Scarisoara Cave (photo blog)

by Viviana on August 30, 2012

in Photography,ROMANIA,Travel

This is a short photo blog in 3 parts about our trip from Bucharest to Scarisoara cave.

The legend says that the cave used to be inhabited by a dragon, and now it is a natural monument. The cave is famous for its 3000 y.o. glacier and, as a personal observation, it should also be famous for being one of the most difficult and dangerous places to visit for tourists. More on our visit a little later.

Part 1 – Bucharest to Apuseni Mountains

Our GPS was our best friend on the way to Scarisoara! It took almost one day to get there from Bucharest, but it was worth it. We drove through Calimanesti and Caciulata (Valcea), and we admired the beautiful river Olt defile:

As we entered the Apuseni Mountains the scenery changed: small villages, cows, carts, haystacks, drought, dust, kids playing freely in the dirt and, to our surprise, very fancy cars parked on the side of the road appeared.

MORE PHOTOS HERE.

Part 2 – Scarisoara Guesthouse

Very late at night and after a tiring drive on a tiny mountain road we arrived at “Scarisoara Guesthouse“. The silence was deafening and the air was crystal clear. We had a large homemade dinner and we were waited on by a 13 year old girl who was nicer and more professional than most people in the business I ever met. This is Madalina (and brother):

We spent the night in a room where literally only the bed fit. It was freezing cold (in mid August) but the excitement of the visit to the cave scheduled for the next morning kept us warm. Here are some photos of the guesthouse and the surroundings we took when we woke up:

This is the guesthouse:

Our breakfast: fresh vegetables, homemade cheese and butter. Madalina explained that the blueberry jam was prepared just by mixing the fruit with sugar, without boiling it:

MORE PHOTOS HERE.

Part 3 – Scarisoara Glacier

The visit to the cave was exciting and tiring! As usual, I was carrying 2 cameras and 3 lenses, not expecting the ordeal that was going to make me regret being such a prepared photographer! I had muscular cramps and pains for at least one week after the visit.

Scarisoara Guesthouse is close to the cave. We knew that we needed to walk a few kilometers to reach the cave. So, after paying a short visit to a tiny ethnographic museum, we continued our journey to the glacier:

Oh, the little horse was so cute!

It took us not 10 minutes but 30 to get to the top of the mountain, and the surprises where yet to come, especially for me, the one with all the photo gear around my neck! We paid the 1.5 eur ticket and we waited for the visitors to get organized. The temperature is significantly lower near the glacier. We entered through a revolving metal door, one by one. It is very difficult to express the feelings we had while approaching the cave… I will let the photos speak for themselves:

The 40 tourists were gasping and losing their breath as we were descending into the glacier. The actual cave is very spectacular, although not very large. The 30-45 minute visit is made up of 90% descending and climbing and only 10% actually being in the cave.

The stalagmites in the so called “Church” and the Saint Mary statue are the tourist attractions of the cave. The glacier of Scarisoara is the second largest in the world.

MORE PHOTOS HERE.

I hope this short post helps the tourists who want to visit the exciting glacier in Scarisoara!

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