Trekking in Romania.
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Map of Apuseni
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The article was written 31.1.2007.
Follow me to the Apuseni Mountains
I am tired of the awful noise of the city. I really feel like I need a break. I need to get out of this crowd! I know you feel the same way so... Close your eyes! 1... 2... 3... Now you can open it! What do you see?
Isn't this the most beautiful scenery you have ever seen? Notice the fresh green grass everywhere! Listen to the song of the woodnote! Feel the powerful scent of the coniferous trees! Uhmmm...it feels like life!
Welcome to Apuseni! Come with me on an unbelievable experience. That's the way I first started. With an experience. Taken by a very dear friend. Now let me be your guide into this mysterious world.
Transportation - The beginning of the adventure
The first thing to consider is the means of transportation. You can either use your car, the bus or the train. In each case it is very important to decide the amount of equipment needed.
If you go by car, you have a better freedom regarding the things you may bring (from food to tools and clothes), but also you don't have such a freedom of movement. That is unless you leave your car parked at the beginning of the climbing and continue the adventure with your knapsack.
If you choose the bus or the train, you have to consider the schedule as it is very important to have the connection for arrival/departure as this area is pretty secluded.
Know your strength
Also you have to know your strength and you must have the ability to choose the best items for your trip. Last time I went to Apuseni, I went by train with a big back pack which became really heavy on my way up to the mountain. Unfortunately every little thing in it was needed so I think I just wasn't strong enough for it. But all I wanted was to go up on that mountain so this was a minor detail.
You will also see that your rucksack will become bigger and heavier as you must have a raincoat in case of rain, a sleeping bag in case you want to spend the night in your tent and warm clothes in case it gets cold during the night.
The great part in Apuseni is that you can enjoy yourself no matter if you are a trained climber or just an everyday walker as you will find various tracks from which you can choose the one that suits you and your physical abilities best.
The best thing was when after a hard day (for me) climbing down the mountain, I fall asleep in the tent with the song of the woods, surrounded by a sea of sparkling stars and when I woke up, I was in the middle of a big cloud. Speechless!
The inhabitants of this area are extremely friendly and happy to show you all these wonders surrounding you. They are called "moti" and they are higly experienced in manufacturing wooden artisan objects. We first got in touch with them when we needed a place to camp and we asked the permission to spend the night in their yard.
There are also villas where you can stay but we wanted to be in the middle of the nature and there was no camping nearby. And there is nothing like watching the dewdrops in the grass in the morning as the sun rises slowly and warms everything up.
If you are lucky you can hear the never heard before sound of the "Alps horn" - that is called "tulnic" in Romanian, a wooden made musical instrument specific to this area with a distinctive sound.
This is one of the many things that the inhabitants are good to as they are born craftsmen. Besides sculpting the wood, they are also good friends with pottery - as you can see the most amazing models on pipkins and dishes, and weaving -those beautiful carpets are easy to recognize everywhere.
The mountain is full of routes that are just waiting for you to step on it. But you should know exactly the path you want to follow and the correspondent marked route as you don't want to end up somewhere else. Most of the routes are marked with a blue white band or red white band, blue cross or red dot and it can be found on trees or special hand posts so you can notice it and you won't get lost. You can always ask for directions in every village you pass trough as you will find an information point or you can just ask the villagers as they are the best guides you will ever find.
The Apuseni Mountains are full of beautiful things to see. I strongly recommend you to visit the Padis area - an amazing karstic complex with wonderful springs and woods that are just waiting for your visit. It is one of the most visited areas as it offers various means of entertainment from trekking to exploring the underground caves.
The caves will always have a hidden mystery inside. Sometimes these mysteries are revealed as it is the Live Fire Cave which has an underground glacier -the third in Romania - naturally preserved due to the hole in the "roof" of the cave that keeps the cold air inside, preventing it from melting.
The Flowers' Glade
If you don't like the underground, I have a perfect place for you - The Flowers' Glade. As the name suggests, it is an ensemble of glades with thousands of flower which offer you a beautiful scenery in the summer when they blossom. In case you get thirsty, you will find here a tasty spring -and trust me, there nothing like a good mountain spring water.
The Bihor Peak
And up we go, to conquer the highest peak - the Bihor Peak 1849 m -where the view is spectacular. You feel like on top of everything and everyone as you have all these down at your feet. It cannot be put into words! You just have to be here in person!
As I am tired, I'll leave you wondering through these wonderful places as there are many more to be discovered and I will go into one of the glades, sit on the grass and listen to the sounds of the nature.