Luckily we noticed the small hay stack because otherwise we might have thought the landscape was from Norway or that it might have been a remote alpine pasture from Switzerland… but as you might have guessed it is located in Romania and it is called Fundatura Ponorului. We have seen lots of fantastic photos taken in this place and for a long time we have been researching the best way to reach it. Unfortunately we didn't allocate time for this visit sooner but you know, better late than never.
It is truly a wonderful place that will recharge your batteries, invite you to contemplate, love nature and many more. It is the kind of landscape that makes you want to visit it in all seasons to discover its beauty and hidden wonders. Romania really is a wonderful country!
About the actual route to reach Fundatura Ponorului, well lets just say that there are no markings available or any official route, so in order not to get lost on the many roads and footpaths present in the region simply grab the GPS track we have listed below.
How to get there?
About the hike
Bottom line: up until this point you can expect to go by car. Here is where you will ditch the car and start the hike by foot passing close to the households of Federi village (pay attention to dogs) and afterwards going uphill.
When you will reach the top of the hill you will enter a small forest and after that you'll see Fundatura Ponorului right in front of you.
From this point you will obviously want to do a left turn and descend into the valley to see it all at firsthand.The best time to go to Fundatura Ponorului is either at dusk or at down if you wish to catch some really great photos with the help of the perfect light. Obviously any time frame is absolutely fine but if you can choose, get the best 🙂
After we reached the valley and had completed our photo-shooting from all angles we sat down to eat, relax and have a chat about the harsh life of the people living here. For a cool photo stop you can go up the small peak from the side of the valley called Piatra Lupului (Wolf's Stone).
Next we took a walk close to the small river in the middle of the valley (on its left side) up until we hit a big wall of stone where the river disappeared underground through cracks in the rock. I am not sure where or even if the river ever resurfaces or if it gets lost in underground streams. Close to the big stone wall you will find an improvised bridge over the water that you should use to get to the other side and to continue your way up the hill to end the circuit.
Here we found a field full of crocus flowers, our first for this year as it was still pretty early. We let ourselves engulfed by spring surrounded by all these flowers and the warm sunny day.
Taking the last shoots and off we went! As we made our way back to the cars we found a clear example of how difficult life here really is. We encountered an old man with two horse and a cart full of wood that was descending back to his village on this really bad forest road. The cart had its back wheels locked off with chains to slow it down and to prevent it from coming over the horses. This whole experiment seemed really risky for us city folks, used to risk prevention and other corporate nonsense.
On a serious note, the sight of the old man really stuck in my mind and I was thinking about the big price people pay for peace and quite and for wonderful sights.
The hike in general is pretty easy and without any technical parts so all you need is time and everything else will come on its own. I keep on wondering when is the best period to visit this place, late spring when everything is green and fresh or late autumn when everything gets covered in golden colors? We shall see as we plan to return!
- Time: 4.5 h (including breaks)
- Distance: 11 km (circuit)
- Altitude difference: +/- 550 m
- Markings: There are none