Photo for the Week: Carpathian Mountains, Romania

20 Mar

I’ve dug out this photo from my 2005 archives, my trip to Romania (click the image to expand). This was a beautifully hot, blue-skied day when my travel partner and I set out for the ‘waterfall of the Seven Stairs’, as recommended by the guy who owned the house we were staying in.

Picnickers, Transylvania, Romania, 2005

Picnickers, Transylvania, Romania, 2005

We had planned to laze our way to what I thought was to be a little lake with a waterfall at ground level, which we could dangle our legs in and generally do very little in the May heat. Two hours later, several kilometres along a motorway walk and much sunburn damage done, we arrived at this verdant expanse, clearly a popular idyll with the locals. It seemed the whole town of Cluj had decided to picnic that day and that the only (unwritten, but universally understood) rule was to bare as much puffy, winter flesh as possible, build a little fire and grill some meat over it. What an impromptu paradise. We walked through and past the picnic-makers and into the woodlands, finding with relief a dense forest giving us shelter from the burning sun, but also noticing that in flip flops and with one bottle of water, were not prepared for what was to be an uphill hike.

Nonetheless, another two hours in we arrived at a babbling brook, from which we filled our little Evian bottle, drank, caught our breath and climbed up metal steps fixed to towering clods of rock to see the waterfall of the Seven Stairs. But what stuck in my mind was actually the picnickers…


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