Wow, it has certainly been awhile since I last passed by the blog. I had a lovely vacation and since I saw so many awesome things, I wanted to share every step of the way with you.
So normally we were supposed to go in Cyprus, but because the country had gone into a red zone, we didn't go. That would have meant to do a 2 week quarantine upon our arrival in Romania, so we preferred skipping this problem and adventure ourselves into the northen part of our homeland.
We never got the chance to visit much of Romania as we parted when we were young and afterwards, we always thought of going to other places while we are still young, Romania always remaining a comfortable trip. But hey, this was a viable option during these covid times.
We actually started off by wanting to visit the Transfăgărășan road, which is a mountain crossing so amazing to do, especially for NFS amateurs, the road being so close to those trails you have to do in the game. Doing it with a sports car is even more awesome.
Watch out for bears though ! When we went there, there were a whole lot of them.
The road crosses the Carpathian Mountains, along the road you can visit Balea Lake ( a glacier lake, situated at 2034 m altitude in the Fagaras mountains ) and Lake Vidraru ( artificial lake which has emerged after the construction of Vidraru Dam in the early 60s, its purpose being to produce hydroelectricity - an impressive construction you will surely appreciate if you're in the vicinity ).
Afterwards, our plan was to turn home, in the south of the country and visit the seaside. But because the temperatures were extremely high (45C) , we preferred to go further north and enjoy the picturesque sceneries of Maramures county.
I always wanted to go glamcamping in Romania, so after a careful search, we found ourselves in Lazy Dreams Voia camping, which has recently opened. It's family owned and you'll have just 3 available renting facilities - 2 glam tents and a barrel. They're currently working on a more adequate toilet & shower, the ones on the premisses being rather rudimentary.
But it's a wonderful place to stay and enjoy some peace and quiet. By night you'll hear the stream of a close by river. So beautiful !
After Voia glamcamp, we went to visit The Corvins' Castle. It's quite the amazing structure, built in a gothic style around the 14th century. When we visited, it was being also restored, so I bet that when you will visit, it will be already done. It has lots of history and also legends, but I'll let you discover everything by yourself ;)
Next day, we'd adventured ourselves far north, in Maramures county. We've passed by Cluj-Napoca which is a very large city and a lovely stop if you're heading for the north of the country. It features a huge mall ( Iulius Mall) and since our trip wasn't planned so long from the beginning, I had to stop and pick up a few things to wear :)
In Maramures, we stopped at a lovely caban in the mountains, Vadul Lupilor. The hosts are very nice and we stayed there for 2 days. Everything is built in wood, so it's quite impressive to check out. The stay there per night is around 40-45€.
One of the hosts advised us to take the following itinerary:
Mecles's Mill from Sacel ( that dates since 1890 and is composed of two mills, a roller and a wool processing machine, all set in motion only by the power of river water); it's a quick stop, the tax was 1€ if I recall correctly and it's a family owned tourist point.
Also in Sacel, you will find a renowned local potter, from a 13th generation of potters that still is in the business and will show you how to make your own piece of pottery. The system is from ancient Dacia, using a special kind of clay ( non industrial), found in the depts of the earth. Its reddish colour makes it distinctive from industrial white clay. The gentleman also owns a 500 year old oven, also completely natural made from ancient times, that is fully functional. A piece of pottery is made in aprox 48h and then left to dry for a month.
I actually bought some lovely cups myself ! You can also make your own piece of pottery, but then logistic wise, it's going to be a bit challenging considering the time it takes to have it done.
Then you'll have a great church to visit near by, in Ieud village. It's called the Church from the Hill and it dates back to 1365 ! Also a quick stop :)
And on the same holy theme, you can visit afterwards the Barsana Monastery. We actually caught the Sunday service. It's so amazing to watch, brings peace to the soul.
As a more national cultural thing, we have stopped by at the memorial of pain. The Memorial to the Victims of Communism and to the Resistance is located in Sighet and it was created to remind people of all the terrors during the Communist era, to honour all the victims of a suppressed Romania and everything they have lived. It has been created on the grounds of an old communist prison.. I was very sad to learn all about the painful history that my country has dealt with. I was born in 1989, on the 17th of November, the day the Resistance started to make a big stand and started the first sparks of a coming revolution that would change to course of Romania forever.
From a sad story to a happy one, I don't know if you heard of the Merry Cemetery from Sapanta :) ?
Stan Ioan Patras ( y1935) was the mind behind this cemetery and made the concept of death a rather merry one, sculpting little fun and rimed fragments of dead people's lives on their bright coloured tombstones.
Today the cemetery and church became a tourist attraction.
Last on our list that day was the Wooden Church from Peri that's located nearby - the highest wooden church in the world ( 78m high ).
It's an impressive construction that you must check out ( especially if you are a GOT fan, you will find yourself in the North with Jon Snow :) )
And the next day we went on a trip on Mocanita train, the last steam train in Europe.. it's a 6h trip ( with stops of course), crossing the mountains on board of a piece of history.
The sceneries are breathtaking - don't forget to book your trip online at least 2 days before.
That concluded our trip and after the train ride, we had 9h of road to cover back home :)
But it was worth it and I hope to be back soon in Romania to visit other places. You'd need minimum 2 months to see everything there.
Thank you for passing by the blog and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me xo