Passing through Apple County when Autumn is knocking on the door
It was Autumn! The calendar said so. The decreased temperatures outside said so. The invading yellows and reds all over the trees said so. Everything around me said so…Yep…It was time for me to admit it. The Summer was gone! No more sandals, no more Summer dresses. No more run away to the seaside. But hey…The Summer is dead! Long live Autumn!
With these in mind one Sunday morning I decided to leave Bucharest and have a taste of Autumn and I knew the perfect place for it. That place was almost 200 km away from Bucharest and since Romania is not really the land of the highways but mostly the land of the lack of highways, I knew is going to take forever to reach it. But, for 5 minutes in that place, I would have been able to endure hours of driving.
That mirific place I wanted to reach was Sirnea Village placed on the Rucar-Bran passage. This passage connecting the south region of Romania with Transylvania is the most picturesque area in Romania. No matter the season the landscape is absolutely magnificent.
Walking on Dracula`s footsteps. Bucharest to Poienari Arges, Vidraru Dam and then trying to cross the Fagaras mountains to Transylvania on Transfagarasan road
Another Sunday, another escape. This time, I wasn`t after a hard working week but after a night in a club. Hmm…maybe someday I should cover the nightlife in Bucharest too. Till then, though, I shall return to my story, which goes like this.
I was feeling like being hit by a train when Crina called me and asked me to join he for a tip. Destination, as always, anywhere as long as is far from Bucharest. Of course, I could not say no. Even if I were dead the word “road trip “ would have returned me from the land of the dead instantly. Still sleepy we agreed to take the road to Curtea de Arges and from there to go to Poienari Fortress and after although we knew the Transfagarasan road is closed due to the snow at high altitude to go till the snow is too thick and we can’t continue. Well, we were hoping that there would not be any snow and we will be able to cross the mountains to Transylvania
From Bucharest to Campina, going to Valea Doftanei deep in the mountains. Crossing the Secaria to Comarnic to go to Sinaia and then back to Bucharest
Despite having a dreadful week and being so tired after such hard work, the moment Crina called and asked said to me “Let`s escape Bucharest and go somewhere, anywhere!“, I haven’t hesitated not even a second and I said “YES!!!“. I was already seeing myself lying in the grass with my eyes closed having my photosynthesis moment while listening to the wind passing through the tall grass around me. Having this in my mind we thought is better to avoid the most common places and chose the one where is less likely to see the Bucharest dwellers barbeque on the side of the road listening loud music.
Seeking for the Sarmizegetusa, the ancient Dacian citadel hidden in the core of Orastie Mountains in South-West Transylvania
When you hear Transylvania, many of you will probably think Dracula, Bran,Brasov, Sibiu, Sighisoara, rolling green hills…Well..YES! Transylvania is all that, but also much more. In the South-West, in the core of the mountains lies the ruins of Sarmizegetusa, the ancient capital and sacred place of Dacians. A magical place and its mysteries were not fully uncovered yet…Probably, by now I already stirred up your imagination. Good! The thing is, that you have to be patient…
Saturday morning and I am walking on the streets of Sibiu desperately looking for a place where I can buy a cup of coffee. Maybe you wonder why on earth would I do that on a Saturday morning? Well, the answer is very simple. Although I was staying in a beautiful villa 30 km from Sibiu, when I woke up in the morning and went straight to the coffee machine, because I was in desperate need for my dose of caffeine, I realized that coffee machine is much smarter than I was expecting and I had no clue how to make it work. Somehow I lost myself between buttons sequence and the coffee machine went berserk releasing steam through every crack. Deprived of my morning coffee, I decided that since I have to leave the villa so early I might as well go to Sibiu and see how is returning to life on a Saturday morning. … Perls of Transylvania. Sibiu
When the mind wins over matter. Climbing 7 hours from Victoria town to Chalet Podragu, 2136 m altitude, Fagaras Mountains
I am always saying yes without thinking things through to all crazy trips ideas. The yes is coming first and the thinking part comes the last when I start asking myself how am I going to pull this through. When I decided to join this hiking trip it wasn’t different than usual. I said yes and only after saying it I was thinking “What the hell am I going to do, I do not have any equipment?“. I am the proud owner of a pair of mountain boots, but this is pretty much it, although this was not the only hiking trip I had till now. I always thought that as long as I have a good pair of mountain boots and a reasonably sized backpack I am good to go. I am saying reasonable because I like to carry less when I am going up the mountain, although when I travel I take with me half of my closet content. I am a woman and I like to travel in style and as long as the airplane or the car is carrying my bag I do not care how heavy my suitcase is. So, definitely you will never get from me the kind of advice that tells you how to pack light, I have no idea how to do it either. … The Mountain and I
Yes!!! I do love Summer! It is not for the good weather I love it, or for the abundance of the sun heat, sometimes having a bit too much. Or for the vacations I took. That`s right, this year, the word vacation came in plural..vacations. But for the fact that the city, in this case, my city, becomes emptier…Halleluiah!!! This means..less traffic..less crowded…Already these two words are music to my ears.
Victoria Square, Bucharest, Romania
It means that I can go cycling around the city, worrying less about the traffic. In Bucharest, traffic can be kind of a hustle, which can diminish the pleasure of cycling.
January, and it is Winter. Precisely the moment I dislike the most in a year. I look around me and I see everything immersed in a state of numbness. Every day I am hunting for a glimpse of a lost sunbeam, just one beam enough to put in motion my frozen brain by now…
I could describe my state using thousands of words but no amount of words could have changed the state I was confronting with. So, since I can’t run away from Winter, and she definitely is not going to miraculously disappear either, I decided to confront her and see what is going to happen. To have a real confrontation with her, I chose my battlefield, somewhere in the mountains of Romania.
As usually, totally unprepared for the cold I went to the mountains seeking some solace in the arms of a nature sleeping soundly under a white cover. As much as I dislike Winter, I have to admit, she is so damn beautiful! And I was thinking that maybe is not really too late to try and reconcile. A reconciliation which is unlikely to happen in the moment when my whole body freezes and I start to shiver and I say to myself “Hell no! When is the next train? Which part of the globe is now in full sun?“. Despite my dying wish to return home, I am staying and start walking in this kingdom of ice. Walking through snow accompanied by the sound of my steps I have the eerie sensation that I am walking in a world on which I am the only one awake. Everything seems so still and almost lifeless, at every step I am waiting to see shadows coming out from behind the trees, there is no sound or breath except my breath, it feels like being completely alone…
Probably these feelings were so overwhelming that the moment I reached for Rasnov Castle up on the hill and I looked from above at the plain of Transylvania unfolding before my eyes for a moment I had the sensation of being in one of the scenes of “The Hobbit “ or “ The Lord of the Rings“. I was in the middle of the castle`s ruins and down at the foothill the mist was lingering over the frozen fields and over the rooftops. There was no smoke from the chimneys although I should have seen some, the village bellow looked so deserted and somewhere behind the mountains the sun was setting. I was witnessing my first sunset of the year and for me is always fascinating to see one.
Did not expect though to have such a spectacular sunset when after being still hidden behind the mountains the sky seemed to be caught by fire. It was cold and I could feel the cold all over my body which was telling me that is time to go back and have a hot cup of tea but still I could not take my eyes from the sky.Felt like being bewitched by that fantastic sunset and the feeling of a close danger inserted into my heart, although it wasn`t anything that I should have been concerned of. Probably my imagination was still working and I was looking eagerly to see if any orcs will come from the mountain and attack the castle. Did felt like a damsel in distress for a second, and it felt good..but then I had to return to reality and admire that beautiful sunset.
I wasn`t in a scene from “The Lord of the Rings “ nor did I was a damsel in distress, and did not even stepped into a winter story, it was my first amazing sunset from this year , and I knew then that there will be more to come ..because, every sunset has a story to tell…and this is my story..
It happens some time that one might need to escape the constraints of a big city and find some refuge in the middle of nature, or just simply run away in search of few moments of pure relaxation. I do not know how should I categorize this need to travel when is happening to me , and I do not think that even matters. my feet are itching and my spirit needs to brake free, so, I might just start a journey anywhere as long is far away from home. Some people would call this as being an addiction, and I`d say that probably they are right. But, is my addiction which help my soul to heal whenever it might be wounded.
Autumn escape have something special in it, and it is in the light and colors around that makes everything looks like a Van Gogh`s painting, and walking through this painting you might feel like melting in that warm light becoming part of the surroundings.
Two hours driving from Bucharest, kept at the its bosom by Bucegi Mountains, lays the splendid Peles Castle, my place of refuge..I always loved to walk those alleys in Autumn, and while being still immersed in my thoughts to watch the slowing fall of the yellow leafs or to see the sun rays shining through brunches casting shadows on the paved alleys. It is the only time of the year when those old trees which were always fascinating me are glowing surrounded by a bright halloo around them.Their brightness make me feel like waking through a forest with gold leafs and the vicinity of the castle gives even a more fairy tale like feel to the entire place.
Might be sadness in the Autumn, but in the same time there is a certain splendor which elevates me, and although I love Summer I cannot stop being mesmerized by it. I know that soon this golden kingdom will be gray filled with naked trees , frozen and still, that clouds will stop the sun from shinning letting the fog linger around like some past regrets in our mind, and that the wind and the crows will be the only noise maker around.But, till then, nature is more beautiful then ever, and without any form of regret, is living its Autumn, to the full …