Places

Lacul Vidra and Obarsia Lotrului

We drove into Lacul Vidra and Obarsia Lotrului this past weekend. The approximate location we visited is this one.

It’s a wonderful drive that offers gorgeous vistas (as most roads in Romania do), and because it’s not summer yet, the roads are relatively empty, meaning we were able to take our time and stop wherever we liked to take photos.

I’m going to publish the first group of photos today and the rest tomorrow, because there are quite a few of them and I’d rather not overwhelm you.

On the way, we found a grotto formed of ice and snow at the foot of a forest, right over the bed of a brook. The snow had been insulated by a thick leaf cover, and that’s why it had kept so far, but in 75-degree (Fahrenheit) late spring weather, I doubt it will keep for much longer. It was a remarkable sight for the middle of May, particularly since we weren’t at a high altitude (about 400-500 meters).

I recorded a short video of it as well.

We found a beautiful meadow on the top of a mountain, where we relaxed and breathed in the fresh air.

In case you’re wondering what I look like these days, here’s a portrait of me taken by Ligia.

Make sure to go through the full gallery posted below for more photos.

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Places

First snow on the Transalpina Road

Transalpina is the highest road in Romania. It’s also quite possibly its most picturesque; it certainly offers the most beautiful sights I’ve seen in Romania so far. It connects Transilvania to Oltenia, and the official length of the entire road is 148 km from Novaci to Sebes, although only a stretch of 30-40 km travels atop the Parang Mountains (part of the Carpathians), reaching an altitude of 2145 meters at its highest point.

The road was built by the Romans, as they traveled north toward Sarmisegetusa and then used by them as they carted off thousands of tons of gold and silver from Dacia’s rich mines. (You might want to read through this post for the background info.)

According to this website, the road was paved with rocks by King Carol I in the 1930s, maintained by the Nazis during WWII, then forgotten. Work to repave its entire length began in 2009 and it still goes on, though large portions of the road, including its most beautiful sections, are now ready to be used.

We visited Transalpina twice this year, most recently during this past weekend, and we were awestruck by the beauty of the vistas you can see as you travel along its length. We had the good fortune to drive through right after first snow had fallen on the peaks, draping them in a light blanket of pure white snow. Moreover, we were blessed with a gorgeous sunset that colored everything in sight in a golden orange hue. It was heavenly.

We’d have loved to spend more time atop the mountains but night was falling quickly, the temperature was dropping, and we had hundreds of “miles to go” before we could sleep, to paraphrase Robert Frost.

We drove on, descending into the valley below and into thick fog, then wound our way through the mountains toward Sibiu, passing through such interesting places as Jina and Poiana Sibiului.

I’ll leave you with a few more photos from the trip.

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