Cloud Covered Transylvania

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piatra-mare-forestWhen weather can be unfortunate, it can be so so fortunate. It wasn’t the Spring crisp blue skies I’d experienced for most of my time in Romania, instead I was met with an unpredicted change of view. When the clouds came in to surround us, the mystery of Transylvania was setting into my bones. Curiously eerie and enigmatic.


A day out to the Piatra Mare mountains offers a very doable day trek to the summit of 1640m and back. Starting at Sacele, the journey up through the forest is surrounded by streams and pine until you arrive at the canyon. The Canionul Șapte Scări, which translates to seven stairs, a dramatic canyon and well maintained to get trekkers up through it’s imposing contours and waterfalls. Seven vertical ladders, some directly beside the waterfalls offer a slightly technical ascent.

Beyond the canyon the pine trees line the valleys taking you further and steeper, sometimes clutching at trees whilst the ground can be a little muddy in the damper months. All adding to your foot negotiations before finally meeting snow.


old-cabinThe Cabana Piatra Mare is welcoming, offering warmth, tasty vegetable soup and mulled wine. Sadly I didnt meet the dogs and donkey of the Cabana which are trusty members of the team. The dogs who guard their home (I am told are rather formidable in their presence) and the donkey who assists the cabana keeper in bringing supplies to the summit a few times a week, were clearly having some time off.

Three mulled wines later and some drying off, we were ready to hit the inexplicable emptiness that awaited outside. Where had everything gone? However, the lack of viewpoints were replaced with a foreboding sense of excitement. I certainly wouldn’t have got off that mountain if it wasn’t for my trusty guides Razvan (Oyster Worldwide) and Claudia. If I had been on my own, it would have been quite terrifying.

razvan-and-claudiaWhilst leading me down and chipper all the way, everything seemed so still around us. My laughing and sarcastic oooohs were interrupted by a sense of what we would in fact expect of a Transylvanian mountain. Thought provoking, the surroundings tempted me to hang back and experience my apprehension. I have a tendency to get the best possible feeling I can out of being amongst nature and the outdoors – I definitely achieved that here. In this case it was provided by the elements more so than the Piatra Mare itself and although they were mild, it was the clouds, the backdrop and the fact it was Transylvania, all added to a worthy and unusual experience.

bear-creekRazvan and Claudia had a plan, to take me to Bear Creek. Clearly all I thought about was being in the habitat of the bear and wolf, so when we arrived I wasn’t certain what to expect. Razvan and Claudia had been here many times, but they too hadn’t experienced this mysterious atmosphere before. I’m glad we shared this day.



Beyond the pine forest and sheer drop of the creek, there it was – absolutely nothing! And that is the point i’d like to make, the mystery and suspense of what surrounded you whilst in deep ancient forests, was the thrill itself. I was shown the Postăvaru viewpoint directly in front of us and strangely still found myself saying wow! followed by a confused look upon my face. Was the viewpoint more appealing or the sheer drop and nothing beyond?



Then we saw something, detected by a little rustle in the mist. A nosey, tufted ear’d, white chested European Red Squirrel. A curious little soul, living a very enviable life here in the ancient forest habitat of the Carpathians. Lets hope it stays that way.


In November 2013 Prince Charles spoke at the launch of Wild Carpathia 3 (an exceptional series that can be found on the Travel Channel or youtube). Presented by the talented travel journalist Charlie Ottley, this series explores the wilderness and the issues over conservation. Should you be visiting Romania then this series is most certainly a must see.

Prince Charle’s insightful understanding can be read here:- “Romania is losing three hectares of virgin forest per hour

We at TOMORROWBEAR understand the importance of conserving the Carpathian forest ecosystem and appreciate how sustainable tourism can create a lasting economy opposed to the deforestation created by the logging and wood processing industries. If you want to learn more and be amongst its ancient forest and mountain habitat, looking to safely and ethically trek here – why not enquire about the Bear Trek Transylvania. This trip is designed to do just that.

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