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2004 | 2005


February - 2005

More to Bran than a pair of fang

Although famous as the home of Dracula's castle, Bran, together with Moeciu de Jos and Moieciu de Sus, form probably the most beautiful mountainous area in Romania.
In the last four years, there has been much investment here in large guesthouses and small hotels.
These guesthouses (pensiune agroturistica) are rated according to ANTREC (National Association of Rural Tourism and Agrotourism) standards of one to five daisies - the equivalent of stars for hotels. Their comfort is assured by mostly hospitable owners, who will share good food, jokes and local traditions.
For the Bran/Moieciu de Jos area, the average rental price per person per day in a guesthouse is 15 USD, including a decent breakfast, including local potato bread.
Nearby attractions include the city of Brasov, Rasnov Fortress and ski resorts in Predeal and Poiana Brasov, as well as the 14th Century Bran Castle, often referred to as the closest thing Romania has to a home for the dentally-challenged count.

A suggested two to three day hike: Crossing the Bucegi Mountains to Moeciu de Jos.

Day 1: Busteni (885 m) - Jepii Mici Valley - Caraiman Refuge (2,025 m) - Babele Refuge (2,200 m) -OmuPeak (2,505 m, the highest mountain peak in Bucegi)
Time: 6 1/2 hrs.
9.00 hrs: From Bucharest to Busteni by train for approx. 2 1/2 h. Ask anyone in Busteni to show you the way from the station to the mountains, where you can walk through the Jepii Mici Valley and soon face a hard climb through the woods. This stops suddenly at a wonderful panoramic view over the Caraiman. After a three hour hike you will reach the Caraiman Refuge, on the edge of the Bucegi plateau. Take a short break (10-15 min) to admire the beauty of the landscape. The march continues to Babele and, after a soft climb along the plateau, you reach the refuge. From
Caraiman to Babele there is a 45 min walk.
At Babele refuge (the traditional student mountain destination in Romania, which is well known for its sour soups and boiled wine with cloves), have a long lunch stop.
Afterwards, the path winds through large Bucegi plateau and, in two hrs time, you will reach the highest peak of massif and the Bucegi refuge. There, you can have dinner and spend the night.
Day 2: Omu Peak (2,505 m) - Gaura Valley Stana Gaura (1,560 m) - Poiana Gutanu (1,460 m) - Moieciu de Sus (950 m) - Moieciu de Jos -Sirnea village:
8.00 hrs: Breakfast at the refuge.
9.00 hrs: After a 30 min march along the mountain crest to theTiganesti Edge, you can hike down to the Gaura Valley. Following a very difficult three-and-ahalf hour descent on the spectacular slopes of the GauraValley, you will reach the Gaura sheep-pen. From here, two hrs through the woods to the Bangaleasa Valley entry, where the forest road begins (13 km to Moeciu de Sus, possibly by car). In Moieciu de Sus/Jos you can have lunch at a guesthouse.
Day 3: Optional
From Moieciu de Sus/Moieciu de Jos (a 30 minute walk away from each other) you will find Sirnea village in approximately one hour on the DN 73
and another 45 minutes on a country road. You can have dinner and spend the night in the village.