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Măgura, Peștera, Șirnea villages

Măgura, Peștera, Șirnea villages

Măgura, Peștera, Șirnea villages

I was 27 years old when I first got to these places. I had seen them a year before from above, from Piatra Craiului. I felt since then that something wonderful must be around here. Since then, I come back here every year. It is like 27 years I have been wondering through darkness; that is how impressed I was by these places. 

I won’t tell you about my first experience here because it was a harsh winter and besides the charm of the place covered in snow I remember the road full of snow and me pushing the car. One summer I climbed from Bran towards Peștera. The road is ok; it is freshly paved and memorable. The climb is steep. The road winds on hills until it gets up on the plateau full of houses and guesthouses. I enjoyed the climb. I went slowly and watched every corner. It is like you sink in nature. We parked the car in Peștera and we walked towards Măgura. We were going to visit Arabella. Yes, a writer born in Manchester, Arabella Mc’Intire retired in this fairy tale place and enjoys it every day. From above, from the dusty road, as the connection between the two villages is made through a lot of trails and 2 old wagon roads, we could see Bran somewhere far far away in a valley. From here we could also see the road on a straight ridge, the school and the church of the village. But I haven’t told you yet what it is the most wonderful and special here. From these places you can see Bucegi Mountains to the east and Piatra Craiului to the west. It is a great view whenever you come here. On this beautiful summer day I could see both massifs and my joy was so big that I couldn’t get enough looking at them.

We kept walking on the road, all the way down to Măgura. We could see houses here and there. Kind of old, but clean, with shingle on the walls to protect them against the wind, in bright shades of green, yellow, red, some of them with inn-like inner yards  to protect them from snow, all of them in the spirit of the place. They were alive places with people, with sheep flocks, with mowed pastures and with paths through grass. I have seen children hand in hand with their parents, but they were just visiting.  

It is hard to describe the wonderfulness of the place. It always reminds me of my childhood, of the lived childhood as well as of the imagined one, of the places where Heidi wondered, of the traditional, unaltered villages that I imagined when reading from our classic poets and novelists. Yes, I think I know; what shocks here is not the absolutely emotional view, but the contrast between the steepness of the slopes and the calm of the wide pastures, the greatness of the mountains and the darkness of the chasms that you can see from place to place, the peace of the people and the simplicity of their houses. 

We kept walking towards Arabella, we descended the road to a valley and them we chose to go straight to the ridge of the hill that is in her garden. It was difficult; it took us about half an hour to descend and climb on the other side of the valley. Arabella’s house is on the top of the hill, at about 1000 m altitude. Maybe it is one of the most beautiful places as from here you can see the entire Bucegi Massif, as well as a good part of Piatra Craiului.  The latter are guarded by a smaller massif, a row of lower mountains where Zărnești Precipices were formed. Exactly in this place it is an opening that allows a view towards Piatra Craiului. There is no better place to see the whole area. The tea is good here especially when you feel that you are not alone; nature is alive, buzzing can be heard all the time, different bird songs, crickets and the gentle humming of people who work in the orchards or in the forest. 

The time is patient here. It is like it forgets all bout you because it doesn’t want to take your happiness away. We left from Arabella and we went further to Botorog Fountain, right on the road that connects Măgura and Zărnești. We climbed through people’s yards until we have reached the trail on which people used to commute to Zărnești. From here we continued our journey to Peştera. This time we chose the road that surrounds the two villages from above. From here we could see even better Bucegi Mountains, now situated to the west. This area is even wilder. There are fewer houses, the road is less used and it goes right next to the forest. Here you can feel better the protection that these heights offer you. It is like a nest in the clouds, far away from any danger. We got to the car in the evening and towards Bran there was a sea of lights. 

I have been to these places during winter as well and it was as beautiful. It is probably the most suitable place for walks with snow rackets, for skiing and walking in the snow on paths. I have been here on bike too and it was amazing. It is nice to walk on paths, on roads, through orchards, past the houses of always welcoming and smiling people.  

There is a lot to say, but even more to see. Don’t miss the chance to go to these places, because as all the wonders of this world, this place will also suffer modifications in a near or further future. 

Article by: Alexandru – Pure Romania

Photos – Pure Romania

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