Road trip: Romania – Part I

When I see these pictures many emotions run through my body. The exciting 1,5h spent at the border with Ainaz and Jule to let us pass, my father turning 60, spending time with my sister, crying all the time, enjoying the fresh air, meeting dear friends of mine …sharing everything with my two best friends…all this is special to me.

8 years ago, I got to know my best friends here in Germany. As time passed and we got to know each other much better and as students we started to dream of the day when we would travel together too each other’s birth place, so to say back to the roots. Well, this is how it began. Last year I have been to Iran (read here about my road trip in Iran) where my lovely friend Ainaz comes from and I visited Jule in Thüringen, Germany as often as possible, as she was the closest from all. Now it was time to take my crazy chicken to my country and messy home.Our journey started in a very traditional way. First, family then pleasure and fun. We stopped in my hometown where I grew up. Highlights of this stop were probably my child-room, mums cooking, ice-cream and celebrating my dad’s 60th birthday. After we had all the family attention we could get we hit the road. I designed the route in a very untraditional and untypical way. I wanted to see Romania from another perspective and get away from the touristic places. I was searching for the wide open, untraveled landscapes and calmness.Our first stop on the road was Casa Altringen close to Timisoara, a small village somewhere in the middle of know-where. I wanted to have one day where we just do nothing, just breath in fresh air and tank some energy.The second stop was Timisoara. It was a day we spent in the city. I sweat my ass off driving to the rush hours but it was all worth it. My lovely friend Silvia, whom I know from school, has accompanied and spent the entire day with us! It was awesome to catch up with her and have a familiar face around. I felt home. If you are reading this Silvia, THANK YOU! I guess the highlights here were the local beer, the photography exhibition, the square and our boutique hotel.The third stop was Cascada Bigăr. This is a place my father told me about. He heard of it in the TV. It has been years he kept telling me “Carla, someday you have to go!”. Well, I thought this must be experienced with my girls so I included it into my itinerary. To get to that place was an adventure we drew throw amazing landscapes but then the heavy storm and rain come down on us and I could barely see the road. Casada Bigăr is one of the most unusual waterfalls in the world and one of the most beautiful in Romania. It is located exactly on the 45th parallel north, at the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole.

The forth stop was La Cazane which is located at the border between Romania and Serbia, close to Portile de Fier the place where the Danube enters Romania. Well, for me this was a greatest highlight. It was for the first time I have been so south in Romania. The view from our hotel was breath taking. I couldn’t believe my eyes that his is still Romania.The fifth stop was Cluj at my best friend’s home, Robi and his wife Emese. But before reaching their place, we had to cross the Carpatian mountains. We were in luck because the Transalpina road just opened so we were able to drive up into the clouds until 2100m driving 30km/h. It was amazing, only us on the road, no traffic, no pressure. It was just us and nature.I spent all childhood and my current holidays on road trips, always hitting the road with my parents in our Ford. If you ask me how comes…?! I guess I was raised like this. Traveling & discovering the world around you is the best way to get to know a country and to connect to the place. Road trips are best experienced with people you like and love.