Encountering History in Romania’s Bucegi National Park

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One of my favorite experiences in Romania was this hike through Bucegi National Park. After a few days in the bustle of Bucharest, I was happy to be in the mountains.

The hike gained about one thousand feet of elevation + was quite gradual. It was a stunning hike, + by the time we reached the summit, it was freezing + had started to rain. Seven thousand feet, which is nothing compared to the mountains in Colorado, but still a spectacular view.

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At the summit, there were ruins of a historic temple, with rock carvings + stone arrangements. As I headed up to photograph the rock formations, I got caught in a hail storm. Eventually, it lightened up enough that I could make a break for the shelter back at lower elevation where the rest of my group was waiting. You never know the kind of weather you’re going to get when hiking in the mountains, + it can change at a moment’s notice.

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The decision was made to take the gondola down the mountain instead of making a return hike, due to the weather. There was only one gondola in each direction at any given time, so it took about an hour to actually get on to one. It was quite a steep drop off the back side of the mountain (we had climbed the much more sloping front side) so the gondola descent was very dramatic. Despite the weather, the day of hiking was well worth it.

There’s something about being in the mountains, no matter what country I’m in, that just feels like home.

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