By Julia Leescu
While my snow-loving friend is still posting amazing photos of herself skiing in Poiana Brasov, the rest of my local Facebook feed is silent and happily offline. And no, it’s not because of #DeleteFacebook – it’s simply that time of the year.
Suddenly the morning air is full of promise. Something is happening.
Morning bumble-bees hover over first crocuses, park benches complete with kissing couples in the sunny afternoons, cat miaowing concerts and motorcycle roars that waken you up in the middle of the night and, to no one’s surprise, your favourite gym is now full at any time of the day.
Yes, spring is here and you cannot ignore it.
But why go to the gym when there are so many more fun options to burn off your winter kilos?
While the snow still persists on the tops of Postavaru and Tâmpa there are adventurous options that are “mostly flat”* but still fulfillingly exciting.
A walk in ȘCHEI
Șchei is one of those parts of Brașov that need no introduction, but here is some background info for you to start your trip with anyway: Princess Ileana loved to take a walk here in spring and the local inhabitants proved tough cookie characters in repeatedly rejecting the communist occupation and the imposed rules that came with it.
On top of everything, Spring manifests itself in a really romantic way on Schei’s narrow streets.
First Romanian School is a permanent home to some of the oldest Romanian books and even the oldest Romanian Bible, all printed on goats’ skins. Solomon’s Rocks is a lovely picnic area at the very end of the Schei district, surrounded by – you guessed it – rocks and a forest. From there one can take an hour long walk to Poiana Brasov, following the so-called “Old Road”or the trail #54 by “Muntii Nostrii” app.
A day in MOECIU DE SUS
Yes, there are many villages worth exploring around Brașov, but Moeciu De Sus is a home to something special: we suggest a quick visit to “La Cabane aux Images”, the private Photography Museum created by Laurent Jouault, the Frenchman really attached to this atmospheric place. The old village house was converted into an art gallery and a museum hosting hundreds of old photo cameras, many of which are still used by Laurent to create his unique, black-and-white old style glimpses of local life.
When we visited him, he offered to take our portraits with his vintage photo box, just like they were taken over a hundred years ago.
That’s all that really needs to be said: come visit “La Cabane aux Images” during the day and take a walk to the forest near the village houses to reconnect with nature.
A walk to “Colţul Chiliilor” MONASTERY
Those who are on the hunt for first spring flowers, especially crocuses, will love this walk.
After arriving to Zărnești by a little train (romantic) or by car (effective), you start your walk following the road that leads to “Plaiul Foii” zone. At some point you will notice the impressive new building of “Piatra Craiului” visiting center. A bit more walking and you will see on your left the indicator of the path that leads to this little remote monastery and a very unique cave, which hasn’t yet been added to the list of those commercial caves charging an entrance fee and surrounded by fake “local” souvenir sellers.
Religious or nonreligious, there will be something to reflect on and something to admire.
On the way back drop in on he natural Bear Sanctuary “Libearty”. Just make sure you check their established visiting times, which may vary depending on many factors.
After such a busy day, sit back and relax – you’re worth it – fill up your glass and listen to a new playset of evergreens, starting, why not, with: “What a difference a day makes”…