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A pinch of adventure: buggy ride in Transylvania (Apuseni mountains)

If you travel to Alba Iulia and are into adventure, I highly recommend you try a buggy ride. Well, it comes perfectly at hand even if don’t travel there, but somewhere in the area. It is full of fun, suspense, new places and friends!

I took my portion of adrenalin, and no, don’t regret any bit!

Let me share it with you!

This trip came somehow naturally although I’ve never planned it. We had a great accommodation in Galda de Jos (Alba county), a village in between a mountainous area and a city. We got there by accident (as in other cases) because we were looking for accommodation at one of the guesthouses nearby. But, being fully booked, we opted for some nights there.

No regrets. Like in all situations, things only worked out for the better.

Buggies – did anyone say buggies?????!!!!

The owner of the house, a young guy, happens to have some buggies. That he rents. And we decide to go on a tour with him. So far, so good.

Soon, right after uttering my decision out loud, I feel some tension. I had never ridden one or something alike. And now I have to. I am with my daughters and can’t let them down. Or change my mind. Shivers run down my spine just by thinking.

Ok, time has come. To ride. We have to dress accordingly. Like a chameleon. Mostly in brown.

I take a deep breath. I sit behind the wheel and first take a look at all the elements inside. Thank God, it doesn’t look sooo complex! Since I am a regular driver, it can’t be that bad, right?

It looks nice and…funny. Reminds me of the Flinstones’ car. Only better. At least here the pedals work. It only has two seats. Before I even realize where the horn is (just in case), everybody says they are ready. And off we go!

The trip begins on the paved road, but soon we enter a forest road. I suddenly realize that driving a buggy is no rocket science (at all)! (My 12-year-old also drove one for some minutes, and God, she enjoyed it!) Finally, I can breathe out all the pressure….and start enjoying the view. It’s like watching a good movie after you were 10 minutes late for the cinema. You didn’t want to be late, and now you are running on the corridor, panting, but the moment you get to sit down on your chair you start breathing. And relaxing. And after you connect with the movie, you feel safe.

Buckle up! It’s showtime!

Our host, Dan, takes us to majestic places, where we feel on top of the world. The scenery is just fantastic. During our 3-hour hike, plains, hills, rocks, mountains and delicate flowers unfold before our eyes. It is unbelievably beautiful.

I am safe. We are safe. How couldn’t we be safe? It feels like being on top of the world. It is paradise. Or one of its multiple versions.

We roam around a lot. We hike and feel. The smell of the grass, the droppings of the animals whose pastures we cross, the purity of nature. But (basically) no humans, only nature.

We see. We observe with our naked eye the colour of the grass, the shades of summer flowers, the serene perfect sky above. We see beautiful butterflies. We see strong mountains that bear solid rocks.

We see a retrospective of human settlements. At Tecșești – Muzeul viu (the living museum). This living museum, also called La Origini (Back to the Origins), wants to be a small-scale representation of the Romanian village. It is an NGO powered by people enthusiastic about traditions, about recreating the typical Romanian village from the origins to modern times (including here the materials available for every historical era).

Those who provide funding for the project can enjoy a unique experience. They will have the possibility to actually live for a short time in that place, they’ll undergo the way of life of the Dacians and will provide their food accordingly. This looks like an exciting trial if you are passionate about history, myths, and legends.

Next, we come across Poiana Narciselor (Clearing of the daffodils). What a delicate perfume it must have in spring!

But for now, our wheels bog down a bit in mud. It rained a lot the previous days. On this occasion we find out that riding a buggy in the mud is very thrilling and lots of fun if you come with a gang!

Final stop – speechless

Different view, different perspective. Far away we can see mountains. Strong trees that stand up tall. Bare rocks. There are also butterflies and dragonflies. These mountains offer shelter for deer, rabbits, squirrels, wild boar, or foxes.

Though uncommon, it is not impossible to understand that, a young couple from Bucharest with well-paid jobs and lots of diplomas left everything aside to get rid of the stressful and tumultuous life for the peace and quiet of this place. They sold their apartment in the capital and traded the money for a piece of land in this remote village from Apuseni mountains with only 6 inhabitants.

Here, they started from scratch. They bought a small house of wood that needed a lot of improvement, they home-schooled their 2 children, learnt to use the village creek as shower and gradually adjusted to a minimalistic life as possessions, but a deeply satisfactory life for the psychic.

If you want to know more about their story, and experience sunsets and sunrises under all shades of rainbow, you can camp in their yard. Needless to say, all the food is totally organic and homemade. Cheia village is accessible by car to Bradesti, after, you have to walk for 1,5 hours.

If you are a big fan of adrenalin, you should definitely take the day trip which is completed by Cetii Gorges, Ramet Gorges, and the waterfall at Cetea Roman Baths. Plus a picnic with traditional Romanian food, such as fried slanina (chunks of pork fat) over a fire in the open, Romanian cheese called telemea along with tomatoes, a delicacy for a day in nature.

Satisfaction guaranteed! For the nature lover and gourmet alike!

We finally park the buggies. We have a big cabbage pie at Floare de Colt Guesthouse. The end of a good day.

Such a thrill!

I felt like in a summer camp with my class, only many years later. We did hike, we did grab snacks, and yes, did we explore! After all, I am so pleased we took this buggy adventure trip and made it! Fills me up with enthusiasm and once again I remain speechless in front of nature…and yes, sometimes people and stories!

3 -hour hike – 150 lei/person (around 31 euro/37 USD)
day tour (7-8-hour hike) – 225 lei/person (around 46 euro/56 USD)

Recommended by TTF:

  • Must-do for adrenalin lovers;
  • Beautiful scenery with constantly changing landscape;
  • Good socializing opportunity;
  • Interesting stories, authentic food experience.

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