2014 was for sure an amazing year for us! Most of our weekends were busy and we were most of the time on the road to some new destination. We took the time, more than ever, to discover Romania and its beauties. Mountains were in the top, as we went hiking as much as we could and as much as the weather allowed us to…and sometimes even if the weather didn’t necessarily allow us to. Here’s how 2014 looked liked in between the borders of Romania.
We started our hiking trips quite early in 2014, with a winter trip to the Bârcaciu Chalet. The weather seemed fine, not too cold and we took advantage to have a nice weekend in the mountains surrounded by snow. The Bârcaciu Chalet is situated at 1550m high in the Fagaras Mounatins and is only about 2 hours walk from the place we left our car on the Avrig Valley.
In March, we had another beautiful weekend, with an absolutely amazing weather and headed towards the Ciucaș Mountains. The Ciucaș Chalet was recently reconstructed so it was a perfect occasion to explore the area and hike to the Ciucaș Peak (1954m). Winter was still there, as most of the peaks around us were covered with snow, but spring was slowly taking over and the first flowers were showing up.
On our way home from the Ciucaș Mountains, we also made a stop to the 7 ladders Canyon. The Seven Ladders Canyon (Romanian: Canionul Șapte Scări) is a mountainous canyon carved by the Șapte Scări Brook. It is considered to be one of the main tourist attractions from the Piatra Mare massif. The canyon has been carved in limestone and is composed by seven waterfalls, the tallest having 35 meters high. The trail within the canyon is arranged with metal stairs and platforms.
After a two months break, for the 1st of May we took a longer vacation and went camping in the Nera Gorges National Park. The weather was not that good, but still we did manage to explore the area as we had initially planned. Cheile Nerei (Nera Gorges) – Beușnița National Park enjoys an extraordinary wealth of flora, a land of diversity and uniqueness, and a wild side maintained due to difficult access in the area. Cheile Nerei-Beușnița National Park was created in order to preserve unique natural beauties, consisting of a wide variety of woody and grassy mezoxerofil plants specific to the submediterranean climate, that has to be protected and preserved as they are.
And then summer came and with summer came the good weather meaning that mountains were at our feet. We started with a short Sunday trip to Suru Chalet, in the Făgăraș Mountains. We had been there before, but it’s easy reachable from Sibiu and the view is just spectacular. Especially since it was the beginning of the summer and everywhere we looked it was full of mountain peony.
Another weekend was planned for going to Mount Cozia again. Not too high mountains, but they do offer spectacular views over the river Olt and its valley.
Summer 2014 was the summer we reached the highest peaks of the Romanian mountains and we started with the second highest, the Negoiu Peak, in the Făgăraș Mountains. It was a full weekend, with a moody weather, but that didn’t keep us from getting to the 2535 meters of the Negoiu Peak.
Another one day trip was the trip we took on the Stan’s Valley (Valea lui Stan). Just a 4 hours hiking trip, but an incredible experience, something we had never seen or done before. It’s a spectacular place, with beautiful waterfalls and small lakes where you just feel like having a nice refreshing bath. Sometimes you have to go directly through the water, but don’t worry, it’s not that deep.
A full weekend was dedicated to the Parâng Mounatins and the beautiful lakes hidden behind the high peaks. It was a long trip, but it was very much worth the effort.
On our way home from the Parang Mountains, we discovered the absolutely amazing Banita Gorges. It’s only a 30 minutes trip and the gorges are right on the side of the national road DN66, so if you pass by, there is no reason in the world not to stop and explore the gorges a bit. What you will see there will seem like taken out of a fairy tale.
The ultimate hiking trip of the year happened mid August and the final goal was to reach the highest peak in Romania, Moldoveanu Peak (2544m), in the Făgăraș Mountains. It was a 4 days trip, very long, but with so much satisfaction at the end, especially after going through some hard time due to the weather that just didn’t want to let us enjoy the beauty around us.
Something else, but mountains :
We took a visit to Brasov, which is one of the biggest cities in Romania and, after visiting it, I must admit that also one of the most beautiful and well preserved.
Since talking about cities, we also had a short visit to the town of Curtea de Arges. An important historical town for the southern part of Romania, which still holds proof of the evolution of the country.
We also went in search of some churches and fortresses and this year we checked the Dacian Fortress of Cățânaș Tilişca, the Poienari Fortress, the Mălăieşti Fortress and the Sântămăria-Orlea Church, each with their own charm and historical importance.
We visited only one cave this year, but it’s a cave that was recently opened for the public. The Bolii Cave is situated in the north part of Petroșani, 6 kilometers away, where the Retezat Mountains meet the Sebeș Mountains.
And last, but not least, somewhere close to where my parents live, we explored a bit the Trovanti Museum. The term ‘Trovant’ is a Romanian term and cannot be translated in any other languages. It actually means a rock formed by cementing of sands in all sorts of bizarre shapes.
This is how our 2014 map looks like :
Let’s hope for more in 2015 and for great weather to allow us to do what’s next on the list.