In the late fall 2006 when I was on a business trip to Romania, I found I had a few days without any direct work activities, and I decided to try and book some hiking in the Carpathian Mountains, which I had always wanted to do. I found Iulian Cozma’s details on his web site, and in no time at all I had made contact and booked a short hiking trip with him. We met the day before, as arranged, in Brasov. I would like to say that immediately, any concerns that I had were alleviated by his very professional manner. The overriding impression that I received was that I was dealing with a man of high integrity and with high professional standards. The business side of things, which can be awkward with hidden expenses, was quite clear and well explained. This was such a relief, because doing business in a foreign country can mean that language barriers lead to misunderstandings. Not so with Iulian, as he was quite comfortable in English. The hiking trip which covered the Bucegi and the Piatra Craiului Mountains was absolutely beautiful, and I was able to indulge my hobby of photographing mountain flowers without being harassed by Iulian or other hikers. I also should note that Iulian displayed a very high standard of safety, and would not tolerate any risky behaviour, and his leadership style was not abrasive, but it was firm. When we came across some unsustainable logging practices being conducted in Piatra Craiului, it was also clear that Iulian was willing to do what was necessary to bring about a culture of responsible environmental management. We stayed in a charming bed and breakfast establishment in the Dracula village and had really good food. I have no hesitation in recommendaing Iulian as a responsible and caring guide for mountain trekking, and I am already planning some winter snowshoeing with the rest of my family.
Dominic Mitchell – Durban – South Africa, september 2006 – Bucegi and Piatra Craiului tour