Nature city break for a day.
We leave Bucharest in the morning for a nature escape experience for a day, heading towards Ploiesti. The city is known in the history for the largest oil refinery built in 1857 with the help of a private investment from the USA.
The winding road trough villages brings us to the footsteps of the Carpathian Mountains. We cross the dam in Maneciu to start our adventure, the cart road we follow takes us right on top of the hill from where we relish an admirable view of the lake underneath. We drive to the highest point of the day at 1500m altitude to admire the beautiful eastern Carpathian Mountains to the north and the Ciucas Mountains to the west.
Along the way, we will meet shepherds herding their sheep flocks supervised by vigilant packs of dogs. This area is full of wild animals, like bears, wolfs and lynx, but it’s difficult to see them. Wild animals are very hard to spot because of their night activity. We stop and take a break, visiting the unknown soldier memorial cemetery from the WWI, at Tabla Butii. We drive for 500m more and reach the ruins of the Hungarian border fortress Cruceberg built in the medieval times by Teutonic Knights to stop the invasion of the Cumans and later of the Tatars. We will go through the defense wall built to protect Transylvania from any possible invasion.
The road starts to descend into a new unseen world, known only by locals and people that take a step further from a conventional travel. We drive trough the Pirusca gorge to reach one of my friend’s sheepfold, where we stop to eat fresh organic cheese being made here in a traditional way for centuries. Driving for few minutes from the sheepfold we reach the Milk Stone (White Stone). We will rest and listen to the bells of cows and sheep grazing on pastures beneath the rock. From the top of the rock, we can also admire the Tartar ridge we just came from to cross into Transylvania.
Going back on the road towards Vama Buzaului we arrive at the hauling waterfall. We will rest and walk on the hill to the water curtain. Vama Buzaului has been established after the Austro-Hungarian empire was created and Transylvania has been assimilated by the empire. The customs was moved from the Tartar Ridge to the place where now is the base of the village. We also visit the European Bison reserve, established in 2008. Here is the point where the nature escape ends, we drive to Brasov, stop for a coffee in the old town and drive back to Bucharest through Prahova Valley.