A thirteen strong group of us, all keen mountaineers, from various parts of Ireland have been for the past number of years, taking a week out in early September to trek another new destination for us across the mountains of Europe.This year it was to be the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania,Romania.
After some research earlier in the year it was decided, due to the limited time we had, seven days, that we should the services of a local guide. Iulian was to be our guide for the week.
The service that Iulian provided was second to none and I don’t say this lightly having as I said traveled extensively through Europe and further afield on such trips before. The service that he provided enabled us all to have a really stress free trip. From the day he picked us up at Bucharest Airport, until the day we left, he ensured that he gave us not only a great hiking trip but also opened up our minds to the beauty and history of his beautiful country.
His knowledge of the local flora and fauna really was an education. This local knowledge and the way he treated us and looked after us made this a trip that I would have no hesitation both doing again in the future or indeed recommending to others. He has the ability to become one of the group and at times you forget he is the guide putting everyone immediately at ease.
We had originally planned to Trek and Hut the Fagaras and Bucegi Ranges, but early snow made the first leg on the high Fagaras range not possible. Iulian at a moments notice was able to rearrange the itinerary allowing us to stay in a local family run Pension and walk various trails in the Piatra Craiului National Park which we all thoroughly enjoyed.
The hospitality and service that we got was again excellent from our host Marianne in the nearby Simon Village. We then moved on and picked up on our original itinerary for second half of the week and toured the Bucegi Range summiting the highest point Mount Omu at 2507m in the snow. This was a great day and one of the highlights of the trip. We stayed in a local mountain hut which doubled as the National Mountain Rescue Center in Romania.
This again had excellent facilities and felt more like a hotel. After spending a night in local Resort of Sinia and touring the beautiful Peles Castle, Iulian gave us a wonderful send off and joined us in a delightful meal prior to our departure. If this was not enough, he even provided a guide for us, who gave us a tour of the ‚Old Town‘ in Bucharest. A wonderful trip made all the better by Iulian and his personal, professional, friendly touch.
As we say in Ireland ‚we have unfinished business in Romania‘ and look forward to discovering the Fagaras Range hopefully in the not too distant future again hopefully under the guidance of Iulian.
Martin and his Irish Globetrotters, Autumn , 2013 – photos here