The Route of the Three Fortifications

The Route of the Three Fortifications

Also available in Romanian and French

After we took A journey to the Past in the Motzi Country, on the next day we decided to head out to Fagaras. The heat had totally melted us. But first, we wanted to see a place we had heard of for some time, Iezerul Ighiel (iezer=a natural mountain lake). Near Alba Iulia, from the village Ighiel there is a road that takes you far into the Trascau Mountains. After a pretty long ascent, the mountain opens itself to make way for his lake that mirrors all the forest covered ridges around it. It’s a place you would not expect to find in the Apuseni Mountains. We had imagined some kind of a bigger pond, but this is quite impressive. There are also plenty of spots that are ideal for setting up camp or having a picnic. And if one gets bored, several hiking routes starting here ae just waiting to be taken on.  Unfortunately, swimming is out of the question, the lake is a natural reservation and it is full of weed. But we did see many fishermen. It’s a good spot for relaxation, mostly because it’s not easy to reach. If you feel like having a quiet day by the water, away from home, right in the heart of the mountain, then you should take the time to come here.

 On our way to the Transfagarasan route, we stopped at Alba Iulia to visit the citadel. We had gone past it so many times on our way to Apuseni, but never got he chance to actually enter. This particular citadel is actually the old town. Here, most of the old houses have been restored and turned into museums. Others are still lived in. There are four gates to this place and each of them is different from the other. We entered through the 4th gate, which is like a small tunnel. At the end, a watchman welcomes us with, saluting with his bayonet rifle.

We arrive in front of the roman-catholic cathedral. We pay the fee and we enter. The building dates back from the 11th century and it’s just as old as the Notre Dame in Paris. Inside there are several tombs of the influential people of this part of Transylvania. We admired statues and old ornamental sculptures that are kept in their original form.

We pass by the equestrian statue of Mihai Viteazul and we enter the Route of the Three Fortifications, an attraction that is unique in Europe. Beginning with the 2nd century A. D., three fortifications have been built on this ground, one after the other. This is where the route gets its name from. Nowadays, tourists can visit this complex labyrinth of old brick walls. Parts of it have been renovated and watchmen stroll about, giving the impression that you have stepped back in time. I heard that each Saturday at 12 am the three cannons here are fired up. We got here one hour later. Next time, we’ll know when to visit, because the event sounds very interesting. There are also some restaurants here. It is like a park in which you find wooden bridges, balconies and paved alleys. The circuit is pretty big and the heat was getting to us so we did not manage to analyze every corner, as much as we wanted to. As we walked between the walls we couldn’t help but appreciate the attention to detail of the men who designed the fort. It is both practical and elegant and most of the corners have a motif engraved in stone.

Slowly, but surely, we managed to get to Fagaras Mountains, where, close to Balea Lake, a short summer shower cooled us down. We now had to put on our warm clothes. We found a lot of people, many cars and many tents. It seems that everyone considered that this would be the perfect place for the middle of the summer.

This was yet another trip to Apuseni, finished in the cold air of the mountains. We realized that nothing can stop us from getting there, not even the weather forecast. But it was worth it. We saw places we didn’t even know that existed, we made a journey into the past and lived an unforgettable adventure.

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Urmărindu-și una dintre pasiuni, Octavia a hotarât să studieze literatura. O altă pasiune, precum și mare iubire, este muntele. De aceea Octavia vrea să ajungă în cele mai îndepărtate si ascunse colțuri ale naturii. Pentru ea, fiecare călătorie făcută este o aventură plină de emoții și impresii puternice ce trebuie împărtășite cu oricine dorește să asculte.