Danish hikers in Fagaras mountains

Thanks to Iulian Cozma , my cousin Britt and I had a fantastic and eventful week in Romania from the 19th to the 26th of September. On the first day , in the Bucegi Mountains, the sky was clear and the sun was shining as it did throughout the week. From Sinaia we took the cable car 700 m up till we were above the tree line. It was barren and cold, so we had to put on our hats and gloves. We walked 300 very long meters up to Omu Peak. Here we sat, in the sun, in front of a wooden cottage where one could buy soup, coffee and very sweet tea, and enjoyed the view over the mountain. We looked forward to a week of delightfully tough mountain tramping! Unfortunately an old knee injury was revived by a rather lengthy descent, so that in the evening it was clear to us that we would not be able to continue our week on the same ambitious level . Reluctantly we informed Iulian of this. Like a true pro he just took it in his stride and within five minutes he had, on the basis of his vast experience, outlined a different route of easier trails for us and in the same breath he booked new pensions and canceled others that did not fit into the revised plan. Moreover, the day after he let us have a day of rest and sightseeing in the pleasant Old Town of Brasov. Here it turned out that not only does Iulian know something about mountains, he is also knowledgeable about the history and culture of Romania and above all – Romanian cakes! Between sights , and while we enjoyed Iulian’s fun and informative company, we were literally stuffed with cakes, not only once but twice ! The day was rounded off with yet another couple of cakes that Iulians very sweet wife gave us to enjoy back home at the hotel. What a day ! During the remaining four days we walked through one picturesque mountain area after another, we stayed in the pleasantest pensions. And high up in the Fagaras Mountains, that are more barren than The Bucegi and yet particularly spectacular, we stayed in one incredible hotel, the Balea Lac – virtually built on a lake which , smooth as a mirror, reflects the scenery around it . We saw chamois elegantly galloping down a mountain slope. We saw a lot of ravens. We were accompanied for a whole day by a very nice dog. We were offered walnuts, fresh from the tree, by an old shepherd. Last but not least , Iulian took us down to his grandmothers village where we stayed the night at her sister’s house. We had a long amazing conversation with Silviu, an unforgettably friendly man who showed us everything they owned . . . The pigs , the chickens, the potatoes ( the small ones for the pigs ! ) , the hat that he wears for Christmas and his pride – the locker with his tools. We saw the cows come home from the meadows at sunset, and how they were milked, the old fashioned way. We had lovely home cooked food, and plum dumplings, we had lots of brandies and coffee. We felt very privileged to have been given this experience , it put a happy smile on our faces that still lingers. In short it was a trip that we can warmly recommend. In the mountains we felt completely safe with Iulian as a guide . Iulian is thoroughly professional , a nice companion and a good friend . Everything ran smoothly, from we arrived at the airport and were picked up by Iulian’s nice driver Manu , till we were back at the airport one week later. We each had with us a CD , with photos from the holiday , that Iulian had had time to make the night before and deliver at our hotel . Impressive !This trip certainly made us want to come back and see more . The friendliest greetings to Iulian from

Britt Treu and Therese Hernø, Denmark September 2009