Thundered Rocks and Legends
Coming from Transrarau and heading to Red Lake we decided to take a shortcut. Looking on the map there is a road between Bistricioara and Izvorul Muntelui. The road crosses Ceahlau National Park and promises a nice ride as well as great views.
The road leading to Durau is perfect tarmac, a charming mountain resort and gateway to Ceahlau National Park. But the road gets gradually worse.
Due to the degradation of the road there are certain restrictions on this segment, some traffic is restricted completely. Coming from north we are lucky enough to find the barrier open.
A booth on the right side of the road announces that we are entering the Natural Park Area.
The road from Durau to Izvorul Muntelui is a constant surprise. From perfect tarmac to potholes, the road is gradually turning into a complete forest road. We were expecting something like this and continued riding confident that our GS motorbikes will have a blast.
The Sea nestled between the mountains
In the middle of nowhere a stretch of 50 meters of perfect asphalt opens up a 5* view of Izvorul Muntelui lake. The artificial lake is a popular summertime destination. The place is also known as the Sea between the Mountains as the water is blue and stretches on 35 km in length covering some 3125 ha.
The water reaches maximum 90m in depth. Visitors enjoy taking boat rides while admiring Cheahlau Mountain on its west shore. The biological research facility in Potoci was visited by famous oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau in 1993. The views over the lake from TransCeahlau totally worth the ride.
Thundered Stones – Satan’s Grin
As you ride, the Thundered stones catch your eyes. Rugged and strange, the view of these stones takes you back to ancient times when ogres and giants were not yet punished by god. And Satan, banished from the angels was looking for a place of his own.
The legend says that, on these lands -blessed with lush forests and fertile fields – once lived a king. His sons became too immoral and the king decided to disown them. He hid his treasure at the foot of a massive, round rock under the protection of an old hermit.
When the hermit died, Satan began searching for the treasure. Furious he couldn’t get hold of it, he called upon the stone thousands of thunders. The rock broke in half and the gold melted and vanished through the cracks of the stone.
All it is left today are some rocks that look like once upon a time were united. The locals still say that these are the Thundered Rocks – as ugly and rugged as Satan’s grin.
Once at Izvorul Muntelui Resort, we met other motorcycle riders ready to venture on Transceahlau.
We stopped for a coffee before hitting the road again. From here to Bicaz the road gets better and better, and soon there’s only asphalt.
Ceahlau – God’s Mountain
In archaic times, this mountainous region was not as we know it today, with high peaks and forests.
The legend says that, after being banished from the sky, Satan wanted to return.
He blows one day and one night in a row to gather as many stones as possible one on top of each other.
With the mountain formed he tried to climb back to the sky. Seeing this, God touched and blessed the mountain – Ceahlau. Ever since Ceahlau is considered to be the Mountain of God.
Almost every rock and waterfall in Ceahlau Mountains has a legend. There are many walking trails that take you on an adventure journey in this fantastic land. Should you have the time and the desire you can spend the night in the area and explore more.
If you love a little off-road adventure, you will definitely enjoy it.
KM: From Durau to Bicaz there are 32 km
Road Quality: from perfect asphalt to potholes and forest road
Skills: off road skills required
Motorbike model: adventure motorbike
Advice: Pay attention at the entrance of the National Park. The administrators will inform you of restrictions and fees.