Some photos I made Friday in Cernica Forest. A wild place, with big trees and tens of ponds surrounded by lush vegetation, something you wouldn't expect at 7 km of Bucharest and about which nobody knows (except that exists) because nobody visit it and is not promoted in any way, although is the biggest forest near Bucharest (some 10 X 7 km):
Pictures from Jiu Defile National Park which I visited few days ago. I hiked an entire day on mountain from 7 AM to 11 PM, coming back on dark when thousands of fireflies were flying like in a fairy tale (unfortunately their light is too low to be captured by my camera). the forests too were looking fairy talish, as you can see.
After climbing the mountain, next day I walked ~18 km on the defile to photograph the viaducts and tunnels of the spectacular railway, then I came back with the train taking other photos from the height of the railway (the order of pictures is not chronological).
The red roof in second picture is of the motel where I slept, in the total wilderness of the valley.
I was last days in a trip in Cerna Valley - Domogled National Park, Băile Herculane, Iron Gates Natural Park (Danube's Defile), Timișoara and Lugoj and turned back to Bucharest on Transfăgărășan Highway.
This was the route:
And here are the pictures and movies made by me, not in order of the route.
Transfăgărășan Highway, the best road in the world according to Jeremy Clarckson (host of Top Gear tv show). The movie is the best part ;)
Băile Herculane Spa / Aqua Herculis / Herkulesbad / Herkulesfürdő
The spa was founded by Romans in 102 CE. During their rule, it was one of most fashionable resorts, visited by aristocrats from all over the Roman world. Ruins of aqueducts, thermae, monuments have been discovered from that time, including six statues of Hercules. A copy of one of them stands in the center of the old town.
After the Roman period, the resort was abandoned for more than 1400 years. The Habsburg empire refounded the spa in 1736 preserving its ancient name, "Hercule's Baths". During the Austrian rule (1736-1918) somptuous Baroque and Neoclassical buildings have been constructed. The emperors and empresses Francisc I, Carolina, Franz Joseph and Elisabeth of Austria visited it. Franz Joseph called Herculane "the finest European resort". Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) has built a villa here which is preserved.
The resort is situated at only 168 m altitude but has a ionizied athosphere similar to the one found at over 3000 m, as result of many waterfall,s pine forests and thermal springs.
The surroundings are a breathtaking natural wilderness, with mountains and crags covered in prehistoric forests typical for the Mediterranean climate. The area is a national park (Domogled - Cerna Valley National Park), one of the most precious in Europe.
Thanks for the pictures Menumorut. I was in transylvania 7 years ago but we didnt cross the mountains. Have you ever been in Csangoland ? Bacau and around. I never dared to cross to carpathians, but some say the other side is beautiful too. The roads were crap and there were no enough fuel stations, but I guess it may changed in the last 7 years.
No, I never been (only passed with the car or train).
In last years most (main) roads have been rebuilt, some zones have such an infrastructure that you can compare with any western country. And not only the roads but the buildings, the quality of life etc. That is not uniform, there are cities and towns that still look crappy and is not hope to change soon (like Constanța or many parts of Bucharest and generally southern Romania) but here too the roads are usually very good and the surrounding landscape is fine.
Pictures taken on the road crossing the Mehedinți Mountains (coming from Obârșia Cloșani) and going down the Cerna Valley to Băile Herculane. Last photo is with Obârșia Cloșani village which actually is outside the National Park.
With a surface of 611 km², is Romania's largest national park. It protects the prehistorical forests in Mehedinți, Godeanu, Domogled and Cerna Mountains, situated along the Cerna Valley.
The climate and vegetation is typical Mediterranean.
Together with the neighbour Retezat National Park and Țarcu Mountains, the area of DCVNP constitutes the last European Intact Forest Landscape, if are not taken in consideration the boreal regions (Russia and Scandinavia) which is large enough to constitute an Intact Forest Landscape.
(Intact Forest Landscape (IFL) is a term and concept developed by a group of environmental non-governmental organizations. Technically, an IFL is defined as a territory within today’s global extent of forest cover which contains forest and non-forest ecosystems minimally influenced by human economic activity, with an area of at least 500 km² and a minimal width of 10 km (measured as the diameter of a circle that is entirely inscribed within the boundaries of the territory. Areas with evidence of certain types of human influence are considered disturbed and consequently not eligible for inclusion in an IFL).
My real Man vs Wild adventure - Limpedea Valley, Făgăraș Mountains
These are photos made last night when I got lost in mountain after making photos of Poenari fortress. The night caught me on mountain, in deep forests. I decided to follow water courses downstream to reach a human settlement and I walked along a brook and then along a river that later I heard is Limpedea. At that moment was completely dark.
Limpedea Valley is in its upper sector an unbelieveble wild gorges, wigh a river bed 3 to 10 m wide and stone walls inclided between 70° and 90° (vertical) and up to 100 m high. There are many waterfalls, some as high as 10 m and huge trees (up to 1 m in diameter and 20-30 m tall) growing from river bed or from surrounding rocks. In river bed there are extremely numerous fallen trees in various stages of putrefaction, together with many rocks, some very big. In the night, the sight of these gorges, rocks and trees was fantastic. Unfortunately, I thought that my flash can't reach a big distance and I didn't made photos in the gorges.
The mountains in these areas are full of bears, lynxes, deers and other animals, as shown by their many footprints in the sand strips of the river bed.
While going along the gorges I had to pass over waterfalls and other dificult sectors. At one point, I entered in the water of a basin 1 m deep, wetting my clothes.
I walked like this 1 or two hours, when I slipped on a rock and my headlamp fell in the water. At that moment, I was without any light source, alone in the forest. It was so dark that I couldn't see anything, except the dark blue sky above the forest.
As I feared animals, I tried to climb a tree but the slopes of the gorges were so abrupt that I had to hardly crawl through mud. Later I climbed up 1-2 m in a tree suspended above abyss where I spent some hours.
Around me, wild animals where searching their food, including one or more bears which I recognized after the sound of their heavy body cracking fallen branches.
Then I went down from tree as I feared that if I would doze, I would fall in the abyss below. I spent more hours on an abrupt slope and then another hours in the river bed, without sleeping in the entire night and being wet in a temperature of ~10°C.
To the morning, before dawn, I saw at 5 m from me the phoshorescent eyes of a bear at which I shout and he went off.
Then, I finished my walk along the gorges and arrived in Arefu village.
These photos are taken while I was still on Albina Mountain and was getting dark.
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