For me and my family was a little bit different as we decided to take a trip to a place where we haven't been before but we wanted to visit The Stan Valley for about 2 years ago.
I'm happy that we finally managed to get there and that I have the chance to present another touristic attraction from my country, so let's see what we are going to discover in today's post..
The Stan Valley - also known as The Bloody Valley is just one of the many beautiful touristic attractions from the Fagaras mountains from Sibiu County.
The Stan Valley is situated on the way to Transfagarasan, about 2KM before Vidraru Dam - the valley making the connection between these 2 masterpieces frequented by tourists from all over the world.
Even though I've visited the two from above for many times, I never had any idea about the route on the Stan's Valley which hasn't been so familiar until a few years ago when some people discovered the place and started promoting it, becoming an interested place to be considered by those who have the adrenaline in their veins.
A few mins ago I was saying about how rich the Fagaras Mountains are when we are talking about routes to different touristic attractions. The only problem is that most of them require a really good physical condition from you and your body as the tracks are very long and you will spend many hours climbing the mountains until you reach to the finish.
The trail to The Bloody Valley is about 4hours and a half because is a circuit who makes the connection between Transfagarasn - The Stan's Valley - Călugărița Glade - Vidraru Dam - so you literally won't return on the same route to the point from where you've started the journey. Many of the other tracks aren't circuits so even though you climb 3 hours, you will spend at least another 2 on the way back as you have to return on the same path.
But..I will admit the fact that it took me around 6 hours to make the circuit because I was busy taking pictures, recording with my GoPro and even take many breaks just to admire the landscapes and enjoy the fresh air offered by the mountains.
On the beginning of the trail you will find a big panel which suggests you the equipment you will need if you want to go through the valley without any problem. The hiking boots are a must!!
If you were thinking what is so special on the Stan's Valley comparing with any other valley, is not only the wild landscape but also the way it was arranged to transpose you into a real adventure park.
The valley is equipped with many hooks, support wires, ladders (both horizontal and vertical) and many more. But before you get to this part you will have to cross the water for at least 5 times which is usually simple because there are lots of stones or logs which makes your crossing even easier - but when it's winter or there are rainy days it really is not a suggested trip as there are many risks.
The whole track is marked with a red dot into a white circle but if you have moments when you don't see the mark, just follow the river - will lead you to the right path. Talking about the river and water..make sure when you cross it that you are very careful where you step by, as there are many slippery areas..
LIKE THIS ONE...
Ok..enough with jokes - let's grow up and continue our trip.
After you cross the water for many times and fall down (hopefully not!) you will arrive to a metal ladder which leads you to a bridge over one of the many waterfalls which flows on the valley. That represents the point where the adrenaline starts and will ask for some effort from your, or better said - mostly from your arms.
It's very important to mention the fact that all these ladders, hooks and wires, are very stable and there is no danger as long as you are very careful how you climb.
The whole track is full of different spots where you can stop by and enjoy the landscape so don't you rush - take a break to stop the time while you are taking some pictures and admire the multitude of waterfalls, exotic plants and the infinity of the trees.
After you've already joined the party while climbing, you will meet two different parts of the trail which represents the real challenge of your journey.
One of them is when you have to climb the stones using the hooks and the wires which are located on a pretty high altitude, followed by a horizontal ladder which will force you to sneak peek on the water above you are crossing, the challenge coming to the end when you will climb another ladder - this time a vertical one.
As there is never too much adrenaline, on a relative short time you will face another challenge which is located between 2 big stone walls, representing a little canyon. Depending on the season when you are visiting this place, there may be water or not. If there is water you will definitely need to embrace the stones one more time while climbing the hooks.
What it makes it different than before? - we are talking about huge stone walls which are not straight but have different shapes which will represent a big challenge for your body when you will need to lean on the back and maintain all your stability with the help of the arms.
I will confess the fact that it definitely wasn't one of my best days as it's the first time when I get injured in one of my trips - being a traveler since I was a kid.
Just because I was too distracted by different reasons I've managed to slip for over 5 times into the water/or not.
These were just fun moments until I've made a huge mistake when forgetting that my boots are wet and there are big risks to slip when I will step on one of these hooks - so this just happened. When I've made my first steps, one of my legs slipped really bad and the first instinct was to grab the support wire so I won't fall into the water, but this haven't last for too long as the wires injured my right palm creating some pain followed by jumping into the water. It wasn't funny anymore when I've got half of my body injured with lots of bruises on my knee, thigh and elbow. But as an optimistic person I was glad to remain with such memories rather than broken bones as I've had many chances to get injured on my back or elbow really bad.
After you finish with the adrenaline part, you will need to take a 30 mins long walk through the forest which will lead you to Călugărița Glade which is nothing else but just an attended place for rest by tourists who stop by and eat something before they continue the journey. In the glade you will also find 3 ruins of the cottages Călugărița from where the name of the glade was formed.
After you are rested and decide to continue the journey, you will need to walk a few more km through the forest until you arrive to a forest road which will conduct you on the other side of the Vidraru Lake. The whole road is gifted with many beautiful landscapes offered by nature..
Once we've gone through the forest road, we will see a tunnel which represents nothing else but the end of our journey.
The tunnel will lead you right next to the Vidraru Dam giving you that feeling of a survivor after 14km walked through the miracles of the earth.
Happy or not - our little trip hasn't ended there as we had to walk another 2km until we will arrive to the spot where we parked the car.
The whole walk wasn't boring as we've got though 3 more tunnels also being accompanied by a little friend of the trip who followed us until we got to the car and shared some food with him, thanking for the enjoyable journey.
The trip of the day came to an end when we reached the place where we were going to spend the night - Camping Dracula.
The camping is located on 3km away from The Stan Valley which is also making the connection with the Poienari Citadel that can be seen right from the center of the camping base.
The citadel was on our list of what to visit during our trip but unfortunately there was a fire with just 2 weeks ago before our trip and the visits were denied being high risks for the fire to start again as it wasn't completely extinguished being very hard to reach the citadel without a helicopter.
The advantage of the camping base is that there are many cottages for those of you who are more parky and there is even a shop from where you can buy snacks or souvenirs for family and friends.
If you are not really a fan of the camping bases but still want to camp, you can do so along with the water which flows next to the main road, into the forest. But pay attention! There are many warning signs which announce the fact that there are a lot of bears around.
After we've recharged our batteries while sleeping in the tent and drunk our morning coffee - we are ready to start the new day with a new adventure. A new journey.
Today we have in plan to head over to Transfagarasan and follow the trail to another touristic attraction.
Even though it's already May, the access on Transfagarasan is limited until km 104 as there have been a few avalanches during the winter and there is still snow.
Firstly I didn't believe that this is possible as we were melting on 28 degrees (the weather in our camping base) but some radical changes are going to be noticed soon.
But until then..Do you remember when I was saying about lots of warning signs that there are many bears around?
While my father was driving and I was looking throught the window, my attention got caught by an animal which I noticed into the forest, so we stopped the car.
And then there was the surprise.. a baby bear which was very curious and sleepy in the same time while we were taking pictures to him.
It was the first time when I saw a bear in its natural habitat and not at the Zoo or Circus - it was so adorable!
On the way to the place from where our next journey was going to start, we were surrounded by many natural waterfalls which were caused by the melting snow of the avalanches.
The truth has been said when in just a few mins, we jumped from 22 degrees and sun to a completely frozen landscape full of snow and cold wind - that kind of the wind which reminds you that is winter outside.
Of course the full landscape was completed by happy kids which were enjoying the snow but the bad part of this place is that the snow which is not on the road but on the sides of it, may be a real trap.
This is what happened to a little girl when she jumped into the snow but disappeared in just a second as there was water flowing under the snow and a crevasse was formed. The bad part of the story is that the trouble was just at the beginning as the children's grandma has also fell down into the pit when she tried to get the kid out of it.
Luckily me and my father noticed the incident and we got there straight away and got the kid outside of the crevasse but we've faced some real challenge trying to help the grandma as she was already having one of the arms broken.
The whole story had a happy end as we managed to help both of the persons to get out of the pit with no wounds but just some scary memories.
The nature unleashed..
Unfortunately, the incident with the kid and her grandma together with the cold wind made us take a decision and give up on visiting the other touristic attraction we had in plan and wait until the summer comes and there are no risks of avalanches or falling under the snow while climbing.
The beautiful landscape came back when our way back to the camping base we noticed a little pool next to the road with a mysterious color but which was going to charge you with lots of good vibes just after a few minutes spend there.
*As a little advice at the end of the post - Don't forget that the nature is both beautiful but also dangerous and even though you may be hypnotized by its beauty, you never know what scary stories hides behind it. Always pay attention to the little details and be careful how you control your emotions so you won't have any of the bad experiences the kid and her grandma had or even my mistake.
For my part - I travel not to go anywhere, but just to go. To remain speechless while exploring and become a storyteller.
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