Friend, Jim brought us to Brasov, Romania in his last post. We were taking a vacation-in-a-vacation, what with this 2-day interlude in the middle of our week in Bucharest. We came to visit Transylvania, some medieval, fortified churches, and the local castles, including Bran's Castle. As Jim stated, Brasov is nestled up to the south tip of the Carpathians. It is quite beautiful and surrounded by mountains.
The town is located at the base of Mount Tâmpa, a steep mountain rising some 400 meteres over Brasov. At the very top of Mount Tâmpa is a large white sign spelling out the town's name. It can be seen from practically anywhere in the city and when first viewed reminded us of the iconic "HOLLYWOOD" sign out in California.
We knew we would have to visit the sign if possible, and once we spied the cables running from the town to the top, we figured it couldn't be too hard. There had to be a cable car that leads to the top, right? All we had to do was walk towards the cables and we should find the entrance.
It didn't take too long for us to find what looked like the cable car entrance. Truth be told, the area was overgrown with weeds and didn't look like it was in use, but since we walked all the way from our apartment (about a 15-20 minute journey) we figured we would investigate a bit and look around.
The entrance to the ticketing window is around the corner to the right. First ride up is at 9:30am and we were one of the first groups to be at the top, not that it was that busy at all. Considering the views and the wonderful weather that day, we thought it would be much more crowded.
The price of a ticket is 10 lei, or 16 lei for a round trip ticket, about $4 total. Save yourself some time and buy a round trip ticket at the bottom. Just be sure to hold on to it, for you'll need it on the return.
Try to grab a spot in the front of the car, facing the town. You'll get some wonderful views of the town as you take the 3 minute ride to the top.
Jim and I found it amusing that the cable car should be shrouded in Coca Cola signage. We mentioned the night before how that soda company seemed to have sole advertising of the soda rights in town. Pepsi? Not here, partner.
There's not much to see once you reach the top of the mountain. At least not from the cable car exit. The exit is to the rear of the upper building and the town views are blocked by hundreds of trees. There is a small cafè at the top where you can grab a soda (coke?), water, or cup of coffee.
From our views at the bottom of the mountain we knew that the "BRASOV" sign was some 80-100 meters to the right of this sign, which one comes across just past the exit at the top. Of course the sign didn't help in the least, but we deduced something was just a 15 minute hike away.
My fellow travelers decided to turn around after 5 minutes of walking. John R. had twisted his ankle just 2 days before and wasn't really up to walking this rough trail, and I think the two Jim's had no faith in my navigating skills. Besides, we saw no sign of the sign and the only views we got was this small glimpse of the town between an opening in the forest. I muddled on for another 10 minutes in what was now a very warm, humid August morning. I was just about ready to call my search a bust when the sign suddenly came into view.
Of course, I had to send the pic to my buds who were back at the upper cafè chilling out with some ice cold waters. It wasn't long before Jim S. showed up, like I knew he would. Can you say FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)?
Jim S., behind the "B."
A few more pics from above:
Walking to the other side of the sign we came across a nice observation deck with incredible views of the town.
From high above Brasov, we could now see that this "town" actually is a large city, with a population of nearly one-quarter of a million people. Old Town, where we stayed gave the impression of a small village. On top of Mount Tâmpa, the city sprawled off to the distance, with communist era buildings far off in the background.
One of my favorite views of old town square in Brasov, viewed from the observation deck.
This blogger and Jim S. overlooking the city of Brasov.
After nearly 30 minutes here at the top, it was time for Jim and I to get back to our friends. They had been patiently waiting while we explored the "Brasov" sign. Our day was just beginning and we had plenty more to explore once we got down off the mountain.
Learn more about Friend, Terry Hall.