Autumn delight in Transylvania

I always loved autumn in the mountains. The colours, the clear sky, fresh air and incredible visibility amke up for a great adventure on any outing during the monthos of October and November. And there is always an extra if you jest get out there 🙂

This trip took place in late October, 2006, while I was in my university years, with my best friend back then – Tavi (Octavian). We decided to cover the south ridge of the Harghita Mts. on a South-North itinerary, as Tavi was documenting his final University paper in order to receive his degree in Geography. We took the train on a beautiful Tuesday evening from Timisoara and arrived in Bixad (through Brasov) on Wednesday morning. Thea weather, as forecasted, was great with a lot of sun and warm temperatures. The first day on the trail took us through beautiful beech forests and sunny meadows, on an easy going road/trail with a gentle slope to an altitude of about 1200 m. After passing the Pilisca Mare peak (a former volcanic cone) we found a beautiful glade, with a nice view over the eastern part of Transylvania, where we decided to call it a day and raise our camp.

The next day we strolled on, the landscape changing from beech forest to coniferous as we took altitude. Now we were pretty far away from any settlements and we started to find signs of wildlife (tracks of bears and wolves). However we kept on going, marvelling on each step at the beauty of nature. As time went by we passed a series of old volcanic cones (Muntele Portii, Mitaci, Cucu) and as night was getting closer we called it a day at 1326 m, in Lazul Mare meadow. The sky was clear so we made a fire in order to fry some sausages and spend some warm hours around it before going to sleep.

In the morning we were greeted by a most spectacular show. Probably one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever experienced, with the sun rising abouve the distant mountains and shining over a sea of clouds lying at our feet. Although temperatures during the night dropped below freezing this spectacle made us forget about the chill and just stand in awe watching the sun rise completely. After this we got on the trail and sped up downhill towards Santimbru Bai and then Sancraieni in order to catch the train back home. I hope the pictures will convey to you at least a small part of our experiences back then. 😉

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