The adventure is on.
Transfagarasan. Romania’s most famous drive.
It’s been a whole week since we started this trip. We’ve done so much and covered so many locations. Time flew. On this sunny day of Wednesday we were set to have some major fun adventure exploring another “highway drive” to heaven.
How can that not be exciting?
It was built over the course of only five years, because El Dictator wanted an escape route in case the Russians will invade the country. Absolute BS!
There were already other roads cutting through the mountains. It was one of the stupid ambitions to show the world what “we” can do it.
Nonetheless, this time the outcome was a marvelous highway. This mountain drive is more popular that it’s sister [Transalpina] because of it’s 2009 feature in an episode of Top Gear. I must say that the scenery is little short of spectacular. No matter where you start your trip, you will be for sure wowed.
If you drive from north [like us] you’re not to miss stop will be the Balea Waterfall. With its cable car that takes you up to Balea Lake in less than ten minutes. Giving you some spectacular views. When you start your trip from the south your pitstop has to be the impressive Vidraru Dam.
The meeting point is Balea Lake. Where you will snap photos that 100% will grow your Instagram audience. Not that’s what I call a bonus!
We drove northbound from our accomodation close to Sibiu. Again, early morning so we can get there first. For the good shots. You know the drill.
But guess what?
On this glorious day in August, half of Romania decided to turn up. Am I getting that popular? It is an understatement to say the road was busy. You work with what you have. Look for solutions, don’t get stuck on the problem.
We hiked our way to the amazing Balea Waterfall. The hike is a bit challenging because of the big boulders and the slippery forest track but it is for sure worth. Then we drove up to Balea Lake. A 25km drive done in about two hours due to my “popularity”. Did some shots up there and decided to call it a day.
There’s so many hiking routes you can do here, one of the most spectacular being Vanatoarea lui Buteanu. It’s summit reaching close to 2600 meters.
I promise to come back here and do a better job showing you this place and the great beauty that it has.
Sibiu and my favourite place in Romania.
I have visited this city many times. Every time I arrive here I discover a different face of this beautiful place. I could say that the city itself grew up at the same time with me. And now I’m 828 years old [Sibiu was founded in 1191], damn….
I must be a vampire.
Cousin Dracula’s blood is running through my veins. Now, putting the BS aside, the first time I visited Sibiu was right after graduating high school . The city was ‘young and wild’ [like myself]. Party, party and again party. That is the Sibiu that I’ve seen back then.
Second time was after graduating university . When I grew up a little [only a little]. And became interested to find more about the history of the place and the rich art scene present here.
Third time was the year I moved abroad . My new obsession with studying the old village life and folk traditions brought me here. What better place to come to then Sibiu. The Astra Village Museum is the biggest in the country. Impressive range of informations and breathtaking views.
This was my fourth visit. As always Sibiu surprises every single time. After being the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2007.
Its popularity skyrocketed.
It is now one of the most popular year round destinations for Romanians and foreigners. The geographical location is key. Easy to get here whether your traveling from the capital, from Cluj, or if you choose to fly into Sibiu.
It is close to a lot of other gorgeous places. I am going to mention a few here. The two highways to heaven I have told you about [Transfagarasan and Transalpina]. The beautiful city of Brasov and the citadel of Sighisoara [that you are gonna see in next month post].
Adding to this the fact that a range of festivals take place here throughout the year. That the Christmas market is without doubt the most beautiful in the country. There is no wonder why everyone falls in love with Sibiu.
As for us, we spent the first part of the day capturing the views of the city and its most important landmarks on camera. The afternoon caught us exploring the village museum. Located right outside the city.
A place so special and meaningful for me that every time I visit it I am transported back in time to my childhood carefree days. Hence the fact that I was camera shy the whole day. Managed though to deliver a touching introduction of what I was about to show you throughout the day.I can honestly say that…
This is my absolute favourite place to visit in Romania.
Ended the museum visit with a near food coma lunch. We ordered so much food that we couldn’t move after devouring it.
Got back to the city to get the buzz of the evening and with that we wrapped up the day. We had one more day left of the trip.
Sighisoara. The last day of our trip.
Cannot believe it. How did ten days pass? When you have the right people with you and such amazing and interesting places to explore you lose track of time.
We hit the road early morning. Sighisoara was less than one hour drive from our accommodation. The rolling hills covered in the morning fog were letting us know that we are close the Counts birthplace. Which Count? The most famous of all Romanians. My cousin Dracula.
Yes. Sighisoara is the place where this bloodthirsty Count was born. The citadel bears his spirit. You can dress up like my cousin Dracula and do some cool photos. Or you can make a fool of yourself [like I did] for people’s entertainment.
Sighisoara is Europe’s only medieval citadel still inhabited.
Be sure not to miss the views from the Clock Tower. Walk the 175 stairs up to the Church in the Hill to get your morning fitness sorted. Stop for a tasty coffee and a delicious slice of pie at the House on the Rock in the central square.
Please don’t buy all those tacky souvenirs. If you look close enough you will find some beautiful crafted art made by local artisans. When we reached the Church in the Hill, I went straight to its cemetery. I find it very pretty. It’s a thing from Cousin Dracula for sure. And rested on one of its graves. Now I’m sure I am related to Dracula.
People around looked funny at me.
The things I do to entertain you. You gotta give me points for this one.
The citadel would take you about three to four hours to explore. While here why don’t drive down to Biertan. The cutest village home to a horror and Full Moon fantasy film festival.
We did and found the place extremely enjoyable. Plus the ride there is as idyllic as you’d expect. And with Biertan our ‘research trip’ ended. I felt drained and recharged at the same time.
This was the beginning of my adventure.
My attempt to show you Romania. My Rawmania. Tell me how I did. Please be honest. Tell me what you would like to see. Where you would like me to take you. And I will do it.