Climbing mountains constitutes a life attitude. It is the purest, most-rewarding and most exciting feeling to stand on top of a summit – and even better if you’ve reached that together with some friends. You know that it is only due to your hard continuous work that you’ve achieved it – and of never giving up – despite the moments of feeling tired cold and very small being surrounded by nature.
Having said that. Many people have written about mountains. I will write about one mountian in particular.- Mt. Moldoveanu – Romania’s highest mountain.
‘Hey Leni, Liv and I want to climb Mt. Moldoveanu, can you somehow make it to Brasov, we will rent a car and then drive there.’ That is what Simon asked me one day. How could you possibly say no. ‘Sure’ – I replied and two weeks later I found myself on a night bus from Cluj [the city I am currently living and studying in] heading south to Brasov. A day filled with lectures and Uni Labs laid behind me but little did I know by then what crazy and unforgettable adventure was laying ahead of me.
The next morning Simon and I quickly did some filming while Livio got us our rental car. He came back with a small pick up van with only two seats -welcome to Romania. Since the three of us are all extremely prone to getting motion sick it was clear from the beginning that we will somehow all squeeze into the front – that said 5th gear from then on became a tough decision did it mean that the two people on the passenger seat had to shift their knees to the side. However, it’s not that you need it often anyways – you still find horse carts on Romania’s single-lane ‘highways’.
Without a map until the very end [we eventually purchased one in the very last town in the tiniest shop I’ve ever entered] we set off and realized that navigating in and around Romania became a team event in itself with all of us being busy reading the signs and making sure none of those crazy Romanian car drivers is coming too close. Eventually hours later… we were lucky enough to park our car at a farmer and then set off. At 5 p.m – sunset. Not your ususal time to start climbing a mountain. After a few hours of walking we came accross a caravan and to our surprise there was light inside. It was used by two forest workers who immediately came outside to tell us about the wolves further up the mountain… Great! Not even to mention the bears that are also living in that area.
At 9p.m. we got to a hut which was halfway. Since we all still felt quite strong and we wanted to see the sunrise on top of the mountain we kept going. Even though the path was well marked with our headlamps we sometimes had to spread to find the next sign. And then the last part it got extremly steep and you had to be careful with every step. Finally at around midnight we reached the hut which laid just a bit below the summit and Simon turned some music on his mac – yes he did bring it up there being too afraid that it would otherwise get stolen in the middle of nowehere. We quickly fell asleep and woke up again because it was freezing cold up there. I was waiting for the minutes to pass so that we could start walking again. Next morning we were woken by one of the most magnificent sunrises I’ve ever witnessed. Summiting became a small challenge it was more climbing than hiking but eventually we were on top of Romania’s highest mountain.
We then decided not to descend the same way because it was too steep but rather walk along the mountain ridge eastwards and descend into another valley and then hope that someone would drive us back to our car. That day we walked from 7 am to 7pm and then once back at our car we still had to drive all the way back home to Cluj because Liv and Simon had a flight to catch the next morning. A great adventure together with even greater friends!
Romania’s landscape and nature is a stunning and a well preserved place. There is not much tourism and that day we were the only people on the mountain.
We did it because we can!