We managed to have 4 days of travel freedom, taking advantage of the 1st of May. I’ve heard at a friend that we are champions at making “bridges” over free days so we did. We wanted to take a big trip around Romania and so we did. I’ll put our itinerary point by point, couple of words so you’ll know what it all about but most of it, I’ll let you enjoy the images
- First stop: Corvinilor Castle in Hunedoara.Plane daylight and full of people, as it always is, being an important point of attraction in Romania but if wanna take some great pictures of the entire architecture, you either go a little down on the left side of the bridge, either go further more to the right and you’ll have amazing captures of the castle. The first information about this constructions are from the centuries XIV – XV when the firts fortress was built; much later, in 1440, Ioan of Hunedoar initiates massive constructions in order to modify the fortress into a castle. In 1446, the first part of the constructions, ends, while Ioan of Hunedoara, recently named the Governor of the Kingdom of Hungary, wants to modify the plans and add up more space for the civilians. The second step of castle’s building stops once with the death of Ioan de Hunedoara and the official dates for the finalization of the castle it’s registered as 1480. In the XVII-th century, Gabriel of Bethlen modifies the castles according to the military and civilian needs of that era. With all this data in mind, I’ll let you visit the castle and wonder around the yard and beautiful alleys
- Next stop was Timisoara, where you find, at every step, a breath of west air and totally catches it into its charm. We had 1 day, 1 evening and 1 morning to take all the paths and it was like we didn’t wanna leave, at every step discovering something we loved. More about our journey in Timisoara, you can find here, including a great place to eat What to visit in Timisoara in 1 day, 1 evening, 1 morning Very important, before heading on the road, make sure you have enough gas because this road has very picturesque landscapes but almost no gas station.
- Nostalgic after Timisoara, although we had just left, we took the road and headed to Bigar Waterfall. Although “the star of the show” it’s the waterfall, make sure you visit the entire area and, if you have enough time, visit more of the reservation Nera-Beusnita Keys because you have many colorful surprises, on the way. You might have already heard of Bigar Waterfall from here http://www.theworldgeography.com/2013/01/unique-waterfalls.html. Of course, in the summer it’s very crowded and you can take great photos either very early in the morning, either a bit after the wood fence. Also, the wait time for a soup or anything, if you want to eat in the area, is very long, because of the crowd, so we just took the coffees and left, after a wait of 30-45 min and the soup was still not coming
- Our next point, on this big list, was Cazanele Dunarii. Took the road… stopped a couple of times to take pictures of the crops, of the tractors at work, of natural life, as it is, unaltered by digitalization. They lie at the passing of the Danube through the Carpathian mountains and they occupy only 9 km of road, both the big and small ones, so you can easily see them as a passing through, or if you are in need of a break, you can also give them an entire weekend. For us, being just a stop on the road, we tried to concentrate everything in the shortest period of time.
- The first and most important stop is the one of Decebal’s face carved in stone – it’s the highest rock sculpture in Europe and was made between 1994 and 2004. We also took a little walk further along to see if maybe “he” has a better photo side or not 🙂 After the looks of it, he’s great no matter which side you choose
- Admired the Danube and its passing through the mountains; you can do it by foot, by car or from a boat
- Mraconia Monastery: remembered me a lot of a nice village in Spain where the buildings where also placed on the cliff and you could just be amazed of how they stay there for decades, not being torn by anything
- Portile de fier ( Iron gates I and II): are the biggest source of hydropower on the Danube and they are administrated in partnership with the Serbian side., Iron Gates I cumulates a power of 2160 MW and II of 500 MW
- Dinner in a great landscape, on the edge of Danube and a cook that totally won our hearts/stomach. You can find them here http://www.steaua-dunarii.ro/Contact and, since you’re in the area, I recommend ordering the fish soup and carp brine ( saramura de crap). We could hardly get in the both courses but they where so delicious that we took the effort :))
5. Strong connected with our last point of visit from Cazanele Dunarii, the Iron Gates, we made a stop at Drobeta Turnu Severin where we also stopped to sleep. Because we where very undecided, we took what was left on booking and we got ourselves a clean room but wasn’t very happy with the choice so I suggest making your reservations a bit sooner than at your arrival in the city because everything was kind of completely booked. Of course, if your trip is not happening on free national days, I’m sure the things are totally different
To detail the connection with Iron Gates, in Drobeta Turnu Severin you can still find the ruins of the foot of Traian’s bridge and the ruins of Roman castrum where now you can find the beautiful restored fortress of Severin. More about our surprise from this city, you can read here Half a day in the fortress of Severin
6, Targu Jiu: mostly known because of the relation with Brancusi and its art, Targu Jiu offers you a bit more than you’ve expected and everything on the road of discovering the entire sculptural ensemble named “Heroes Path”, rose by Brancusi in the memory of the heroes fallen in the First World War. The ensemble is built from 4 parts, all disposed on the same line, from the sunset to the sunrise.
- Masa tacerii ( The table of silence): represents the meal before the battle and the time it’s represented through the hourglasses the support the chairs. Be very careful, just because they are chairs, they are a work of art and you are not supposed to seat on them
- Aleea scaunelor ( The alley of chairs): connect The table of silence wih The kissing gate and it’s made of 2 benches and 30 chairs, all made of rock
- Poarta Sarutului ( The kissing gate): it’s the gate that represents the passing through another life and the kiss motif can also be interpreted as the eyes that look upon the interior
- Coloana fara sfarsit ( Endless column): represents the infinite sacrifice made by Romanian soldiers; Sidney Geist considers this work the top point of the modern art. Brancusi has been experiencing with this since 1918, with an oak version that now can be found the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
With our soul fulled, we stoped to take care of the body, also, and took a breakfast lunch at one of the restaurants that lies also on the line of Brancusi. The food was great, we had a big burger that makes us still talk about it. The places is called Madam ( Str Popa Sapca, Bl 2, right across the park, on your way to
7. Curtea de Arges: was the first capital of the Romanian Country, also known as Valahia, and it is better known after the year 1886 when King Carol the 1st names the Cathedral of the Curtea de Arges Monastery, the royal necropolis. The king also build the railway station that connect Curtea de Arges to Pitesti and Bucharest. If you park your car to the center, you can easily visit everything important; the road is good and mostly straight and the indicators are great. Make sure you visit:
- Biserica Domneasca “Sfantul Nicolae” ( “Saint Nicholas” Princely Church); the construction of the inscribed Greek cross plane starts of the site of an older church and lasts between 1351 – 1370.
- Curtea de Arges Cathedral: in the episcopal church you can find the graves of Carol the 1st and Ferdinand, along with their wives, king Carol the 2nd and Elena Lupescu and King Mihai along with his wife, King Mihai being the last monarch of Romania. Very interesting to see it’s also the Fountain of Manole; the legend says that, after building the monastery, Neagoe Basarab asked the craftsmen if they could build another one, as beautiful as this one; at the answer yes, he ordered to take down the scaffolding and left them on the monastery. In order to save them, the craftsmen tried building themselves wings from the shingle but they couldn’t make it. The legend says that on the place where Manole felt, a beautiful spring with clear water arose.
- The train station: built by Carol the 1st to connect Curtea de Argest with Pitesti and Bucharest
- Goanga house: very representative for the architectural style in Arges, at that time. The house belongs to a very important family in the XIX century and can be found at Viorelelor st, no 1
And with all this checked, we headed home, a bit tired but very happy. I hope you had fun too and I wish you a very good night sleep