Even if I am originally from Romania, and I love mountain hikes and nature, many of its beauties are still a mystery to me. I feel somehow ashamed when I watch YouTube channels of foreign people who go to places in Romania, I had no idea existed, and tell the stories of their experiences with people and fantastic places. I feel like I have betrayed my country by leaving it out of my focus for many years.
There are several reasons for my deficit. One is that I left the country twenty-two years ago and I did not know any Romanian people with the same interests with whom I could explore unknown places. I simply came back to visit my parents and spend time with family and relatives.
When it came to exploring and hiking, I flew around the globe to satisfy my desire of being in nature, but I never linked Romania with adventure and hiking. This drastically changed when I was introduced to the sweetest Romanian activity group that I have ever known. The group members welcomed me with open arms and curiosity. Before I knew it, I became a member myself and my opinions and ideas became just as valid as anyone else’s. This made me realize what I had been missing all these years without even knowing that I was missing them.
It is funny how quickly one can get blind to things that once were part of oneself. We adapt to new environments (for me it was Germany) and standards quickly.
A week ago, my newly found friends and I were hiking the Rodnei Mountains (Northern Carpathians) together. We left early in the morning as the weather in November is harsh in Romania and it gets dark already around 4 p.m. We began our hike in an extremely foggy Rodna that lingered above our heads and made it impossible for us to see further than 200 m. It had been foggy like that for several days, but we were happy that at least it wasn’t raining and that we could still go for a hike.
We started our hike at 1.100 m of elevation where our pension was situated. The merry mood we were in and the conversations we were having on our way made the time fly through the mysterious foggy landscape.
Once we reached 1.800 m of elevation suddenly something incredible happened: we were catapulted above the sea of fog that we just left behind and that covered the whole town like an irony cover. We were blinded by the sun that was shining in its whole brightness on the peaks of Ineu, Ineut and Rosu. Our jaws literally dropped in awe.
Little did we know that this was nothing compared to what we were about to witness only an hour later when we reached the Rosu peak. Our timing was perfect: the sun just began to set and the colors that resulted from it made the surrounding mountains look surreal. We just stood there on the peak not believing what we were seeing.
Shortly after the sun left the horizon the wind came out threatening to blow us down. It was time to descend as we were half frozen. My toes were so frozen that they were hurting me badly, and they were the only thing I could think of.
We began our descent still looking to our right and saying goodbye to the last rays of sunlight that were dimming on the horizon.
Suddenly, I do not know why, I looked to my left and automatically a scream of amazement left my throat. Everybody’s attention was focused on me. I simply pointed to the left: the moon was rising behind the mountain and was covered in the brightest pink I had ever seen in nature in my life. We stopped and grabbed our frozen cameras with our frozen hands. What we saw was simply indescribable, but we were not able to capture it on camera. No picture could do justice to that! On our right, the sun was disappearing in the foggy clouds, and on our left, the moon was rising on a clear sky. It was the most majestic nature show I have seen.