To start with we thought we’d take a short hike up this Mountain, and why not after all it sits right in the middle of Brașov and it’s completely impossible to miss. Especially with it’s Hollywood-esq ‘Brașov’ sign on the side of it, just in case you were lost, and the rows and rows of Vlad Dracul fridge magnets lining the streets didn’t give it away….
However I’m sure this is far better than what was originally carved out into the trees: the name STALIN back in the 1950’s. I’m sure everybody much prefers ‘Brașov’.
The first time we see Tâmpa we decide to hike up it, which is a decent workout, and we get to see one of the routes up. Now there is an easy route up here but the more fun route is up the hacked out/concrete steps. It’s way harder going but there’s less chance of you bumping into other tourists.
Before we get far up Tâmpa there’s a handy sign telling us there’s a possibility of us bumping into brown bears and Lynx’s. This is followed immediately by the number for the emergency services. Comforting.
We don’t bump into any of this wildlife for the whole trip, but if I said it wasn’t on my mind while hiking and running through the forest and mountains I’d be lying. Although I have convinced myself that I’m probably too much effort to catch and not tasty enough to eat. Then again….brown bears can run at around 40mph.
We check out behind the Brasov sign and enjoy the sun but both decide that the only way we are going to truly feel like we’ve conquered Tâmpa is if we actually run right up it.
Tâmpa is 900m (78m shorter than Scafell Pike in the Lake District) which on the flat would be nice and relaxing but this isn’t flat. The views out over the city are amazing and the view to Tâmpa from the city is pretty impressive too. Which much have been exactly what Vlad Tepes was thinking when he impaled 40 merchants on top of here for all to see after dismantling Brașov’s original fortress that sat on top.Well, running up it is less brutal than being impaled on top of it so here we go…..
There is actually a cable car that runs up the side of the mountain but that’s just lazy. Regardless though it’s a good idea to stick to the path if you are going to hike or run up here because you really don’t want to get in the way of aforementioned cable car. It would totally remove your head.
We head off from our apartment and run to the mountain then right up the side. I feel like my lungs are going to explode most of the way up, then again I’ve been stuffing myself with Romanian food and wine for days.
There was a huge storm for about 13 hours the other day, and most of the path we saw when we walked up here seems to have been washed away; exposing wet, slippy limestone rocks. Some random dudes cheer us on, ‘come on number one!’, so we speed up even more.
The great thing about this is we are not the only people mad enough to run up the side of this mountain. There’s at least five other nutters doing it who look like they do it all the time, springing up the side like they are jogging on the flat. I feel like I’m going to vomit a lung.
Eventually we reach the top in the fading light, and the clouds lazily blow across the peak, with iron grey storm clouds in the distance, tinged by the setting sun. This was totally worth the effort. The only thing that’s missing is a cloud of vampire bats….
We top the whole thing off with a run onto the other peak and through the deep forest that covers it’s slopes. It’s like something out of a dream again, and a great way to end the run before finally running back down to Brașov centre and having a few well earned pints. (full video at end of post)