As I am preparing for a new Romanian road trip in July, I have decided to finish the story of last year's visit, where I left off so here and here for the first parts.
After a quick stop in Brasov, we headed for the mountain resorts of the Prahova Valley, stopping in Busteni, a great spot for winter sports and summer hiking. Accommodation is very easy to find, several of the locals offer rooms in their houses for the weary travelers and you can even enjoy a tuica or plum brandy with these mountain people. That is what we did: we spent the evening eating and drinking local food and in the morning, after a big breakfast, we set out to conquer the mountain.
The clouds were very low so no one believed me about the wonders on the mountain: the Sphynx and the Old Ladies and the Great Cross. There are several ways to get there: 4x4 cars for the lazy and not so eco friendly, hiking for the really really brave ones and the cable car for the patient. We had to wait in line for about an hour before we could hop on but the passage through the clouds and up to the heights was quite smooth and fun. If you don't care about the scenery, inside is interesting as well: the cable car is an old Italian model that has seen the Alps and the driver has icons of the Virgin.
Up on the Plateau is a cottage with warm meal if you feel like it. If not, just follow the crowds of people going for the sights nearby.
A dog was fast asleep on one of the old ladies. It was a huge Saint Bernard and it was snoring loudly, probably on a break from taking pictures with the tourists.
Down the valley, sheep were grazing. Down there, there are more cottages and a beautiful lake and one can even reach the other resorts. But we decided to take a short trip, about one hour and a half, to the Cross that was still not visible on top of the mountain, nearly 2400m high.
The path is winding but quite easy to take. We meet up with more tourists and more sheep. The clouds were coming and going, sometimes we were inside a milky white cloud, other times we felt like we were sitting at the brim of a crevice.
We stopped near some melting ice, it was the beginning of August, but still there was some dirty snow left. We had some of the local salami, Salam de Sibiu it is called but the Salonta version is better :) and then we continued to the cross. We met with some more tourists and sheep on the way, below is a black sheep and a white one without a head, oops.
And then we went back. The next stop was Bucharest, where we stayed for a few days before going back to CZ. But you've seen quite a lot of pictures from Bucharest so I will not bother you with that and instead I will show you a beautiful manor just close to Bucharest. Next time...