Romania continues with a drive from Sibiu to Pitesti along the part of the trip we were most excited about because it involved driving along the Transfagaran Highway, which Jeremy Clarkson describes as "the best road in the world”.
The road is fully drivable during the summer, but until the beginning of June the northern and highest part of the road is usually still closed. We were driving it on 1st June and couldn't get any definitive information as to whether or not this top part was open. I wanted to risk it and approach from the north, as this was the much more logical way to do it, but Katie talked me down and we decided to approach from the south. This turned out to be very wise, as the road was, in fact, blocked higher up by a rather dramatic ice wall. It was like something out of Game of Thrones (but with less incest).
Before we hit the ice wall, however, we first needed to reach the road itself. This took longer than planned, partly because of a few stop-offs along the way - this country is just too beautiful! We saw a lovely lake and some ancient Roman ruins from 138AD.
We passed some beautiful scenery on our way to the Transfagaran highway, until we hit some back roads that turned out to be more like rubble paths. We vibrated and nearly weed ourselves for an hour or two on these awful roads. We stopped once as we were surrounded by a herd of sheep, and again for a comfort break in a bush where we were intimidated by this knife carrying young man. It was like being back in London.
Then we finally arrived on the highway and were greeted by mountain views and flowing rivers that took our breath away. It was fantastic. We passed a huge dam as well, which was gorgeous. The photos don’t really do the views justice; they were absolutely phenomenal.
We climbed and climbed in the crappy VW Polo and started to see snow on the hilltops. The temperature dropped from 25 to about 5 degrees. It was stunning.
We turned around and headed back down the valley with full views of these gorgeous scenes. It was one of those experiences that photos and words just can't do justice to. The empty, peaceful roads coupled with the dramatic landscapes are something to remember for a long time. What a day!
|The views on the way to the road were so stunning, we didn't really think it could get any better|
|The road leading to the "best road in the world" was pretty darn awesome too!|
|The aforementioned Roman ruins are on the left of this photo|
|What a scummy dam...|
|It was actually pretty impressive|
|Our car snacks were very much on theme!|
|As we drove higher, the snow eventually started to encroach on the road|
|And then we reached the impassable bit|
|So we headed back down!|
|Could you ever actually get bored of looking at that?|
|It was a bit of a shock arriving in built-up Pitesti after all of that natural wonderment|