Looks like we are beginning a new tradition as we start the new year with a short hiking trip around Sibiu. Last year we had a very short trip around Cisnădioara, because there was a lot of snow and a heavy snowfall was on the way. This year we are not so gifted in terms of snow, as we are still waiting for the true magic of the winter to unfold.
After recovering from the NYE party, we decided to take a trip around Păltiniş, Sibians favorite winter destination. Păltiniş is a resort 35 km south-west from Sibiu in the Cindrel Mountains and it’s known as the highest resort in Romania, being situated at 1440 m high.
We used the Sibiu public transport system and took us roughly one hour the get to Păltiniş with the bus number 22. Actually the bus left us at the entrance of Şanta, a small touristic village in Păltiniş. From there we walked about 500 m to the Onceşti chairlift, where the old Păltiniş resort starts, and we started our ascent to the Onceşti Peak alongside the ski slope.
Next to the chairlift is this panel with hiking trails around Păltiniş.
We took the trail and in half an hour we were at the Onceşti Glade. I think the glade is also called the Onceşti Garden, but I’m not sure.
From here you can go to the Cindrel Peak, the highest in the Cindrel Mountains 2244 m, and the Cindrel Tarns. This is a 4-5 hours trip and probably we will do it in the next summer.
We made a short stop in the Glade for a quick bite and we admired the nice view. Unfortunately there was not so much snow.
We resumed our ascent and after a while the trail is intersecting with the trail. Here we saw the 20 minutes sign to the Relay Tower on the Onceşti Peak and we knew we will be soon there.
Behind the Relay Tower, the trail continues into the forest and after a few minutes we are on top of the Onceşti Peak. Actually the peak is not so high, 1713 meters, but the plan was just to have some fresh air, enjoy the nature and make some exercise after the holidays.
On the peak there is a outpost, were (I heard from somebody) it used to be a German cannon during WWI.
From here we see a nice view over Păltiniş, Arena Platoş and Sibiu on the horizon.
The trail continues through the dense coniferous forest and in about 20 minutes we arrive at Poiana Lupilor (Wolfs Glade).
Poiana Lupilor is a small, gorgeous, storylike glade were you actually feel that you will meet some wolfs. And when you see the marks left in the snow the feeling only gets stronger 🙂
The magic stays with us after we enter the forest and we experience a warm and calm atmosphere, even though there were -9°C. There was now wind and we hear only our breathing, our steps on the snow and the clicks and turns of the frozen trees.
But the magic lasted only for half an hour as the trail exits the forest and enters the road.
From here the trail follows the road back to Păltiniş and closes the loop in the place were we have started the trip, at the bus station. Mistakenly, but fortunately, we made the wrong turn and continued the trip towards Şanta. Mistakenly because we wanted to return to the bus station and come back to Sibiu and fortunately because the trip was longer and nicer and also we got a little adrenaline pumped up when we realized we are on the wrong way in the middle on nowhere :).
So, we arrived at Şanta, a small leisure center (where I had been before for one night 7 years ago). We were thinking that we are going to arrive back in Păltiniş, but actually the road was going down, alongside a river and we were loosing altitude. Also the marking was missing for the last part of the road …
At this point we used our phones, luckily there was some signal, and we checked the GPS position. We realized that we are not going to get back to Păltiniş, that we are walking alongside Şteaza River and that our only target would be to arrive at Curmătura Ştezii (10 Km away) before the nightfall. In 2 hour.
From this point on we increased the pace and the race against the night started 🙂
We had safely arrived at the Curmătura Ştezii guest house at half past five, just after the nightfall. We had some much deserved hot meal and laughed on all this experience and than we went home for a good sleep.