Picture by Majkl Velner

45.6411° N, 25.5887° E

I traveled to Romania a few years ago, to visit a really good friend, in which would be my very first trip abroad by myself. It was summer when I arrived, and I stayed there for two months in a town called Brasov, that was situated in the center of the country. This friend of mine hosted me in her beautiful house for my entire stay, and welcomed me into her family and friends.

For the next week upon my arrival, we did a short car trip through the country, that we have planned in advance. Altogether we were 8 persons, divided in two cars.

In this trip, I saw multiple churches and cathedrals, I got impressed with imposing landscapes, I learned a lot about the gypsy culture, and I sang a lot of Romanian songs.

Our first stop was in this little town called Eselnita. We stayed in this beautiful cabin for only one night, which faced the river Danubio and on the other side of the river, we could see Servia.

The next day we hit the road along the river, until we arrive at this bridge called Pod Decebal, that crossed the Golful Mraconia. There are many side-street sellers, with their little tents, selling souvenirs and typical treats. There are also a few boat rental places, and we decided to rent one “litlle excursion” in the Golful. In the boat, we all could admire the beautiful rock sculpture of Decebalus, king of the Dacians, which was sculpted on the side of the mountain.

The day after we head to Oravita. On the way we stopped at the road 57B, to admire the Cascada Bigar: one of those quick road-side stops, the iconic cascade can be a terrific surprise. Arriving at Oravita, we parked our cars in the town and then head to the train station to buy tickets to a quick touristic train ride, from Oravita to Anina. This ride took 2 hours, plenty of time to relax and enjoy the amazing Romanian countryside.

We then went to check out this not so touristic place called Tunnel Of Love. This place is located on the road No68 (45.4820, 22.2825), and it is kind of a hidden gem. From the road, you have to walk along a dirt path until you find the abandoned trails, secluded by the plants.

The next stop was the town of Hunedoara, to visit the amazing Castelul Corvinilor. This castle was built in the XIX century, and has a big medieval exposition. The day we visited the castle, there was also a medieval fairy happening, with typical food and medieval music as well.

We then followed to our next stop where we would spend the night: Ranca. We stayed in this cozy cabin, with terrific view to the mountains covered with pines.

We woke up the next morning and enjoyed breakfast while admiring the quiet nature. It was our last day on the road, so before going back home, we drove a bit up to the Transalpina. As it was the end of winter, we could only see the snow on the top of the highest mountains. But it was a good walk along the empty road anyway.

Time to go back home after an amazing road trip. Almost five hours until Brasov. The last of the trip was calm, filled with stories and car karaoke. When we were almost arriving, we got caught in a traffic jam (due to a car crash beyond), in the middle of nowhere. And beautiful Romania blessed us with this view while we stood stuck there for a couple of hours.

For the rest of my stay, I explored a bit of Brasov and its surroundings, smalls towns but with big history. There they taught me to enjoy the little things… I can say that I experienced a very different routine together with my new Romanian friends. They could do an event from a simple walk on the woods, or a simple sunset, as long as they were together. I definitely miss going to the main square just to eat ice cream and watch people passing by, or just drive with no destination just to sing in the car and admire the fields along the road.

Romania is on top in my list of places I want to go back. I admit that I was very nervous about this trip (regarding it was my first time travelling completely alone oversees). It was hard in the beginning to learn the language, and get used to their customs. But by the end I realized the blessing it was to be one of their owns, even for a short time. I could experience and capture a lot of beautiful and unique moments in my days in this underrated country. It’s just one of those places you can visit 20 times, and still find something new, something about the history that you didn’t know. Every single street, every tiny detail, is unmissable. I can’t wait to go back.


Rayana Bomfim