Monday, 30 June 2014

Padis - Apuseni Mountains/ Padiș - munții Apuseni

And here they are...the mountains of legends, the mountains of the old outlaws, the mountains with the most scenic landscape...but forget about all that! These are the mountains I like to call "home".
BEWARE! Visiting them may cause severe damage to your heart, which has the side effect of never ending wish to return there over and over again :)

The remote villages offer spectacular views...

 Spectacular just feel like you have entered in a different world.

For example, the photo from the left of this text is made in a village called "Casa de Piatră" which means "The House of Stone", but actually almost the entire village is made out of wood.

Just click on the images to see them at full resolution!

Beside the astonishing villages, the landscape also offers great images with its meadows and pine forests, which, in some places, can suddenly shock you with its rock formations, caves, waterfalls and gorges.

How do you get there? 
                                                                                                             Romania's map!
The Apuseni Mountains are right there,                    
the western part of the Romanian Carpathians.
 And that little red circle is Padis.


Now getting there is at least interesting. That is 
because there are so many ways/directions from 
which you can get there, that some of them are to 
be considered different hiking trips. 

Some of them are quite spectacular and it's worth 
spending 2-3 or even 4 days to get to Padis.

In the photo above, I've mentioned some of the routes to get there with red lines, but I will only talk about 2 of them. The others, I would like to write independent articles on each of them, but related to this one, because they are beautiful and because I had great adventures hiking from those directions.

1. If you are going to travel to Padis by car, than the best route is to follow these cities/villages: Oradea - Beiuș - Pietroasa - Boga; and from here you will start to climb the serpentines. I chose this route because the road is much better and it has asphalt all the way.

And here comes the surprise :) somewhere between Pietroasa and Boga there is a very special place where you can have a quick cold bath in the river. It's called "Indianu' " which means "The Indian", and it's called like that because you can see a rock formation which looks like an American Native warrior. At the base of this huge Rock you will find the "magic pool" :)

 Now this is a really bad photo, but at least you can see what I mean :P

2. This is the shortest way to get to Padis by foot. The trail starts from Vârtop resort - Arieșeni, and it takes about 3-3,5 hours with a big backpack.
         Even though it's short, it hides some interesting things. The best of them I believe to be the one called "Groapa Ruginoasă", which means "The Rusty Pit", and it's HUGE I tell you!
 Do you remember Bear Grylls's show, from Discovery channel, in which he was in the Carpathians/Transylvania (which actually is written Transilvania)?? Well this is the place they filmed the show (at least a part from it). How do I know it? Because this gigantic, weird pit is unique in Romania :)

Advice: this attraction is not exactly on the trail! So first thing when you get to Vârtop-Arieșeni, visit this and only after you start hiking towards Padiș. Try Google Earth, you can actually see it :)

The area called "Padiș" is actually a large karstic plateau. Beneath the green grass and gorgeous pine forests, the rock is just like a piece of cheese with many, many holes and tunnels. So at the surface it may not look so spectacular, but that changes when you find yourself in front of a huge cave or canyon. It's just crazy!!!
 It really gives you almost everything you could wish from a mountain: canyons, waterfalls, huge caves and some of them have glaciers inside.

 This cave is called "Focul Viu"- "The Fire that lives". At a certain time during the day, the sun is shining above the cafe and the glacier inside the cave gives beautiful light.

Here is the perfect way for you to understand how things are here. This is a really beautiful opening with a river that emerges from the ground apparently from nowhere, and disappears in the same way after a few hundred meters. So when it rains a lot (especially in spring time) the whole opening is flooded, forming an awesome lake.

When it's not there you can admire the nature, collect berries, do rock climbing or just relax :) 

You can find really good accommodations there, but if you plan to camp, go in the opening called "Glăvoi". It's the best one and you have really good access to most of the trails. And the people are just amazing :)

 What a great way to wake up in the morning :)

Well, I've spoke to much. So I am going to stop now and just put some more photos for you, but not before I say a couple of things.
First of all, more articles are coming related with this one, maybe even more interesting ones...because it's really hard to cover up everything in just one article and because this area is so awesome that even Discovery filmed here the "Dual Survival" show and the one with Bear Grylls. 
Don't believe it? I'll be your personal guide and we'll follow their foot steps :)

In the next ones I'll reveal more of their secrets and of course I will tell you more about the other trails that take you there...and the best of all, I'll talk and add photos about great people, food and all the fun that is happening there.

Enjoy the rest of the photos and subscribe to receive notifications about the upcoming articles.


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