Day 1: Bucuresti - Predeal (by train) – 3 Brazi Chalet - Secuilor’s Clearing – Rasnoavei’s Gorge – Rasnov – Zarnesti – Magura – Toanches – Casa Folea (by bike). We depart from Bucharest’s Northern Train Station at 7:32 a.m., by train, with Predeal as our first stop of the day. In Predeal we’ll make a quick refill with water and sweets and head out for 3 Brazi Chalet. As we reach the lodge we continue our journey towards Secuilor’s Clearing by entering the first of the off-road segments of our trip. A fast and refreshing single track descent awaits until we reach Rasnoavei’s Gorge where we can take a deep breath and admire the massive limestone walls.
As we exit the gorge, we leave the forest road and head out on DN72a towards Rasnov were we will visit the Rasnov Citadel. The road takes us further west towards Zarnesti and our lunch stop at Gura Raului Chalet. Afterwards, we enter another off-road segment, a series of mountain roads that pass the villages of Magura and Toaches along the way to our resting place for the night: Casa Folea.
Day 2: (by bike) Casa Folea – Toanches – Magura – Zarnestiului’s Chasms – Curmatura Chalet – La Table – Casa Folea. After a healthy breakfast provided by the Folea Family, we mount our bikes and pedal towards Zarnestiului’s Chasms. After passing this air-cooled sanctuary behind, the road leads further into the mountain to the highest point of the trip: Curmatura Chalet (1438 m). The climb is very demanding; therefore a good meal is in order here, on the terrace, with a nice cup of tea and the solitude of the Prince himself.
The return path takes us through wooden trails, a bit of push-bike, but only to find ourselves descending technical tracks in our quest for La Table. Trails die down once we pass through Dragoslovenilor Valley and as we pedal towards Casa Folea, our resting place for this night also, we should stop and look over our shoulder, and admire the stone prince gently going to sleep.
Day 3: (by bike) Casa Folea – Vatafului’s Cross – Brusturet Lodge – Dambovicioara. We leave behind Casa Folea, after another amazing breakfast, and hit the trails towards Vatafu’s Cross and make our way to Brusturet Chalet, guarded by more limestone walls. Lunch awaits us here, together with stories of last day’s adventure. After leaving Brusturet, we arrive shortly in Dambovicioara, our resting place for the night. But we are not going to end the day yet. After checking in, we can make a visit at Dambovicioarei’s Cave, where local children act as guides telling us some amazing stories passed on from generation to generation.
Day 4: (by bike) Dambovicioara – Sirnea – Pestera – Moeciul de jos. With Dambovicioara at our rudder, we leave for Sirnea village. The morning breeze and the mountain landscape come in perfect harmony with human settlements giving the eye images to remember. After reaching Sirnea village, we will stop at a local store for a refill and we pedal our way towards the village of Pestera on a consistent mountain path. Once we reach Pestera, we can stop for a visit at a local landmark: the “Liliecilor” cave. We now find ourselves on a descent once more and stopping in Moeciul de Jos where we will check in for the night.
Day 5: (by bike) Moeciul de jos – Bran – Rasnov; (by train) Brasov – Bucuresti. The last day of our trip is mainly on road travel, and being in a soft state of descent, we can take it slow and admire the core of the Bran countryside and the mighty Bran Castle. First documented in 1377, the castle is renowned especially during the reign of Vlad Tepes (1431-1476), also known as Vlad the Impaler, for the unique and grotesque ways of punishing outlaws. He’s reign was one of fear, but respect. After humbling saying good-bye to the Bran fairy-tale, we set our feet in cruising mode towards Brasov, where we’ll grab a meal and visit the historic center and later on end our adventure by hopping on a train back to Bucharest.
- Breathtaking panorama of Piatra Craiului Mountain
- The “Liliecilor” Cave (Bat Cave)
- Dambovicioara Cave
- The Rasnov Citadel
- The notorious Bran Castel
- Bran’s traditional rural villages together with its specific sausages and cheese dishes.
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