Passing through Cheile Bicazului

This is Part 1 of a two-part post on Cheile Bicazului. You can read Part Two here.

During our recent trip to Romania, we passed through Cheile Bicazului, a stunning, narrow pass carved through the Carpathian mountains. We started out on the Transylvania side, where the weather was beautiful and sunny, though we could see the clouds hovering over the mountains far into the distance.

Zigzag into the horizon

As we got closer, the weather got chillier, and we could see the mountain peaks enshrouded in fog. This mountain meadow was still bright and sunny, though the cold wind made us shiver.

Steep slope

Just a few kilometers away from the meadow pictured above, we stopped at Lacul Rosu, a lake whose origin is uncertain. It seems falling rocks blocked the path of a river, and a lake accumulated in that valley hundreds or thousands of years ago. The trunks of the flooded evergreens can still be seen in the water. Here the weather got even colder and wetter. There was no question about it — we were high up in the mountains.

At the edge of Lacul Rosu

That same punishing weather proved truly beneficial to my photography. Without it, the mountain peaks wouldn’t have looked quite as good. Here are a couple of peaks seen at the start of the pass.

Enshrouded in fog

Here’s a truly majestic peak seen from inside the pass. That fog was just perfect!

High above Cheile Bicazului

The sharply winding road broke through the peaks onto a meadow set in a small valley. I stopped the car and peered over the edge of the cliff to get this photo of the mountain brook passing below us. I love that little wooden bridge, twisted into a precarious position by spring torrents and autumn storms.

The little bridge down in the valley

There was a group of cabins in the meadow, and off to the side, I found this deserted hut, built out of stone right into the side of the hill. Grass grew on its roof, and overgrown shrubs surrounded it. I wonder what purpose it once served.

Deserted and overgrown

That same mountain brook seen just above can be seen in the photo below. The same bridge can now be spotted in the top left corner. I really like mountain streams. They flow fast, and the water’s clean, cold and invigorating.

A happy mountain brook

We weren’t dressed for the weather, and we ended up with slightly sore throats by the time we made it to the other side, but it sure was worth it! It was my first time through Cheile Bicazului. Ligia used to come there with her parents quite often as a child. We want to go back again and hike through those mountains should we get the chance.


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