The cities have some impressive buildings, usually churches. The government buildings tend to be more austere, compared to the lavish accommodation of British politicians – or your local council offices. However, it’s the country dwellings that I find most interesting.
A lot of towns are no more than a collection of tin roofed wooden shacks. The better ones have ornate painted window shutters, the closed ones probably have no glass in them. The gardens are cropped with vegetables or hay, and there’s always a huge woodpile for the harsh winters.
With insulation next to nothing for a tin roof, it really is a matter of survival to make sure there’s enough firewood for winter. This place looked like it had electricity, but many don’t. It took me a while to work out what the huge beams were in some gardens. They’re mechanical lifts to get the bucket down to the well. So no running water either.
It makes me appreciate things I’d normally take for granted, like flushing toilets and hot water. Despite this the people I’ve met have been warm and friendly, it’s all quite humbling.