Transfagarasan

The Transfagarasan Road is situated in Romania and represents one of the most appreciated tourist attraction on the territory of this country. Why? Because it gives people the unique oportunity to escape the mundane world and venture into the an adventurous trip into the mountains.

Transfagarasan, or DN7C, covers a length of 90 km, the road zigzaging throughout the Meridionali Carpathians, or more accurately through the Fagaras Mountains, giving tourists the chance to climb the two highest mountainous peaks in the country: Moldoveanu and Negoiu Peaks.

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The road dates from the second part of the 20th century (1970-1974), when Nicolae Ceausecu, the Romanian leader at that time, decided to build the route for military purposes. The year 1968 marks the moment when Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Soviet Union. As the USSR was the dominant power at that time on the european continent, it is no wonder that the Romanian leader feared that the same thing might happen to his country. The idea was to construct a road which would allow the military forces to traverse the mountains quickly.

The construction work was thus hastened and the investment was large. Transfagarasan requested both a lot of finances and many hands to get the job finished. Unfortunately, a lot had to be sacrificed, not solely from a monetary point of view but also in terms of human lives. A necessary part of the project consisted of dynamiting the ground in order to prepare it for the asphalting process. Aproximately 6 million kg of explosives were used solely on the northern part of the road and according to the official records, 40 soldiers died throughout the building process. But who can tell how the unofficial numbers looked like?

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Due to its location, it is only natural that the road reaches a very high altitude, in its highest point measuring 2.034 m. It is common knowledge that the most outstanding section of the Transfagarasan is the northern one, as it twists and turns, descends abruptly and has precipitous curves. As enticing as this might be for some as it is a method of testing their driving abilities, it is important to keep in mind that a moment of distraction behind the wheel can be deadly.

But leaving aside such grim thoughts, we should take into account the most valuable experiences that a trip on the Transfagarasan offers you. The landscapes are exquisite; it is nature at her very best. And because drivers have to drive on average with 40km/hour (due to the geography of the area), the scenery can be admired in all its glory.

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The Transfagarasan is closed for the most of the year, the only months in which one can traverse it are June, July, August, September and October.  However, there is a slight possibility to have a late autumn trip, as late as November, if the weather permits it. But it is better to take all the necessary precautions because no one can say when the meteorological conditions will change dramatically.

If you are taking your first trip over Transfagarasan, there should be no worries to whether or not you will find your way as there are signs which lead you in the right direction. Compared to other roads in Romania, Trasfagarasan has the most tunnels and bridges. One of the tunnels it passes through is Balea Tunnel, near Balea Lake, the lengthiest tunnel on the Romanian territory (884 m).

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Besides the scenery it offers, Transfagarasean is also renowned for certain events it hostes and other tourist attractions which are found along the way. Thus, tourists can visit Poienari Fortress, which is located to the south, close to Arefu village. This was one of the dwellings of Vlad III the Impaler, the ruler around which the Dracula legend revolves. The fortress is no longer standing, tourists can only find its ruins, but the place is relevant for its historical meaning.

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Trasfagarasan is also used as the track for the cyclists who participate in the Tour of Romania competition. As it has been mentioned previously, the road is twisting and turning, so you can only imagine how difficult it is to drive your bike along it. In fact, because of it being so challenging, the road has been compared to the Tour of France competition.

Driving along the Transfagarasan you will encounter several places of interest, such as Vidraru Dam and Vidraru Lake, Balea Lake and Balea Falls, the regions between these tourist attractions offering a typical mountainous décor which consists of pine and alpine meadows.

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