4-Xtremes – Part 30: Transylvania sends its regards
Series: 4-Xtremes – The World Tour
No bears on-board please!
An underground ferris wheel , a “fearful” exhibition and eyeball to
eyeball with a family of bears – Romania has quite a few surprises for
En route on the Transalpina road.
People like to describe travel destinations as “colourful”. Romania
outdoes this term by far. What we have experienced over the last two
weeks, has been extraordinary – even for us.
Hungary had a lot to offer as far as driving is concerned, but
Romania takes it to another level. Even if you stay on the main roads,
you experience a lot. We passed through villages in which virtually
every architectural style can be seen; from wooden huts to elaborately
decorated, multi-storey villas. We were also surprised to see that
horse-drawn carts are still common on the roads.
A view into the abyss.
And we were determined to drive up a few passes. If only to get away
from the continued heat. The most well-known pass roads in Romania are
the Transalpina and the Transfagarasan. We decided to go for the
Transalpina first. Normally you only see small off-road vehicles here.
But Mike was optimistic that the Axor wouldn’t let us down here
either. And he was right. However the trip gave me more than one
adrenalin rush as from the co-driver’s side I had a view of the abyss
below several times. But in the end the sunset that we enjoyed from
the top of the pass reconciled us to the stress and strain of the day.
Our camp for the night was also unusual: next to the valley station of
a ski lift – how often do you have the opportunity to do that?
The second mountain trip took us to the Transfagarasan pass with its
endless serpentine bends. The Axor managed the journey to the top
effortlessly: we just selected the reduction gear and rolled forward,
nice and slowly. On the way back down to the valley, Mike had to take
care that the brakes didn’t overheat, as we don’t have a retarder. But
everything went well.
But back to the journey up to the top: coming from the South you
pass a reservoir on the Transfagarasan road – the ideal place for us
to have a lunch break. We let Aimée out, opened the doors as always
when the weather is good and began to cook. And we discussed the
warnings about bears along the route. Never in a million years would
we have thought of seeing bears along this busy road. We thought
wrong. Shortly afterwards – luckily Aimée was inside again – we looked
out of the door and couldn’t believe our eyes. Directly behind the
Axor there was a mother bear and two cubs! We caught our breath. Then
it was time to just close the doors quickly and pack the food away as
the last thing we wanted was to attract this furry family.
Lost in another time: horse-drawn carts are still common on Romanian roads.
A break for Andrea and Mike …
… and a cool bath for Aimee.
Driving fun for Mike and the Axor.
It was worth all the effort.
With our hearts beating fast we took a few photos. And where was the
pepper spray? Reports of bears breaking into camper vans provided for
vivid scenes in our heads. However the mother bear and her young left
us alone and we drove on quickly.
Once we reached the summit of the pass, we rubbed our eyes:
obviously we weren’t the only ones seeking refuge from the heat in the
mountains. Many cars were parked on the road and people were walking
back and forth across it. Right at the top there was a tunnel which
was marked as having a clearance height of 3.60 metres. Our Axor is
3.70 metres high. It was a good job that we had done some research
beforehand and knew that higher vehicles have been through it. All the
same, we still had to be careful as the rounded tunnel was quite dark
and every now and again reinforcing iron bars protruded down from the ceiling.
You would think it’s just missing a Steiff button in its ear; but beware!
Large station at the summit of the Transfagarasan pass.
Romania also has some beautiful architecture.
A view into a 112-metre abyss.
Boat trips are on offer here as well as …
… crazy golf.
Has a lot of charm, but also a lot of tourists: the little town of Sighisoara.
A wonderful setting for a camp, if only there hadn’t been a storm …
A place to fear.
The Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania, palaces and castles shrouded
in mystery – even without a visit from bears, Romania offers numerous
opportunities to fire your imagination. We were open to that and
visited Castle Hunedoara – also known as Corvin Castle. Where, if not
here, would be the best place for a torture exhibition? No expense has
been spared with regard to visual and acoustic effects in the building
close to the castle – our hair stood on end more than once. We will
spare you the photos.
In the Wallachia region an orthodox convent built in the 16th
century and which has real flair is a complete contrast to that. We
were also very pleased that in Alba Iulia another exotic place to stay
the night was waiting for us directly next to the fortification wall.
And who did we meet there? A Romanian RoadStar! What a lovely surprise!
112 metres below ground level.
But straight on to the next thing – our next highlight took us deep into the bowels of the earth, into the old Turda salt mine which is an unbelievable 112 metres below ground level! At the end of the Socialist era, the galleries were turned into an exhibition mine. What is on offer here is absolute madness: visitors can play table tennis, crazy golf or ride a ferris wheel! In the cone-shaped Iosif mine you can even paddle around a salt island in a rowing boat. Down here, we feel as if we’re in another world and return back to earthly conditions.
After stops at the town of Sighisoara and Rupea castle we set up camp on a plateau next to an extinct volcano. Recently a small village has been built on its slopes where, since May, filming for a Western series has been taking place. Unfortunately access to it has been blocked preventing us from further excursions.
On the run from a storm.
But we had to leave this rather exposed place before we went to bed.
Just before 10 p.m. a severe storm with a lot of lightning started to
rage. A plateau as a parking place wouldn’t have been a good decision
in this case. So we drove into a dip so that we weren’t the highest
metallic point and in danger of being struck by lightning.
In the past few weeks we have seen so many unbelievable things in
Romania. We’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the country
has to offer.
4-Xtremes – The World Tour.
An unparalleled journey.
Andrea and Mike Kammermann have been on tour in their Axor for three
years. "4-Xtremes – The World Tour" is the motto of the
journey that the two Swiss nationals embarked on in mid-2020 and which
they share with the RoadStars community. Keep up to date and don't
miss out on any of the stunning destinations visited by the
You can find the current parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour”
You can find the route of the trip before the crossing to South
Mulțumesc că ați trecut și prin Romania!
Mai sunt multe locuri in România pt. 4-Xtremes – The World Tour de incercat.
Chiar va văzusem în vară în țară în zona Sibiului!
Drumuri bune colegii!
Und wieder eine interessante und sehr lehrreiche Story!
Dazu noch atemberaubende Bilder: die Bärenfamilie 🐻, die Serpentinen,
die Salzmine und die herrlichen Landschaften!
Die Serpentinen der Transfagarasan und auch die Verkaufsstände auf der
Paßhöhe erinnern mich sehr stark an das Stilfser Joch... 😍
Vielen Dank, daß ihr uns an eurer Reise so teilhaben laßt - und
weiterhin eine gute Fahrt! 🚚🌄⛺️🏡
Vielen lieben Dank. Das waren echt ein paar erlebnisreiche Wochen für
uns. Wir hatten uns vor Corona nicht so fest mit Europa beschäftigt,
sprich was es hier alles zu sehen gibt. Un auch vom Stilfser Joch haben
wir schon aber waren noch nie dort. Und so wächst unsere List von Orten
die wir noch besuchen wollen weiter.
Andrea und Mike
Wieder ein eindrucksvoller Bericht samt den zugehörigen tollen Bildern,
die auch erneut Lust aufs "Nachreisen" machen.
Die beiden Trans-Routen sind auch in Motorradfahrerkreisen oft beworbene
u. begehrte Reiserouten - mit feheln beide noch auf der persönlichen
Was habt ihr denn da für ein kleines oranges Gerät auf dem
Armaturenbrett neben der Kamera montiert (Bild 7) ?
Weiterhin schöne, inspirierende, sichere Reiserouten für euer 3er-Team,
bleibt gesund und lasst euch nicht von Vampiren beissen 😉👍👋
Härzlichi Grüeß us Münche ✌️
Hey Manfred, die zwei Routen sind echt toll, wir hoffen das du sie bald
auch bereisen kannst.
Das kleine orange Gerät ist ein WeSpot. Dieser macht folgendes:
einerseits zeichnet er Live unsere Route auf, zb unsere Familie kann
jederzeit sehen wo wir sind. Andererseits ist es ein SOS Gerät wo wir im
Notfall über einen Knpfdruck via Satellit Hilfe anfordern können. Wir
haben einen zweiten, den Spot X, den wir zum Wandern mitnehmen. Auf dem
kann man sogar SMS schreiben und auch via Satellit senden.
Wir hoffen natürlich das wir es nie für mehr als das Tracking brauchen.
Viele Grüsse, Andrea und Mike