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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Negru

The smell of childhood

Every time I went hiking in the Zărneşti area I admired from the Piatra Craiului Mountains the two fairytale mountain villages Măgura and Peştera, and I felt that something wonderful must be there.

That`s the reason why this year, the day before Palm Sunday, we went for a day tour in the area. We wanted to book a room actually, but we couldn`t find one. 😊

Nestled in the Piatra Craiului National Park Mountains, the villages of Peştera and Măgura will surprise you each time and offer an authentic glimpse into rural Romanian life. They are perfect if you want to relax, to enjoy fresh air, good traditional Romanian food and quiet.

We started our tour near Zărneşti city from the Botorog Spring (Fântâna lui Botorog) through the Zărneşti Gorges. We knew the area very well because from here the hiking trails start to one of ours favorite chalets: Curmătura😊

The trail marked with a red cross takes you through the Cat Gorges. The trail is really accessible even for beginners (of course you should have a pair of hiking boots, a waterproof jacket, water, some sandwiches and a backpack).

We passed through two saddles: Vlăduşca and Joaca, with amazing views of the Piatra Craiului giant and in less than 3 hours we reached Peştera village. We stopped after the second saddle to have lunch while admiring the Piatra Craiului dinosaur, as we like to call it😊

The moment we entered the village we got hit by a smell that reminded us of childhood: smoke combined with a smell of food, maybe cheese pies… Adding to the scenic landscape, the sound of barking dogs, sheep flocks and lots of cows on the hills, we went back directly to our childhood!

We got a little bit nostalgic. When we were kids we had been raised in the countryside and we had enjoyed an amazing childhood: playing outside, enjoying the company of other children, eating healthy and bio food, spending precious time with family, eating the delicious pies grandma made… We kind of felt pity for the kids nowadays who cannot appreciate and experience that kind of life.

We followed the red cross path through Peştera and then, to reach Măgura village, we took the red stripe. We were amazed by all those people living here; they live such a simple and quiet life… No pavement, no kiosks, no street lighting, no malls or supermarkets and no pollution.

We even saw on the porch of an abandoned old house a calendar from 1986; the year I was born.

There are plenty of things to do in those two villages: hikes with children, climbing, mountain biking, taking photos, enjoying the fresh air and admiring the panoramic view over the Bucegi and the Piatra Craiului Mountains. And if you ask me you can have some well spent time listening to old people`s stories.

It was a unique experience which made us agree that we will come back in autumn to spend a few days here admiring the beauty of those places painted in millions of colours.

What's something that reminds you of your childhood?😊

Photos: personal archive

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