I took the day off today. Everyone else walked a rural route of gorgeous views through a small village ascending at one point just over 2500m. All of our walks vary in difficult in and length hopefully balancing those two factors. The walking distances have ranged in between 5-7 miles. I definitely have used walking poles and find it much more challenging than our daily power walks up and down Wharton Road!
Piatra Craiului is the name of the mountains and yesterday’s notes said we would visit the “wilder side.” I have now learned this all translates to very difficult! At one point we ascended for 90 minutes to reach an igloo type structure. People overnight here to be ready to go to the top the next day. I would not ever wan to to be in any situation that remotely could ever make me think about such an option.
The overnight structure is the metal box behind us. It reminded me of the box they put Paul Newman in for that scene in Cool Hand Luke. Dan is our guide in the green shirt. The gentleman on the beach is a shepherd taking a break.
Pictures really do not come close to the beauty of this area.
Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees.
Finally, an ice cold beer at the end of the trail. I made it! Next post from Dracula’s castle. Not really Dracula’s castle, because that is fiction and you know it!
We are staying in the town of Zarnesti. This is a pension at the end of the trail. It seemed like an Oasis to me. Nice.
Romanians have a diet that reminds me of a cross between Eastern Europe and Russian. Tripe soup is a popular menu item that I have not tried yet!😜
Soup is very popular and I’ve enjoyed several recipes like chicken and vegetables , broccoli (not creamy)and I am sure a bowl of Borsct is in my near future. Cabbage Rolls are great and spiced a wee bit differently than Lebanese. Snitzels are popular both pork and chicken. Starchy sides feature potatoes every way imaginable, but polenta is more of a fave. And like everywhere in the entire world, Pizza is around every corner. Beer and wine are cheap and plentiful. Romanian wines have a huge market worldwide of which we were unawares.
Pork medallions with polenta on the side is a staple and a few dishes are plentiful that I thought were Greek like Moussaka. A hot white been dip with roasted garlic and carmalized onions seems to land in my hand on hot pita bread too.
Serve yourself soup & salad is the way most meals begin. Cheese plates with cold cuts are plentiful, but cheeses tend to be mild and immature.
Plus, we eat heaps of BREAD! We pack our own lunches each morning at breakfast before hiking just like Norway, but there are still food & drink opportunities along the way.
This used to be where the communist party met, but these days it hosts stars of the past like Englebert Humperdinck. The acoustics are lousy, but these old stars have dedicated fans that pack in to see them anyway.
One way to keep heritage is build a brand new building, but keep the remnants from old damaged ones.
Our flights were good and the night out in London was so fun plus we never left Heathrow Airport. The Sofitel Hotel is right in the airport. We all arrived in Bucharest yesterday even except fo my luggage. Fiona was ON IT. Bag will arrive here this evening. We are staying at a fabulous hotel named Hotel Cismigiu.
Our guide, Elena, was so entertaining showing us the historical buildings, local foods, wines and all the sights associated with the rise and fall of Communism. I always love hearing about history from those who are living the the circumstances created from leaders, events and social movements.
The Palace of Parliment is the world’s second largest building in the world. Only the Pentagon is larger. It certainly is the biggest, heaviest and most expensive administrative building on earth. Ceausescu was out of touch with reality if not completely mad to have thought this was a good idea.
We also spent time in Revolution Square and visited beautiful venues for concerts, theater and improv. I love improv, but I think following comedians speaking Romanian might be hard. 😳
Tomorrow we train Transylvania- Land of Dracula. We’re heading for Pension Elena in Zamesti situated on the edge of Piatra Crailului National Park. This is a new Elena.
The cast of characters- Us, Steve & Julia and Fiona & Dave
Our first task is to meet our mates at Sofitel London Heathrow an award-winning Heathrow airport hotel that combines luxurious comfort with a convenient location in the worlds busiest airport. Connected to Heathrow Terminal 5 via a walkway to other terminals via free inter-terminal transfers and to central London by a 21-minute express train. We should be able to achieve this without getting lost.😳
After a wee bit of fun in Loneon, we will spend a few days in Bucharest. July 10, we begin our walking tour titled Transylvania- Land of Dracula. Interested? Check out itinerary @
Trip Code: TRAN