A 12 hours drive from Bucharest to Breb in Maramureş county. Luckly I enjoy driving And probably, first question that comes to mind is: is it worth it ?
Well, if you’re waiting for a simple YES or NO answer, I am not going to answer that way.
I’ll just leave here some impressions and stories.
As I entered in Maramureş county, I saw that kind of landscapes as if an artist just played with some his paintings. And of course, the piles of hay that the county is recognized for.
By the way, did you know that the pile of hay is built by the woman? The man is the one that helps by giving her the hay. And when the pile is done, the woman gets down over a thick stick. This should be fun
Final stop: Pensiunea Marioara in the traditional village Breb.
A cozy, quiet place, with delicious home-made food that invites you to stay until late at night to enjoy the silence. They have an old and a new house. When asked where do I want to stay, definitely the traditional house was my first choice as it keeps that feeling of belonging to a 100 years old story as old as the house itself.
Mărioara will welcome you and her humor will reveal attentiveness for her guests and a genuine friendliness.
In the morning we met the owner and one of his neighbors. They were making horinca, a 50 degrees drink, that is boiled twice.
The village can be explored in a half a day or even a full day walk. This time I participated to half a day tour because there wasn’t much time left.
If you choose to have a local guide that knows all the trails, you will pass through fruit gardens and people’s backyards. And if you want to talk with the villagers, they will be happy to meet you and chat.
When I’m coming back I’ll definitely want a full day just for wondering in the village and talking with them.
Another full day was dedicated for hiking in Natura 2000 Site: Gutâi-Creasta Cocoşului.
This is a day trip accessible for everyone. The route I take was: Pasul Gutâi – Creasta Cocoşului – Lacul Morărenilor – Tăul Chendroaiei – Breb.
As we hiked we reached this beautiful view:
It’s called Sarita lui Pintea Haiducul.
Pintea Haiducul is a Romanian version of Robin Hood with many legends shaped around him. He was born in a noble family and he fought against the rulers to help the poor.
This is where “Pintea” movie was filmed, a Romanian movie that tells his story with an epic fall of the hero from this edge.
Once arrived on the plateau of Creasta Cocoşului, a display of volcanic lava, sharp rocks and a large view will amaze you:
And on return to the village we chose to descend on a different route, where we discovered other interesting spots:
Lacul Morărenilor is one of them, a lake formed because of a landfall.
Close to it, there is also Tăul Chendroaiei with two waterholes. What is interesting about them is that compared with other ecosystems, the dead plants in the peat land do not decompose because of lack of oxygen.
The only detail you need to keep in mind is that it’s best to go with a local guide.
The villagers are going up by tractor as much as they can and large, deep tyre tracks are shaped. Which means that you can be at a crossroads of 3 different trails wondering which way to go. And a go left or right decision might “cost” you a few hours on foot: you can either arrive in Breb, or the next village.
If you get in the area and you need a guide, our friends from Eco Maramures will be happy to help you.
PS: More on symbols and traditional houses in this post.
Guest post by Georgiana Atanasiu