Four hikes in Romania

I love to hike. It’s weird because as a kid there was nothing more that I wanted to do than sit in my bedroom and read a book. Get out into nature? Uh, no. I’ll take my Babysitters Club and read forever, thankyouverymuch. I was such a bookworm as a kid that many of my books have food stains (ew, I know) because I read at the table every chance I could get. I couldn’t even stop reading while I was eating! Now that I am a Grown Adult*, I still love to read, but thankfully I have diversified my interests.

*may not actually be an adult

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Appalachian Trail, y’all

Mainly, I like to nature. Can nature be a verb? I like all things outside (afară! I know that word!): hiking, camping, drinking on patios, you name it. If it’s a beautiful day, I have a really hard time justifying staying inside. What can I say? I’m solar powered.

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My mother and I freezing to death on Blood Mountain – New Year’s Day 2015

Now, our mountains in Georgia are nothing like the mountains in Romania. Sure, they used Zărnești as a stand in for North Carolina for Cold Mountain, and I won’t deny they look an awful lot the same…but our mountains are like baby mountains compared to the Carpathians. Little, innocent, soft…baby mountains. The Appalachians are just so sweet.

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Indian Seats, Sawnee Mountain, Georgia

Down in Georgia where I live, we have the Blue Ridge mountain range. The mountains really do look blue. It’s really gorgeous. But when it comes to mountains, I’m craving something…more. Something bigger. Something wilder. Something…Romanian.

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Tampa Mountain…not a mountain?

Last summer, I had the pleasure to walk up a few Romanian mountains. First, I walked up Tampa thrice – but I have been informed that Tampa isn’t really a mountain (or is it? debate away). I walked up Postăvarul – straight up, no trails (YOLO) – and I almost died. No, I didn’t, but it really challenged me.

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Postavarul, owned (j/k it kicked my ass)

I also got to hike up Piatra Mare after going through the Șapte Scări canyon. Piatra Mare was also a huge challenge, but I had a guide (the very best ever) who was very patient with me while I was sucking so much air. Thankfully, the trail up is wooded and shady. Lots of good places to take a break from wheezing.

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Damn, Romania. There you go again with that natural beauty…

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Look at this ass on the top of Piatra Mare! And there’s a donkey, too!

Șapte Scări, by the way, is incredible. I am deathly afraid of heights (ironic for someone who enjoys standing on the tops of mountains), but I made it up all of the ladders. I was more proud of myself that I got up the ladders than I was getting up Piatra Mare….

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Right this way to my very own version of Fear Factor

 

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Sapte Scari Canyon

Now I get to make my list for this year.

What mountains will I climb in 2016?

 

I have a pretty long wish list, but the obvious number one is:

Piatra Craiului

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Home of Plaiul Foii where you can get the most amazing Papanasi.

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I’ve been staring at this mountain a long, long time. Is this desire? Yes, yes it is.

Bucegi Mountains

Whoa, whoa, whoa. I have to digress here. Upon googling these mountains, I stumbled upon all these conspiracy theories. There is some sort of occult interest in an “unexplored” area of the Bucegi mountains. A convergence of energy? Secret tunnels? Giants? We were there in December and how did I miss all of this? All I saw was snow and Gendarmerie 😦

Lizard People?? Uh, now I’m definitely going hiking there.

01 Romanian Alien Base Bucegi Mountains

Science!

How did I fall down this rabbit hole? There’s holograms inside of Bucegi. Left for us by GIANTS. It’s real, people. There’s evidence. Now my YouTube suggestions are all weird 😦

 

Ceahlău Massif

Here is one mastiff that I’m not very familiar with. It’s located in Neamţ and is a very popular range for hiking. According to this article, there are seven trails for hikers. If you don’t feel like camping in a tent, there are a few chalets and refuges on the mountain. I’m very interested in those chalets. Not that I don’t like camping…I’ve just never stayed in a chalet before. Also, to my consonant riddled American ears, the world chalet just sounds fancy. Chalet. So many vowel sounds. I digress. Look at this beauty:

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Cuvintele…nu exista

Retezat National Park

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source: misulica via deviant art

These mountains are located in the Transylvanian Alps near Hunedoara. There are so many opportunities for hiking and camping here, I think you could probably spend a week exploring. Although I’m not a climber, there are some pretty cool hikes that include some actual mountain climbing. I’ll add those to my to-do list for when I ever get over my fear of heights.

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source: pietrele.ro

I would love some other suggestions about where to go for great hikes in Romania. I would love to know more about the great outdoors in western/southwestern Romania. I haven’t really been out that way yet, and I’d love to go explore. If you have an idea, please leave it in the comments.

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