miercuri, 5 august 2009
Road Trip on a Budget
Whoever said camping isn’t fun didn’t visit Romania yet. This bloody Economic Crisis did have one positive outcome- exploring one’s own country instead of spending a fortune on an abroad holiday.
Last year I was enjoying the Croatian coast, followed by a city break in Barcelona and a wonderful winter treat in Slovakia and Poland. 2009 has been more or less a transition year for me, I am forced to keep my piggy bank close by and just put all my money in it so as to be prepared for the big departure date-14th of September- the day when I’ll kiss Romania good-bye and head for Brussels.
So here I am, enjoying my days off and trying to stick to my holiday budget… last Friday 5 Romanian youngsters departed on an interesting road trip. First stop?! Poiana Mărului (=Apple’s Clearing) where we settled the base. Wonderful scenery, fresh air, lots of apple trees. After 2 days spent in the camp, we headed for Orşova- a port city- to visit the Danube River.
The Danube River enters Romania through a narrow gorge in the Carpathians Mountains, called The Iron Gate. The area is reputed for its geological complexity, biological diversity and historical vestiges. Close to the city of Orşova, the Danube reduces its size and enters the so-called “Boilers” area (Cazanele Dunării). There are two such boilers- The Big Boilers (Cazanele Mari) and The Small Boilers (Cazanele Mici). Due to the rocky surface the Danube has to cross on its way to the Black Sea, the speed of the water flowing is much higher almost giving the impression of boiling water- thus the name Danube Boilers. Seeing all those places made me feel proud of my origins especially after having the chance to view the Statue of Decabalus- our Dacian king. The statue is impressive in size- approximately 40 meters high, which is also the tallest rock sculpture in Europe. The constructions started in 1994 and took over 10 years to complete. Under the statue, one can read the following:”Decebalus Rex- Dragan Fecit”- King Decebal-Made by Drăgan.
On the 4th day we headed from our base camp to Retezat Mountains, one of the tallest mountains in Romania. The area also consists of a National Park, Retezat National Park being the first recognized Romanian National Park. Awesome scenery, crystal clear glacier lakes and breathtaking mountain peaks. We made it to Lake Bucura (2030 m altitude), covering an 8 ha surface, which is the largest glacier lake in Romania. Unfortunately the weather conditions did not allow us to head for the tallest peak from the Retezat Mountains- Peleaga, 2509 m. Maybe some other time…
All in all, super cool company, super cool places, super cool country! I love Romania, too bad that some areas are full with litter! Guys, seriously, use garbage cans! Nature has to be protected!