Random encounters

I guess the summer is just a season. The season that certainly brings some expectations, heat that is, but not necessarily turns out warm as expected.

So how on Earth did I find myself freezing on the top of the mountain, wind sending chills trough my clothes while the drizzle was getting stronger... in the middle of the summer.

Well, first lets give it to the height, that certainly has the greater portion to do with it. After all Bucegi mountains are more than 2.500 m tall. And secondly, I've reached the top by the cable car, the one we didn't know even exist until we were almost right in front of it.

The mighty Sphinx
We had a plan for a nice hiking day. After all it was a middle of the summer and the day before was nicely warm, but the clouds covering the sky actually seemed as even more perfect weather for our adventure. We left our place in Busteni early in the morning to firstly head out for breakfast, and while we were stuffing our food away under the umbrella of small village shop/bar, the first shower of the day arrived. But we were to hyped to feel discouraged by it.

The view at Bucegi from Buşteni
Also, never trust google. According to google maps namely, it would only take us around two hours to reach the famous rock shaped like Sphinx, which was our final destination. Judging by the distance of some more then 6 km that almost sounded about right... but only if you completely ignore the altitude that  intersect 1000 m. Looking towards the top that mission clearly seemed impossible and as we were already planing which train to take in the evening, we mutually agreed at what time we'll turn around if our plan fails.

But here comes the cable car. Firstly noted by the signs and later on as a proper machinery, while waiting in the line for about an hour we've decided to purchase a one way ticket up and then spent our afternoon on a nice hike down, way less exhausting and more reasonable than what we originally planned. Although looking at the high steep mountains rising right above us I didn't feel very sure how there could be a nice path leading down.

The rare moment with the view to the valley
So soon we were up in the sky, passing trees of the forest, up and up, higher and higher, until there were less and less trees, the terrain was getting steeper and another thing we've noticed, or rather prevent us from noticing anything, was that mountain was covered in clouds. If I could see our final station when the gondola crossed the ridge, it completely disappeared from the sight once we moved closer.

selling roasted corn in the cloud
Exiting we were hit by the cold of the reality surrounding us now, and as soon as we put on all the clothes we had with us (including my sleeping robe as a scarf), we bravely stepped outside.

trying to withstand the weather conditions
Disappointing, yet not surprisingly there was no view, but on the other hand, that's not exactly what we came for. The top of the mountain around was scattered with huge weirdly shaped rocks, most of them looking like the mushrooms (or the cloud from the atomic bomb), while the greatest and grandest one took up the shape of a proud resting cat (if you have a lot of imagination of course), and is now known as Romanian Sphinx.

The Romanian Sphinx in the cloud
Discovering around was certainly fun, but feeling as if cold is biting us to our bones and with the light drizzle turning into proper rain, we somehow agreed to head back inside, warm back up to the functional persons and hope the weather will improve at least to a dry state.

one of the ''mushroom'' stones
The bar, from where you probably have amazing view at better times, was cosily warm, and before we knew, we were all sipping on a nice portion of hot chocolate with cream, right there, in the middle of the summer.

hot chocolate on a summer day
Once we felt as humans again and the weather reached it's finest (which still seemed pretty bad), we headed back outside, mentally knowing exactly what to expect, and hit the road that would lead us back down in the valley... or so we thought.

It was a relatively nice path, going pretty straight on the top of the mountain, and we even had a chance encountering other people hiking their way up. However we also gathered information that the road will not take us where we expected and that it will certainly take much longer than what our map app has said.

We soon realised that we're heading in completely wrong direction, mostly because of lack of visibility, as clouds were enduring right there and at some points you couldn't even see 10 meters in front of you. So we weren't only on a mission of finding the right road but also trying not to loose each other.

the meadow of wild flowers
We headed straight trough the meadow, which wasn't the best idea as none of us had particularly proper shoes and soon our socks and footwear were wet trough and trough. But we were far from giving up. We continue following smaller paths, hoping we'll find one we were so willing to take, crossed a steep meadow filled with colourful flowers, for some moments even got the view down in the valley (which seemed very, very far away), and found ourselves among the mountain scrubs. The uncrossable mountain scrubs. No matter which way we tried to pass them we always reached the dead end and soon decided it's a bit to dangerous to blindly wonder among them since we saw how deep could potential fall possibly be.

view to the Buşteni far below
After two hours of stubbornness we had to agree to our defeat and headed back up towards the cable car, ready to take it down as well. However we unexpectedly ended on another path, and once we had the cable of the cable car in our sight as well, we realised this was actually the right one.

the beginning of our descend trail
Still totally pumped for the adventure we headed right to it, passed the sign saying it will take us 2 to 3 hours to get down. It started as the narrow steep trail, but before we knew what we got ourselves into, we encountered some rocks that you basically had to climb and after such steep descend there was no chance of us returning back. There were chains and wires to hold yourself safely, but looking down, the potential slip would mean what we certainly wouldn't want to experience. And remember our everyday walking shoes and our summerish outfits.

However, it was also really exciting. I myself love to climb and even though I can't imagine taking this path up, I actually had a lot of fun going down, especially at the dangerous parts that gave you chills and trill.

mountain goat
We also had a chance to fully experience the mountains. We saw a mountain goat somewhere by the side, we enjoyed the beautiful flora, sat and snacked by the crystal clear river from which you could drink, surprisingly water wasn't that cold. We saw a huge pieces of deep frozen ice, crossed the most rocky parts and made it to the forest, and while strolling on the path, overlooking the river valley... noticed a bear.

Well, my colleague noticed it and at first I wasn't even sure about the message she tried to get to me. ''Tanja, there's a bear!'' I was completely confused at where to look. My first feeling was that she's calling me back to her, as I was few steps in front, to show me the bear from her sight. The other friend saw it as well, and soon they started showing me towards the river and finally, I noticed it, not so far bellow us.

the bear
I've never seen a bear in the nature before. We've been told there are many around and I remember stories from when I was a kid that certainly give you chills and not want you to ever encounter one, but still... I just saw a bear in the nature, and the excitement of it overshadowed the fear. Holding to the camera this entire way down, my first idea was to snap a picture of it. Setting the zoom and everything else to get the best shot possible, I was totally caught in the mission, when the friend who first noticed it continued silently shouting to me to get back down and stop showing myself. Out of her fear I started realising the situation is pretty serious, and there we were caught on our little path with clearly no idea what to do.

signs about encountering the bear at the bottom end of the path
The bear was minding it's own business, not noticing or at least not carrying about us, and the other friend suggested we move on, even though the one who spotted it first kept on saying that we should stay still and hidden. As the bear made a move and it was in the opposite direction of where we were going, we decided to give it a go, and once we were out of the sight, run till the next obstacle on the road (maybe the rocks were gone, but the steep terrain continued, now woven with roots of the trees).

meeting the cable car
As we were making our way down, hoping the worst is over, the last friend in the line suddenly appeared with even paler face, saying that bear is following us. Apparently we very much misjudged where it was heading and instead of continuing up the river bed, it climbed up to the path and they've seen each other face to face... and considering it was a very curvy road, that must have been pretty close.

If our fear of falling from the rock was gone and forgotten by now, our journey certainly didn't stop sending us the adrenaline. We've tried to go faster, our group split into each man for himself and no matter how far we were going, that feeling of bear following us just couldn't disappear. Whenever we stopped we were carefully listening to another branch cracking behind us and scanning the sight as his brown fur was so easy to blend with the forest.

The road kept going on and on and way more then three hours passed while we were still in the forest.We crossed the river again and now fully aware that there's much more around us then our eyes can tell, decided to make another stop. Bear seemed to be gone and probably never had an intention to follow us in the first place, the thing just happened.

another mountain resident
By the time the sky started getting darker, after 5 hours of  descent we reached back to the town, our train long gone, and headed to the first thing that looked like a bus station, ready to hitchhike our way home although coming here we didn't have much success.

Neither were the cars ready to stop this time. After some waiting we managed to fetch a comfy but probably overpriced bus, that on the very bright side, was full of people ready to help us with our situation of missing on all the available public transport to take us home.

trying to catch our way home
Once we arrived to Ploieşti it was a pitch dark and our bus let us out at some random location, basically by the highway you weren't able to cross. However another person exiting at the same location was a friendly older lady, waiting for a ride from her husband, who came to pick her up in a fairly big car. After short discussion of trying to help us out they decided to pack all four of us in their car and to drop us off at the other side of town, where we'll have better chance to catch something to take us home. But we must have appeared really beaten up from our ruff and unexpected daily adventures, that in their best will they gave us lift all the way to our home, and even though it might not seemed such a big deal to them, they might never know how many troubles they speared us with their generous gesture.

All in all our leisure getaway turned into an adventures (and even life treathing) day, that created full of unforgettable stories.



  1. Such a stunning place, nature is so pretty :) xx


  2. The place looks so beautiful and peaceful! Hope you had an amazing time there:)


  3. Wow, such a beautiful place! So pretty and peaceful. Your photos are stunning too, thanks for sharing! <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

  4. That view is just majestic. What a lovely trip!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  5. Such a scarifying experience, I love climb the mountains, but meeting the bear would be a nightmare for me, always when we start our hiking I'm afraid that it could happen. Glad that you came back safe.
    Btw. Beautiful pictures!


  6. What an adventure! I've always wanted to see a real bear in the wild (from a safe distance ofc hah) and how lucky that you managed to spot one. Beautiful spot indeed xx


  7. Wow... breathtaking pics! Such a cool experience!
    Kisses, Paola.


  8. This sounds like such an amazing experience! How incredible that you saw a bear too! Beautiful photos too xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

  9. Hiking like a champ! And so cool you got to see a bear!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  10. OMG that sounds like amazing adventure. Clouds and fog around and you have feeling like you are on the top of the world. Also see bear outside in nature must be stunning. Thank you for sharing all of these gorgeous photos.

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  11. What an amazing adventure you had! It must have been challenging, not finding the right track right away and the fog and everything (not to mention the bear) but it's great you found the right track and climbed so high.


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