A Weekend Peak
Where to go on a sunny September weekend? Well, it’s not that difficult to decide, if you are a mountain lover. Since the weather had been forecast as sunny and clear last weekend, we decided to go to Negoiu Peak, the second highest in Romania ( 2,535 meters/8,317 feet), in the Făgăraş Mountains.
We left Bucharest on Saturday morning, heading for to Transfăgărășan, declared one of the best roads in the world by BBC’s Top Gear. We started the hike at Bâlea Lake, eager to reach Negoiu. We took the red cross path to Șaua Doamnei (Lady`s Saddle) and in the Paltinului Saddle we switched to the red stripe in the direction of Lăițel Peak (2,390 m).
But the weather in the mountains is always capricious, and so the wind caused us some trouble. Having survived being put down by the wind a couple of times, I didn`t even notice when we had reached the first peak on of our hike: Lăițel. I had almost forgotten how beautiful the Făgăraș Mountains are! We took in Călțun Lake`s turquoise waters, we took some photos and went on to the Călțun Shelter, hoping that the wind will stop and let us reach Negoiu.
But it showed no signs of mercy. In spite of it, we decided to carry on to the peak. We chose the shortest way through the Strunga Dracului (The Devil`s Gorge), an impressively tight, boulder-filled ravine. It was quite funny to hear myself hum “Highway to hell” - the song had simply walked into my mind while we were making our way through the gorge. In a way, we were heading there!... :)
We climbed rock after rock for about 30 minutes, but on reaching the top our effort was finally rewarded: we saw the domineering peak just a few minutes away, and the wind had abated. The view was spectacular and there are no words to describe that beauty! Maybe only some photos.
However, the wind soon picked up again, and cautioned us that we had to leave. So off we went on the longer path, back to Călțun Lake through Lady`s Gorge, following the yellow stripe.
We spent the night in the shelter, and on Sunday I left behind those amazing places with Goethe`s words in mind: "Nur wo du zu Fuß warst, bist du auch wirklich gewesen."