We spent three days in the Piatra Craiului area despite heavy snowfall on the previous few days before our arrival which meant a lower level hike. The tour was well organised to include plenty of walking on different terrain. We walked through the town of Zarnesti followed by a steep hike through forests then across open hills towards the mountain chalet (Cabana Curmutura). At the chalet there were fantastic views of the Bucegi range in the distance and of Piatra Cruialulai close by. On the following day we hiked up towards Piatra Mica kicking through the snow with a small scramble to reach the top. Then the last day a fast-paced 12km walk passing through a gorge and through the lovely villages and farmland of Magura. Our final destination was Bran where we visited the Bran Castle. There was no strict timetable to follow, the tour felt personalised and options of routes were discussed. Each day we experienced varied walking scenery and landscape. The mountains were amazing and we only wished we were able to go higher or have a few more days. Our trip was significantly enhanced by being with Iulian who carried out his role as a mountain guide excellently, making correct decisions regarding mountain safety as well as showing sensitivity to our ability. Iulian is knowledgeable and passionate about Romania and the environment and is enthusiastic and keen share his local knowledge. Iulian also provided assistance above what was expected (e.g., making reservations for the rest of our trip, providing information etc.). Iulian is a gentleman and a genuinely good companion and we have no hesitation in recommending him as a mountain guide.
Rob Holtom & Lie Ping Tang (Birmingham, England), april 2005 For further details contact: robert.holtom (at) mottmac dot com