After two nights spent in the Cluj area, we decided to go back home for two reasons: 1. Because the end of our vacation was approaching, 2. We did not think to make a reservation in time and didn’t find good accommodation (quality/price) in the area of Iasi, the city that was to be our next destination.
On this day we crossed the country, driving about 625 Km, our route was the following: Turda – The Red Lake – Bicaz Gorges – Piatra Neamt – E85 – Bucharest.
The Red Lake & Bicaz Gorges
Being a day spent over 70% in the car, enjoying the country’s “wonderful” roads, very well paved with lots of lanes. Crossing the country, we had fairy-tales views, picturesque and almost unchanged villages, anchored in their glorious past; but besides these, we also saw many things that are not quite as pleasant as poverty, villages that are almost abandoned and ghostly.
The objectives of the day were the Gorges of Bicaz, the Red Lake and the city of Iasi, to which we haven’t reached (we didn’t found acceptable accommodation). But we managed to tick two goals out of 3, which can be considered a success, considering that the two were the main reason we have chosen to go through this area.
The Red Lake (Lacul Rosu)
The main stop of the day was at Red Lake – the place where Transylvania meets with Moldova (regions of Romania) and offers you breathtaking landscapes. The Red Lake is a natural dam lake that formed in the middle of the 19th century, after a landslide. What makes this place more special is the fact that there can be still seen the trunks of fir trees that were once in place. Unfortunately, we do not know how much longer we can enjoy this place because of the clogging process that is leading to the lake’s shrinking.
We missed our breakfast that day, so the first thing we did when we got out of the car was to look for food, and we were able to find it quickly. After a big meal, we decided that the Lake is nice enough to be worth a detour so we can enjoy nature and, most importantly, make a room for dessert.
Around the lake is arranged an easy and well-marked route (red cross) that allows you to go around it without effort and that makes the expedition to prolong because you will like to enjoy more and more nature (the route can be done in 1-1½ hours).
After we finished the trip, we got into the car, happy we were able to enjoy such a view. But what followed was just as beautiful…
Bicaz Gorges (Cheile Bicazului)
Bicaz Gorges were carved by Bicaz River and stretched over 8 km. The road that now runs through these keys, DN12C, offers you a dream landscape, vertical cliffs between 300-400 m high and areas so narrow that the sun can’t even penetrate.
These keys make you feel small and insignificant, being so tall, steep and imposing that you have the impression that there are about to swallow you. Although they are very beautiful, for drivers they are a real challenge, being in very narrow, unobtrusive portions, and with a lot of people on the road that are looking only up, so be careful. We were lucky that the riskiest portion was a column of cars that were moving slowly and steadily so we could both enjoy the view. There are also two fairs among the curves, which are one of the reasons why traffic is so aggravated.
Once past the gorges, followed a long and tiring road home, with no notable events.
In this area, you have about two options to satisfy your hunger: either you choose to eat different goodies from the shops/fair in the area (for example kurtos kolac, sausages, donuts, etc.), or find a table at one of the few restaurants here.
With a view of The Red Lake or a rustic-style interior, we have nothing bad to say about the Panorama Restaurant. And in terms of food, they managed to meet two of the most important criteria: large meals and delicious food.
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