I wrote about me that I am a sport-addict. But I also know how it is to be soo tired that you can’t move a muscle, so stressed that you can’t concentrate for 50 minutes of working out without checking your email or writing something down.
I named my two week road trip a „detox” road trip because I realised that after you get a good rest for your mind, the body follows. You start to feel the need to move again, even if it’s just a walk in the park. Because, really, how many days can you spend at terraces drinking coffee?
After the nice walk up to Neamt fortress, my sore feet reminded me how good it feels when you work out your body. So I really enjoyed the next day, when we visited Iasi by foot. We took a long walk in the Botanical Garden, then headed to the historical city center and last, the Palas ensemble.
From an urban point of view, it was a great surprise when we discovered the Palas ensemble. Everything is hidden if you are coming from the historical center, but after you get closer to the Palace of Culture, you discover an urban oasis where apparently 90% of the people hang out. I can’t wait to come back in Iasi, to spend a few days in the new Palas center, as I consider it to be the best and the first urban project of this size from Romania to reach to an end and be a success. For now, I only have some random pictures of the Palas area which I took with my iPhone, as I was too enthusiastic to realize I had my camera with me.
What to do when you have a sunny morning in Iasi before hitting the road again? My suggestion is to enjoy the perfect American breakfast at Little Texas, my haven when in Iasi. It has a nice terrace with a stunning view of the whole city. (Un)fortunately the waffles with maple syrup were so good, they didn’t survive long enough to be photographed :).
Heading to Bucovina, we decided the weather was too good for long drives and visits to the regular tourist attractions, so we headed to Vatra Dornei to do something really special.
We rented 2 horses and went horseback riding in the woods and on the hills. But don’t assume it’s all that simple and natural! For the first 30 minutes, going downhill on a rocky path in the forest, I was wondering whether I will survive with my bones intact and thinking why do people choose to do such a thing?! Horses are amazing creatures, they are strong and smart, but you need to learn to trust them (and try to keep your eyes open). They can climb or descend incredibly steep hills with you on them, and eventually you will get a hang of it by understanding their movement and your position in the saddle.
After I understood that my horse, named Das (Dash), knew the paths so well he could walk on his own, I started to relax. It’s quite an experience similar to yoga, you have to relax your muscles, breathe and enjoy the view (maybe take some pics with your phone, hoping you won’t drop it).
You know the expression „see rock, throw rock” ? When you are surrounded by quiet breathtaking landscapes, don’t you get the „see hill, climb hill” feeling? Well, apparently I do, because the next few days were all about trekking, walking or climbing.
On our way to Maramures, we took a 3 hour detour to climb on Rarau mountains. I found the trail to the Lady’s Stones (Pietrele Doamnei) to be spectacular but quite difficult, as you have a very narrow rocky path to the top. On our way back I took a few moments to do some fun yoga poses in the forest, right in the heart of the nature.
We stayed 2 nights in Botiza, a village placed in the corner of the map, off the national road into the mountains. People are great, their stories and traditional costumes are amazing. Basically, our days were made out of really good meals, climbing the nearby hills and eating blackberries from the source, reading while lying on a blanket in the grass, in the shade of a tree. Need I say more? Pure joy.
Writing about these bits of adventure from the road trip made me think that they all have in common one thing: nature. It is the simplest of joys, like the image of tree leaves against a sunny blue sky, that makes you feel alive and strong. That is the moment when you start fully breathing, enjoying the smells and sounds.
Stop using the term cliché when it comes to how and what you enjoy the most in your life. Stop and smell the roses. Because it’s the simplest things that charm and enliven our lives.
Have an amazing weekend and write your thoughts in the comments below!