Romanian road trip, just for the fun of itSTAFF — By Estrella Azul on October 11, 2012 at 23:18
By staff writer Estrella Azul. Photos Copyright © Estrella Azul.
BACK IN DECEMBER last year, I went on a day trip with the Chef (my boyfriend) and his family. We simply woke up thinking a road trip would be fun, got in the car, and hit the road.
It was a nice ride through the snow-covered roads; an enchanting view followed us throughout the day. We loved it!
So, naturally, we wanted to see the sights again during summer. And that’s exactly what we did in July. Which led to this comparison article on the two just-for-fun road trips.
The interesting part of the road trip during winter was that, despite having a current map, half the time we had no idea where we were. So we stopped whenever the view seemed pretty enough to take a picture: icy roads and faraway snow-covered villages took our breath away.
We also stopped a few times to ask for directions, which wasn’t too helpful in the long run. You’d think people would know where they are when they live on top of a mountain. On other occasions, we simply wished there was someone we could ask; the roads were deserted!
Thank goodness for the distraction of these amazing views all around us.
During summer, it was more fun to drive through the same places and recognize each spot we stopped a few months back. The pine trees covered in snow gave way to wonderful greenery. I was really happy being able to see nature’s beauty each time separately, to then compare.
The idyllic scenery reminded me of high school literature classes when we used to read about small villages and beautiful places like these.
Also, in July, we had the option of stopping to stretch much more and not freeze. Quite the opposite. The weather was gorgeous! There was a nice breeze and one never even noticed how hot it really was. I actually got badly sunburnt while picking cranberries and decorative mushroom from tree trunks.
We drove by a house on top of one hill where I noticed Elders in full bloom. They weren’t in bloom back in the city anymore but liked the different weather up in the mountains.
I asked for us to stop and went up to the people living there, asking nicely to let me pick some flowers to dry. (Since I’m not supposed to have medication, Elder flower/berry tea is very much a part of my war plan against the sniffles.) It turned into a lovely chat where we swapped recipes for Elder flower lemonade, and I learned a new recipe for Elder flower syrup.
By the end of our chat I had a big bag of flowers to take home to dry, plus try that syrup recipe (which turned out lovely and very flavorful). Who would’ve thought I’d take home a brand-new recipe I learned on the top of a mountain?
From there, one of our last stops was the Beliş-Fântânele Lake. The water was low in the winter, and we could barely see anything on account of the fog. This is an artificial accumulation lake; in its place stood a village in the 1970s. Unfortunately, no one was around, so I couldn’t ask if the church tower of the flooded village would be visible.
During the summer, the place was filled with tourists and locals alike. I found a gatekeeper and asked about the church tower I would’ve liked to see. I thought it was great he had managed to see it during winter when he took his snowmobile out on the ice, but he explained that the church tower—and maybe some of the ruins of houses—are only really visible during very dry summers when the water level drops a lot.
We did have a dry summer but seems like it wasn’t as dry as I thought.
We had a late lunch at the resort there, strolled for a while longer, then headed back home. The summer air really took a toll on us, we couldn’t wait to crash into bed that night.
All in all, these were truly fun trips; we had a blast retracing our steps!
Estrella Azul is a young emerging writer, passionate about reading, floral art and photography, with an artistic personality and a soulful outlook on life. She is a Hungarian girl living and writing from Cluj-Napoca, Romania, the capital of historical region Transylvania. Estrella is our European correspondent, and she dreams of embarking on a round-the-world trip. To read more of her creative writing, her thoughts and daily happenings, visit Life’s a stage – WebBlog©. Read more of her stories on Milliver’s Travels by visiting Estrella’s story index.