I guess I should revisit my trip to Romania before this Canadian adventure I currently find myself on engulfs me.
A few weeks ago I travelled across to Transylvania in search of wildlife, hiking and, of course, Dracula. I have to say I was pleased with all three.
Reading my blogs and viewing my photos you'll soon discover I'm not much for cities, little changed in Romania, they did not draw me in whatsoever, yet minutes away from the hustle and bustle you can be straight onto a trail.
During my trip destinations included Zarnesti, Brasov and Sinaia, each had it's own quality. Zarnesti will allow you to become close to a variety of birds species including the hoopoe and many birds of prey, fantastic for you birders out there. Alongside this if you are interested in an ethical sanctuary (a blog post to come) the liberty bear sanctuary is a must, 97 bears in many many acres of land rescued from the shackles of the entertainment sector. Close by you'll find Dracula's castle (Bran) it is quaint and interesting at the same time. En-route you will find Rasnov a dilapidated ruin of a castle that will give you an insight into some of the defences used in times of war.
Brasov seemed to offer something different. No abundance of wildlife here for me (don't trust the internet). Brasov is known to be filled to the brim with bears however the only chance you seem to have is if you fancy watching bears being fed, I, do not. Yet Brasov has some awe-inspiring trails and is worth a brief visit. During my trekking I met interesting nomads including a man and his dog who had been camping through the Romanian wild for the last ten years, whilst others were simply out searching for mushrooms.
Forward to my favourite spotting of the trip a lovely Ural Owl. Hiking 2,000m in the mountains of Sinaia you senses will come alive. The pungent smell of pine, sun rays penetrating the forest canopy and strong howling winds pounding over the mountain tops. Trudging through the silent trails I was followed through the thick dense dark green forest by a large, lightly coloured owl, it was a breathtaking occasion staring into its eyes.
Overall I have to say that my time in Romania was positive. Next time I believe I would camp around the Transfăgărășan area allowing better chances for bear spotting during the summer period. Travelling though Romania it simple and cheap. Trains are available for longer journeys including Bucharest to Brasov and for all of those small niggly town to town trips you can simply jump on a local bus or minivan.