Romania. Autumn in the Rucar-Bran Passage

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.

Piatra Village, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Piatra Village, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Piatra Village, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Piatra Village, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Piatra Village, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Piatra Village, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

To get there from Bucharest I took the road to Targoviste. From there I took the road 72A which goes through the renowned Apple County, this is how I call it but in fact is Arges county where the most apple orchard can be found. So if it is Autumn and you happen to drive on 72A road you will find locals selling on the side of the road many of the types of apples growing in the region. I am telling you, are absolutely delicious, this coming from a person which does not like apples, but those are really tasty.

Piatra Village, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Piatra Village, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Mateias, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Mateias, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

Passing the apple county I came closer to the mountains when I decided to divert from the road and drive over the hills through a mountain village. I did not even know the name of the village but I loved the sight of the surrounding pastures and the glittering yellow of the trees adorning it. Probably if I had more time there would not have been any corner of the valley unturn. But I had to keep on going and after crossing Mateias I returned to the main road 73 which goes through the Rucar-Bran Passage.

Mateias, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Mateias, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Mateias, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Mateias, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

This idyllic beauty wiped away the memories of the lives lost in this region during the WWI, this area being the witness of heavy battles with the German army.  A mausoleum was built not very far in the memory of those who lost their lives here.

Rucar-Bran Passage. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Rucar-Bran Passage. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Rucar-Bran Passage. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Rucar-Bran Passage. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The Rucar-Bran passage through the mountains measures 55 km and I can definitely say that those are 55 km of sheer beauty. I could have stopped at every corner to take pictures and every one of them would have surprised a splendid image but then my trip would have taken more than a day.

Rucar-Bran Passage. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Rucar-Bran Passage. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Rucar-Bran Passage. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Rucar-Bran Passage. Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

My eyes were enticed by the green meadows where patched of yellow seemed to be like some paint stains thrown aimlessly on a painting.

This passage was used for centuries by traders to move goods from the South regions of the country to Transylvania. That`s why the castle gazing upon the entrance of the passage was built at Bran. But Bran was not my destination today. So, in order to get to Sirnea, when I reached Fundata village, I took the road 730 which took me away from the main road right in the depths of this marvellous area.

Sirnea, Brasov County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sirnea, Brasov County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sirnea, Brasov County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sirnea, Brasov County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

I was amazed because the moment I went away from the main road the sensation that time stopped was so strong. Here was where the Autumn was hiding when tired of painting all those trees. The scattered wooden houses on the rolling green hills were giving me a hint that not much was happening here. I was thinking that I would not mind hiding from the world here to stay on the porch and listen to the wind and nature around me.

Sirnea, Brasov County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sirnea, Brasov County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sirnea, Brasov County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Sirnea, Brasov County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

I wish I could have had more time to see the mists settling on the ground at sunset or to see them rising at sunrise. To let the rain kiss my cheeks and just stay there in the middle of the pasture listening to it. I was looking for so long for a place like this and here it was…

Wandered for a while on the hills and then I decided to return to the main road passing through Dambovicioara  gorge after visiting Dambovicioara cave, which happened to be a loss of time.

Dambovicioara Valley, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Dambovicioara Valley, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Dambovicioara Valley, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu
Dambovicioara Valley, Arges County, Romania, by Mirela Felicia Catalinoiu

The gorge itself is spectacular, being a winding passage between very steep vertical mountain walls looking like being one minute from collapsing. Every time I passed through there I was imaging that I am entering a kingdom lost in time. Well in a way probably in not too far from the truth because when deepening  the mountain time is mostly relative and does not count that much.

The sun was setting and for me was time to return back home. One last look and a deep breath and then on the road again. The mountain remained somewhere in the back being embraced by the mists. I was passing village after village getting further and further from it. My trip was so comforting , although short. But, it does not matter. As I always say….Tomorrow is another day…and tomorrow, I am always thinking about a new destination.