[Romania] Roșia Montană in winter
Beginning of February we paid Roșia Montană another visit – this time to enjoy the snow, to practice some hiking skills with our 4 years old daughter and to spend some time in this beautiful village, full of history.
We’ve been to Roșia Montană a couple of years ago, but stayed mostly in the village. I wrote a bit more then about its history and why this village is so important for Romania. A few weeks ago, the application to include the village in the UNESCO list was finally sent to the organization for review. The application has been blocked for a while now by the Romanian authorities, having a hidden agenda. Society made a big push and on the last moment, the folder was finally sent for review and this summer we should have a resolution.
Hiking around the village
During our weekend in Roșia Montană we had a full day of hiking on Saturday. We chose a rather easy hike, as out daughter joined us and we had to adapt, as there was also a bit of snow on our way. Luckily we had a sunny day for our hike, no wind, but still low temperatures. We spent about 6 hours for this trip and we got up on the mountains surrounding the village, checking out the lakes and enjoying the view from up high.
There are four marked trails that start from the center of the village, where you will also find a map of the area and more details for each hike. We chose the red circle hike that’s supposed to last about two and a half hours. At a certain point we lost this trek and followed the blue circle one that got us back into the village.
We took time to explore the area, to enjoy the fresh air, to play with snow and break ice on small rivers, we had a proper picnic in the snow and enjoyed the village and the surrounding mountains from above. We passed by all the main man-made lakes (water that was used to wash the gold after taking it out of the mines), which were also frozen.
We walked about 7km in total at a very easy pace, allowing our daughter to enjoy her time outdoors. The trek we did is perfect for young children, no high peaks to conquer, just easy paths to follow and beauty everywhere.
At the end of the day, after returning from our trip, we went up in the tower of the Unitarian Church to enjoy the view and the sunset. Roșia Montană has seven churches of different religions and a local guide will have plenty of stories to tell you about them, how and why they were built.
Having a guided tour of the village is definitely something you should consider, as this village has an amazing story to be told and only a local would say it right. Last time we visited the village, we did it. For suggestions you can check Casa Petri – it’s a beautiful guesthouse where we stayed both times we visited the village (I wrote more about them in my previous post) and they have plenty of recommendations in terms of guided trips, hikes and other things to in the area. For hikes you can also try Trai cu Rost – it’s a small local organization that offers guided hiking trips in the area, on foot, bike or motorbike.
Winter time is a good option to visit the village, as you get to enjoy all that quiet around, as if the village and time stand still. Summer is most probably even better, as days are longer, warmer and there’s plenty to do outside. It’s definitely one of our future plans.
The Gold Museum in Brad
On our way back to Sibiu, we also had a quick stop at the Gold Museum in Brad. We were initially planning to spend Sunday as well in Roșia Montană and to visit the mining galleries, but they were closed so we found another option.
This place seems to be unique in Europe gathering a large collection of native gold and minerals found everywhere around the world. You will get to see gold in an unusual hypothesis, that of ore: finely dispersed, free or concurrent with other minerals, lamellae, filaments, dendrites, granules and rare natural chemical combinations of gold with other elements.
Plus a quite rich collection of minerals of all sorts and colors, some of them found only on the territory of Romania. The museum is quite appealing to children, they will enjoy checking out all the elements there, as for them (but for adults likewise) it’s amazing to see what wonders are hidden deep in the ground.