Transsylvania 2008

Day 1

Arrive at Henri Coanda Airport in Bucharest.

Drive along the Prahova valley to Moeciu de Sus - a village at the foothills of Bucegi Mountains.

Overnight at a guesthouse in Moeciu de Sus - Pension Rodica.

Day 2

We cross Moeciu de Sus village following Moecelu creek. We then took one of the shepherds' trails upwards, (because of rain we did not walk up to Clabucet peak).

Because of rain just a short stop for lunch break. We continue our walk on what the locals call 'ludaita' path and very soon start descending to Popii Valley on the other side of Moeciu de Sus village.

Photos from day 1-2.

Day 3

Hike up to Bangaleasa Valley, starting from Moecin de Sus (800m) on an easy slope, to Gutanului alpine meadow (1459m) where we find shepherd huts.

From Gutanului alpine meadow we had a wonderful view of Piatra Craiului Mountains, Gaura Valley and also of the hill spread villages from Bran area. Then, following an old and gentle shepherd path, walk at the foothills of the rock walls of the mountain to get to Strunga Saddle (1904 m), or as it is known by the people, "Gate of the wind". Because the sky was clear, all the way to Strunga Saddle we saw Leaota Mountains on the left side and from the Saddle we saw Piatra Craiului Mountains again.

From Strunga Saddle start going down for an hour to Padina Cabana (1 525m) where we stayed for the night. On the way to cabana, only 15 minutes away from it, you will pass near an old sheepfold, used during the summers by the people in the villages, to bring their sheep up to the mountains until mid of September.

In the afternoon visit Ialomitei cave (1 660m) with its impressive grottos and the old monastery build right at the entrance of the cave. The cave was flod with water and was closed for visitors.

Day 4

Nearly the same way back to Strunga Saddle. There, leave the path you came a day before to the right, and take a path that brings you down to the Bangaleasa Valley.

From there we walked for an hour and a half to Moeciu de Sus village where we were picked up by the minibus and driven to Sirnea village.

Overnight accommodation in Sirnea with village families, Marioara Calaican family.

Photos from day 3-4.

Day 5

From Sirnea village hike up to the mountain villages of Pestera and Magura. Time to explore the villages with impressive backdrop of the Piatra Craiului and Bucegi Mountains where traditional occupations such as sheep fanning, wool weaving and cheese making are still in use.

Piatra Craiului National Park is famous for being the base for more than 10 years of a research and conservation project about wolves, bears and lynx called the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project (CLCP) supported by international organizations, such as WWF and, considered to be a model on the European level. The project finished in 2003.

Descend to Zamesti town.

In the evening a short presentation of what was CLCP will be made by ,a wildlife specialist who worked for the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project as a researcher. He is a member of IUCN - Bear Experts Group. In present he works as a consultant for WWF Danube Carpathian Programme in a project related to Natura 2000 and in other projects of the Carpathian Ecoregion Initiative.

Overnight accommodation at a pension in Zarnesti called Mosorel.

Photos from day 5.

Day 6

Starting from the centre of Zarnesti (722m) walk for one hour to the Botorog's spring (3,6km).

Walk the impressive Zarnesti Gorges and start climbing the old shepherd route to visit an old traditional sheepfold in Curmatura meadow where you'll have the chance to see the traditional way of making the cheese.

Head to Cumatura Cabana for lunch and then hike to Curmatura Saddle to start hiking Piatra Mica ridge. Hiking to the ridge you will have to use helping cables on two sectors. Each sector is no longer than 2-3 meters but it is necessary that you have free hands for help.

Pass the big cross commemorating the soldiers that died during the First World War on top of the mountain, and walk to Piatra Mica Peak (1816m). Almost all the time you will have open views of the meadows at the foothills of Piatra Craiului Mountains, of the main ridge of it, of parts of Barsa Land with Zarnesti town, and also of Bucegi Mountains. This will take you approximate two hours.

From here start descending to Zanoaga Meadow. Here have a wonderful view of the entire Piatra Craiului main ridge and also of the Bucegi Mountains.
From Zanoaga Meadow start descending to a meandering path through the forest to Botorog Spring where you will be collected by the horse and cart and driven to Mosorel pension in Zarnesti.

Photos from day 6.

Day 7

In the morning you will be picked up by the minibus from the guesthouse in Zarnesti.

Head to Poiana Brasov , taking a meandering road that starts from the centre of the old town of Rasnov. Drive for 12 kilometers up to the most known ski resort of Romania, Poiana Brasov, from where you will start descending on foot to the old city of Brasov.

From the outskirts of the resort start an easy hike through forest (one hour and a half) down to Brasov town. Follow the old route that connected in the past the town and the small resort in the middle of Postavam Mountains and head to Solomon's Rocks, the entrance point to the old city.This is a place renowned for its legends and its connection with Peagent of Juni, an old spring celebrationthat is still taking place here every year.

Starting from here walk through the old Romanian district of the town, called Schei, through
narrow streets and small houses that resembles the architecture of the Saxons, inside the walls of the citadel. On the way to the main square of the district, where the centre of the Romanians life was, stop to some of the numerous wayside crosses, built here by religious people, with great faith in God for protection and help. One of them was built right in the middle of the main square, not far away from the impressive Romanian Orthodox church, St Nicholas, built at the beginning of 14th century with the help of different rulers from all the Romanian provinces. Being Sunday, take the chance to assist briefly to an Orthodox service, kept in one of the oldest churches in Transylvania and see the people coming out from the service in their best clothes. In the same courtyard visit the First Roma than school built here in the 16th century.

Have lunch at a restaurant in the old square of the Romanian district.

After lunch continue to the fortfied part of the city that belongs in the past exclusively to the German population (the Saxons) of the town, one of the seven cities founded by the Saxons in Transylvania in the 1 200 century when they were invited to Transylvania to guard the mountain passes. You can have a stroll through the medieval streets of Brasov, visit the Black church, Europe's most eastern Gothic church, visit its famous Council Square where the legend said that when the Pied Piper enticed the children from Hameln in Germany, they vanished underground and emerged in Transylvania near the Council Square.

In the afternoon drive south to visit Bran Castle, linked wrongly with Count Dracula (the castle is more famous as being the summer residence of Queen Maria of Romania, the grand daughter of Queen Victoria of England). The castle is perched atop a 60m peak in the centre of Bran village.
The glory days of Bran began long ago, in the 13th century, when on a mountain crag called Dietrich's Rock, a fortress was erected to protect the commercial route connecting the area to the town of Campulung. In the Brasov pass, at the end of the corridor separating the Bucegi and the Piatra Craiului Mountains, the merchants of Brasov built in 1377, a castle that became an emblem of the area. The castle was built to defend the Bran möuntain pass against Turks, and was used in the 20th century as a summer royal residence by Queen Marie of Romania,' the granddaughter of Britain's Queen Victoria.

In the evening headback to Zarnesti for festive dinner and overnight accommodation.

Photos from Brasov o Bran.

Day 8

Drive to Henri Coanda airport in Bucharest for flight home.


This was a travel with the Swedish company Äventyrsresor. We were 15 people in the group, all from Sweden, 41 to 71 years old. 

We had a very pleasent week together, and we want to say "Thank's" to our guides who did all they could to teach us about Romania.

Even if we were in 'excellent shape', some of these treks provide plenty of challenges.

Our tour guides:

Alina Beteringhe

Lucian Clinciu

You can view my photos from my flickr acount. Please take a look!
(you can even copy pictures, but please not for commercial interests).

Photos from day 1-2.
Photos from day 3-4.
Photos from day 5.
Photos from Zarnesti.
Photos from day 6.
Photos from Brasov o Bran.
(All links open new window, and starts a slideshow.) © 2007-2008 •