The second day of my week-end trip started with a short stop in Sibiu, my personal favorite city in Romania. A nice surprise was the traditional pottery fair, open in the middle of Large Square. Lots of beautiful ceramics creations from Harghita county and not only to choose from. We did not have much time, so we were back on the road shortly.
Our destination was Transalpina, located in the Parang Mountains, in the Southern Carpathians. It connects Sebes, north of Parang Mountains and Novaci, in the south. Stories say that the road was built under King Carol the 2nd and rebuilt during World War II by German troops and is known as The King's Road among the locals. Its highest point is Urdele Pass, where the elevation is 2,145m above sea level. Given the high altitude, the road is closed during the cold months of the year. I found it to be even more spectacular and demanding than the Transfagarasan, although, all in all, I liked the latter better.
We stopped to take pictures and feed a cute group of donkeys along the way. They seemed to love apples!
|I saaaid: Give me my apple! :)|
|Now that's more like it!|
Although it was getting late and we had a long way ahead, we could not have missed ‘Muierilor’ Cave (Women’s Cave or Pestera Muierilor, in Romanian), since we were in the area. It is the first electrified cave in Romania (1965) and arranged for visiting. The cave was sculpted in the Mesozoic limestones on the south part of Massif Parang, by Galbenul river. The cave's name, as the old inhabitants of the Baia de Fier called it, comes from the fact that in ancient times, haunted by the war when men went to fight against those who invaded the country, women and children were hiding in the cave, protected and undiscovered by invaders. Attractions of the cave: The little Dome, looking like a gothic dome formed by precipitation of calcite, Altar Room, Altar Wave, The Pulpit, The big Candelabrum and The Gory Stone, called like this because the red iron oxide leakage, Woman Wave, Great River, Palsy Waterfalls, Stone Lace, The Gate, Guano Hall, Turkish Room, lots of stalactites and stalagmites. There is a colony of bats in a dome of 17 m high and a real cemetery of cave-bears remains, in the Bear Gallery, as well as a human skull, radiocarbon dated to age between 40,000 and 30,000 years. The cave has a length of approximately 7000 meters, out of which only 940 meters are accessible for tourists.
Someday I will return, to visit the ‘Polovragi’ cave and the town of Horezu, with its trademark: the Horezu ceramics.