Trekking and caving in Transylvania

This photo blog is intended for all who are interested in hiking, trekking and caving in Transylvania. You don't have to live here. Even if you will probably never hike in Transylvania, you are welcome to read my trip reports and enjoy the photos. We do have some fantastic places here in Transylvania, high mountains, canyons, waterfalls and around 12,000 caves. So, check back frecvently, as updates happen very often.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Spherical concretions

The spherical concretions from Feleac are sedimentary rock materials
that were cemented together to form a hard structure. The surrounding
sediments slowly erode away, exposing the concretion. They were formed
when calcium carbonate and other cementing minerals precipitated from
the ground water around an organic nucleus, like a shell. Near Feleac
we can find sphere-, and cannonball-shaped concretions.

The Rock with a Hole

Likasko, The Rock with a Hole, is in Hargita county, not far away from Kalonda Pass, 3 km away from Corund. On the right side of the road from Odorheiu Secuiesc to Sovata, you can see a huge rock with a large hole in it.

The legend of this rock tells us about the quarrel of two fairies; Tartod, a very cruel and warlike fairy and Firtos, a very kind, sweet-hearted and good fairy. Tartod was jealous of Firtos, and wanted to destroy the Firtos castle. The only way to do it was to remove the base stone from the entrance of the castle. With the help of devils, Tartod managed to made a huge hole through the rock, inserted an enormous metallic bar through it, and carried it away. But just when they reached the river above Corund, they were struck by lightning; the metallic bar melted, and the rock fell down to the place where it is today.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Strange landscape of mud volcanoes

Mud volcanoes have nothing to do with proper volcanoes. They are developed by gas deposits that manage to seep to the surface from an oilfield, transporting salted water mixed with oil and some mud. They are not hot at all, but on the contrary.

This rare phenomenon can be observed in a geological preserve located near the Berca village, Buzau county, Romania. There are three separate places, Paclele Mari, Paclele Mici and a third one, north from Beciu village. Here you can find small, only a few meters high, mud volcanoes. Vegetation is scarce, only the plant Nitraria Schöberi can grow in this saline, sandy soil. Several of the volcanoes are active, the gas pressure pushing thick mud to the surface, rising mud bubbles and creating small mud flows.

These mud volcanoes are a beautiful sight to see, and well worth a visit.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Varasoaia 2007 Caving Camp

In the first part of August, I took part at the Varasoaia 2007 caving camp, organised by the Z Caving Club, in the Bihor Mountains, Varasoaia Glade, north from Padis Plateau. During the seven days spent here, I have visited the deepest Romanian cave, took photos in one of Romania's most beautiful caves, hiked through the deep Warm Somes Canyon, ate raspberries in Barsa Pit, and the last day I have visited the underground river of the Fortress of Ponor cave.

The V5 pothole with its -653 m depth and more than 10 km development, is the deepest Romanian cave. V5 has the second largest underground room in Romania, the Paul Matos room with 1,200,000 m3 and a length of 415 m. In some areas of the cave you can find clusters of aragonite crystals, some of them reaching more than 25 cm.

The Valea Rea Cave, the largest Romanian cave entirely developed in dolomites, is considered Romania's greatest underground mineralogical museum. Over 35 different minerals described as components of some speleological formations place this cave among the World's top 10. The cave has the greatest vertical underground waterfall in the country, the Ventilator Fall. 82 m height and 10 m diameter.

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