From Hunedoara we took the train to Timisoara. It was the first time I visited Timisoara, even if I have a lot of cousins there. In Timisoara the revolution from December 1989 started and just for this each Romanian should visit it. We didn’t stayed so much in it, we spend only one day by walking through the city.
From Timisoara we took a bus to Oravita, in order to visit Nera’s Keys – I don’t know for sure if this is the correct scientific word in English. In fact in Romania there are a lot of “keys” – the phenomena of water going through the mountains and creating roads and extremely beautiful views. And Nera didn’t disappoint us: it was so wonderful that we wouldn’t leave from there. We remained over the years with a nice memory and each time we say “Omg, it was amazing!” At that time we didn’t found much information on the internet regarding the national park. We only knew that in Oravita is the location of the administrative department of it. I remember that the trip with the bus took 3 hours and my friend used to say “But where are the mountains? I thought that we came here for mountains… and I don’t see anything”. I was kind of disappointed myself, because we saw only small villages and forests all around. When we arrived in Oravita it was even worst, because the town it was so empty and there weren’t any mountains, only industrial buildings. We checked in in a hotel, which was nothing good – lucky for us that we had palinca – so we were so drunk in the evening that it didn’t count where we spend the night 🙂 After some research in Oravita, we heard that in Anina the forest department of Nera is located. So we took from Oravita the train and it was amazing! The train route from Oravita to Anina is the first mountain train route from Romania. The distance is kind of 30 km, but the trip with the train takes 3 hours, because you simply go through the mountains. Beside this, the train is old school and the people let us open the last door in order to film the whole trip. Being full of energy and enthusiasm from the train trip we hoped that in Anina we will find good information… but it wasn’t like this. So we went to the Forest department and asked them from which location can we enter Nera Keys park. They were a little bit confused, but some guys heard us and told us to go to Sasca Romana or to Sasca Montana village – from Oravita you can speak with the locals and they will give you a cheap ride to Sasca. So we had to go back to Oravita – we desired so much to get to Sasca that we took a mini bus from Anina. Going through the villages from that area I found isolation and poverty. That area was an important mining area – but after the communism ended almost all the mines were closed. A lot of flat blocks were constructed and people were forced to move there in order to work in the mines (I have an uncle that worked there, he was sent from the North of Romania to the South). Now all the buildings are empty, I saw trees rising through the windows. It was so desolating! But let’s go back to our trip… When we arrived again in Oravita we had spoken with a man and he had taken us to Sasca – we had spoken with him to come back in 3 days in order to take us back. The road was in a really bad condition, a lot of pits on it… the man told us that they just don’t know what to do, because the mayor doesn’t involves in anything and all the money are wasted. We had found a nice room for 4 in one pension from Sasca – it was clean, the owners were welcoming and in the evening we had some traditional bean soup made outside in a cauldron. From there you can make several mountain trips – the easier is “7 tunnels” which we made daily – the road is simply above Nera river and you go through 7 tunnels (from here the name). We had been on this route each day because we didn’t had a car so to get to all other routes you had to go on this one. But it wasn’t boring at all, because on each trip we had saw different animals and dragonflies of different colors (red, orange, blue, green). We have been to Beusnita cascade and on the road we passed by Bei’s Eye – which is a green/blue lake. The water was so cold that after 3 seconds in it took me 1 hour to have warmed foots again. If you want something wild, not so populated and to enjoy the beauty of the nature I recommend you with all my heart Nera Keys Park – it is simply amazing.
When the man came to bring us back to Oravita we told him that we need to get to Orsova and he took us there. It was a 2 hours trip and when you exit the mountain and forest area you get on the road above Danube River. The views are astonishing, because on the right side you see the Serbian mountains and on the left side you see the Romanian ones – and in between there’s Danube with all her whirlpools. In Orsova we have stayed at some guys that were renting small houses in their backyard. The staying was good, because we also had a small pontoon on which we had some barbeque and admired the river in its entire splendor. From Orsova you can get a nice trip on the Danube and admire the Danube’s boilers – the small and big one as well. The guy that was riding it was really amusing and he told us a lot of stories from the communism period, when many people wanted to pass the Danube by swim, in order to run from Romania. He told us that until the road was created between Orsova and Moldova Noua (a town in the extreme south west) the trips were made only on water and when the ship went through the Small Danube Boilers the people were closed in the ship, in order not to run. Also a funny story (for us…) it was about the people that came from all around Romania in order to run from the country… they didn’t knew that Orsova is a golf and they passed swimming from one part of Orsova to another one. Another story and fact is that the old Orsova city was flooded in order to create the energy central “Iron Gates I”. The story says that the church is still in good condition under the water. We also have been to the Iron Gates in order to see how energy is produced from the water. And this started to make me so mad – because we have so many possibilities to capitalize our land, nature and knowledge, but all the cities are just indulging in their own poverty. I don’t understand why people don’t react and why we ,Romanians, don’t try to change the way the communism (and the government after it) destroy our country. Because in the Iron Gates I a lot of energy is produced, but the energy is sold to external parties and the external parties sell it again to the Romanian state – which is really stupid.
Our vacation ended in Orsova, after it we took the train to Bucharest, but this trip made me to want in each summer to go in this kind of vacations. So in the next years I organized RoTrips, until last year when for the first time we went outside the borders. It was my decision to do this way: first to see my country, after that to see my world.