The suns out again and the sky is a great sapphire color as we meet our guide at the Brașov County Museum Of History in Brașov square. We shake his hand and briefly meet another two English guys (haven’t really noticed any other English people here until now) And jump into his van, which could be the start of a murder novel but luckily isn’t.
During the van ride he seems pretty set on extolling the virtues of communism. And Everybody having jobs which sounds great. Of course they didn’t get to choose what they were, or really think in any way it but he seems fine with that too. It doesn’t sound like individualism was encouraged back when Brașov was known as ‘Stalin City’.
This guys clear unhappiness with having to adapt after communism is totally different from the positive attitude our other guide showed. Then again they clearly have different personalities, one wants to make his own future the other was pretty happy having someone decide his for him. You can’t please everyone can you?
We soon arrive at Seven Ladders Canyon is set in the in Piatra Mare range, which forms part of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and the valley of the canyon is very picturesque, but it’s pretty busy and a bit of a tourist trap. It’s even got a fast food stall at the bottom which we regretfully try out later. It wasn’t great, and I’m not going to try and guess the mystery meat. (All the other Transylvanian / Romanian food I had this trip was EPIC by the way)
The hikes nice and relaxing after the other days seven hour hike / scramble. Which is good because even though I’m at a good level of fitness my legs are still aching hard. There’s also some cool looking mini waterfalls on the way up the valley which is similar to a scene out of the movie ‘Jurassic Park’. I can almost imagine Velociraptors carrying people off into the forest. The canyon even has zip lines most of the way down it you can pay to use.
As we get to the first ladder I wonder just what we are getting ourselves into. It doesn’t look confidence inspiring. Then again I can handle this after climbing down the side of a mountain gripping a metal cable the other day.
The guide has opted for sandals for climbing these massive, wet, metal ladders. Which really wouldn’t have been my first choice. There’s no safety gear and the stream roars as a waterfall in my ear on the left of me. You really don’t want to lose your grip on this one, and I’m feeling a bit of trepidation here but if I don’t climb up this scary ass ladder I’m going to be annoyed with myself. It is a bloody long way up and almost vertical mind you.
Just to make things more interesting there’s a queue which doesn’t feel like the right sort of place to stop and chill out at the moment….
The climb through the canyon barely takes any time but it’s worth it to see the vertical limestone canyon walls and impressive aspect of the place. It’s all over pretty quickly in actual fact and soon enough we are out of the canyon and hiking down again.
I’m thinking that Romanian health and safety standards are probably a little different to ours as we make our way down the canyon valley and just as I’m thinking this the feet of one zip liner almost pass through the head of our guide. Luckily he moves just at the right time before becoming one with the floor. Apparently whoever installed the zip lines wasn’t accounting for people with long legs. The guides pretty lucky his heads still attached…..
It’s worth seeing this place, honestly though you don’t really need a guide, but if you can afford it then get one as of course it helps the local economy. Try and get yourself a guide with good reactions…..
Video at end of post……