements;

It is more and more economical and time-preserving to organize these tasks in a thoughtful manner, as much as possible. It cost us rather much fuel the fact that we did not always bare these thoughts in mind on some of our field trips.

  • Search for sponsors;

Upon the creation of such a project it is highly important to make the local entrepreneurs aware of the fact, that the goal does not stand for self-serving interests and you must try to achieve that to some extent, they feel that it is their duty to support the project, even if it is by the means of modest help. Many a little makes a mickle, that is our experience and we take this opportunity to thank you for your help!

  • Processing of data and resources, copywriting, translations;

Where copywriting is concerned, the presence of a second person, responsible for the proofreading process, is highly important. If the brochures are published in more than one language, for the translations a dedicated, stable translator is needed, only one if possible to ensure continuity of style and quality throughout all the texts.

  • Table design, proof print;

The fate of many little details (such as images, fonts, font sizes, colors, shades) is decided on a test print. Do not leave that out of the process.

  • Work Camp;

To organize a camp, there are several places where you can approach volunteers for their help. In our case, students made up for the majority of the volunteers, but locals also participated in quite a large number during painting and putting up the boards. Good, warm weather is really important during painting. You must seek to have pre-established teams and agree on a scenario, it can greatly increase efficiency.

To ensure high spirits, a little attention is essential, as it is not an easy job, sometimes involving up to 20 kilometers of hiking and painting the path. It is recommended that all these costs are included in the project’s budget.

  • Press conference;

You do not have to think too big. Such an event is by all means necessary, because this is the opportunity for other people to learn all about what we have been working on this far. The main aspect is simplicity, imagination and warm hospitality, perhaps some point of interest within the topic. In our case, it was a small jam-tasting, with donuts, home-made wine and fruit brandies.

  • Leaflets, the website.

For us, when creating the brochures, usability, portability and clarity were the main criteria, where, in addition, we made room for small points of interest and individual notes.

We are grateful to all those who, with their patience, time, intellectual and material help, or even just with their good intentions, were there to support us when we were wandering the villages, collecting data or when we had to face difficulties.

We will do our best to show you our gratitude through our sincere work and endeavor.

As an ending, our story will only be complete if we get to know You, and You us on the other hand, while you browse through the experiences that we had, what we learned and wanted to share; we trust that fate will bring us together.

This website serves to facilitate exactly that, to moderate the hand of fate, we wish you a pleasant browsing!

Bándi Ferenc

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