Morning raid in Transylvania – Criț, Romania


We are staying at a pension in of the Saxon villages in Transylvania. The family is asleep and I silently sneak out. Feels familiar… Before leaving from home I checked a little bit with a guy who has built trails in the area. The trails are made for beginners to explore the fantastic surroundings of Criț and Viscri and beyond. Viscri is by the way where Prince Charles has bought some property after having fallen in love with the place.

Last night the focus was rather on drinking the local booze than arranging a sturdy breakfast for a bike ride. After searching around for something to eat in the car I had to settle with this…

Anyway… The Saxons settled here in the 12th and 13th century to protect Hungary’s Southeast border and this is why the architecture is remarkably different compared to the Southern part of Romania. Houses, stables and gardens are closed towards the street, which is very wide and often with pear trees along the attached houses. Beautiful morning after a rainy night

Poor houses but maybe not poor lives…?

I work myself up the hill and get the view of the valley

Yes! More breakfast!

End of September and Crocuses?

After a climb and some downhill I arrive in Meșendorf. This village is maybe not so different from the others, but coasting down between these houses with very little modern updates is like experiencing the history in real time.

In the middle of the 13th century the Mongols “arrived”.  After the invasion the locals learnt their lesson and started fortifying all the churches with single or double walls. Like this one:

Another typical street with pear trees

The sun is up and all the animals are on the way to the fields

I get going with the next climb. Looking back at the village I left

The mud is more like clay and the climb gets heavy. I reward myself with a break and watch the horse and carriage make their way down the road

Cornel – the dude that built the trails has been very serious with the markings

At this ridge the morning fog hasn’t yet burnt off and it’s mystifying the whole experience.

The fog is coming and going

Some Canada BC feeling:

I’m leaving the ridge and start the descent back to the valley. The trails are smooth but built for much lower speed than I normally have. When it’s almost flat it works fine but when the downhill starts the berms are just to flat and I have to find my own line outside the trail. Disappointing, but on the other hand fantastic for all the amateurs to be able to discover this nice landscape by bike – which actually was the point with the trails anyway…

I make it down to the village of Buneşti and follow the nicely arranged trail along a creek that I eventually cross.

Back at the pension (Casa cu Zorele – best in Romania so far!). 33 km and almost 600 meters of vertical climb.

What a nice start of the day!

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