I should begin by describing how I came to meet Iulian. I was travelling alone in Romania, and at this point in my trip I was at the beginning of a three-day hike in the Fagaras Mountains. We met at the Simbata Chalet. It seems that Iulian had been hired by two young men from France, and from what I understood through conversation with them, I learned that they had hired Iulian as a guide for the full duration of their trip in Romania. Iulian took care of all the planning, lodging and meals and on top of that, he had extensive experience hiking in the mountains. Their trip included visits in cities as well as hiking in the mountains. Iulian was helpful to me personally in that I had many questions about the trails that lay ahead of me on this trek. In fact, after the second day (a quite demanding day by my inexperienced standards) I was looking for alternatives, and Iulian suggested what he thought was the lightest of the choices that I had. I must say that it worked out nicely, and the trail was far more beautiful than I had imagined. This doesn’t yet explain to the reader why I am writing this letter. So I will tell you at once. There is a mountain in the Fagaras range, called Moldoveanu, which is the highest peak in the region. It was sort of rainy when I hiked it, so I didn’t take any pictures. When I returned home to Canada, I was searching the internet for photos. I came upon a site with some photos, and sent a letter to the site contact asking specifically for these pictures. In his reply, he wrote, “by the way, I think we met this summer”. He was indeed right. He agreed to send me photos (which I have since received), and when I inquired as to how I could return the favour, he asked me if I would mind writing something for his site. I will conclude by telling you this: I thoroughly enjoyed touring Romania, on my own, for 2 weeks. If you would enjoy the luxury of having a full-time native guide and companion, I think you needn’t search any further. By my estimation, Iulian is a good guy, and at the same time a knowledgeable and experienced guide.
Daryl Vineberg, B.Eng. Montreal, Canada
P.S. I gain nothing by writing this. And I should tell you that in the mountains I was a bit jealous when I saw what his guys were eating, compared to what I was eating…there are benefits to having a local on your side. P.P.S. Please feel free to contact me if you have any related questions