The original day plan:
- Hang out around Piata Sfatului
- Walk down Strada Republicii (look in some shops, etc)
- Take cable car up Mt. Tampa
- Take some photos
- Take cable car down Mt. Tampa
How the day actually went:
- Hung out around Piata Sfatului
- Walked down Strada Republicii
- Took a way longer walk down another street
- Took cable car up Mt. Tampa
- Hiked all the way down Mt. Tampa/took photos/got pretty lost
Let’s start with the morning. If you’ve read my blog post about day 3, you know that I really love hanging out around Piata Sfatului. I went back there again and read essentially an entire book by the fountain and just generally enjoyed being in a space of such positive energy.
Then I walked around the city again. I am honestly enjoying my experience here so much. The Romanian people I’ve met so far have all been super friendly, and I love just walking down the street and watching people dine outside, listening to musicians play, and people just being outside and enjoying life. It was a sweet way to start my morning.
Then Mt. Tampa.
Taking a cable car up Mt. Tampa has been on my list of things to do since I got here, and I had been saving this adventure for today, specifically. I walked up to the base of the mountain (and, to clarify, I guess it is technically a mountain but it is smaller than a lot of mountains I have seen or climbed before).
Anyway, I got a ticket for the cable car and jumped in. When I got to the top, I really wanted to find a lookout point so that I could take a picture looking down on Brasov from a high point. There were a bunch of arrows pointing to different trails and I took one that I assumed would lead me to some kind of clearing or lookout point.
I began my trek optimistically, but I noticed that the trail was pretty skinny and rocky for it to be leading to a general lookout point. Ten minutes later, I was still hiking and no lookout in sight. The climb was getting steeper as I went, too, and I started thinking that maybe I should just go back and take another trail. I was curious, though, so I kept going.
I eventually got to a clearing that served pretty well as a lookout, but I wasn’t satisfied. Plus, the trail went further and I was curious. As I kept climbing further down, the trail got steeper and rockier and I eventually resigned myself to the fact that I was climbing back down to Brasov whether I wanted to or not.
When I got to the bottom, I was faced with another problem: I did not come out anywhere close to the place I had initially gone up the mountain. I was in kind of a remote area with houses. I was definitely somewhat removed from the core of the city where I had started.
I had two choices: hike all the way back up and take the cable car back down, or walk straight and trust my intuition.
I had a gut feeling that I needed to turn left and go straight. I knew that I had taken a map of Brasov with me in my bag, so I had that if I absolutely needed it. My plan was to walk down into a more populated area and try to find a more major street.
Let me reiterate that I have a horrible sense of direction, but my intuition is fairly sharp. I turned left and went straight. It took a while, but I finally made it to a main road and, thankfully, I realized that I had made it to the opposite end of the walking path I had taken to get to the cable car at the bottom of Mt. Tampa.
While I was walking down that street, I was laughing to myself a little bit because I was thinking of one of the blog posts I wrote earlier where I was talking about the concept of “safe.” I said that you have to plan, stay smart and aware, and then trust. I was at a point where I needed to follow my own advice, and I wasn’t sure if it would work out for me. I had planned ahead by taking the map, I had a bit of a game plan formulated in my mind, but I wasn’t sure I had made the smartest decision to keep going down the mountain.
Part of me wonders: what if I had turned right? Would I still be wandering around out there? Probably not. I had a map. I had a phone. I saw signs for little hotels and suites where I was walking so I could have gone in there to ask for help if I was desperate.
Was I being safe? I have no idea. But I really enjoyed it. The whole getting lost thing was kind of like reading a great book and you have no idea what the ending will be like.
I did get a few pictures along the way:
The hike was great: it was just not in my day plan at all. I do want to do it again: but next time I’ll actually come with the intention of hiking.