This lovely picture of Romanian winter was taken by Sarah Hughes from Live Dream Discover Blog on her unexpected trip to Romania.
I know, I know, snowy picture in May?! But what can I do?! I miss both winter and Romania so it is a perfect choice for my mood today.
In 2012, midway through her life, Sarah closed down her interior design business, sold everything she owned and set off to pursue her dream of travel writing and living a nomadic lifestyle.
Since then she has been travelling full-time while attempting to create a location independent income and striving for a life of balance. Neither one is an easy task but she is loving the pursuit!
Picture Story: Romanian Winter Chase
This photo was taken in Brasov, Romania in the Transylvania region, home to the legend of Dracula.
It was three weeks before Christmas and we had made a last minute detour on our way from Turkey to the UK in search of festive Christmas markets and Romanian winter full of snow.
Upon arrival in Bucharest our excitement grew as there was indeed traces of a recent snowfall, the air was frigid and we happened to be staying in a hotel right across the street from the Christmas market. As we were heading to Brasov the next day we assumed that things could only get better.
This did, in fact, ring true at first as we happened to be arriving in Brasov on the day of the big tree and town lighting celebration.
It was a fabulous night with thousands of people crammed into the town square to admire the lights and fireworks, keeping warm with hot wine and cider from the market stands and joining in the live carol singing on stage. What a great start!
Unfortunately, the next day held the news that our dreams of a Romanian winter wonderland were not to be. It dawned cold and dreary with an icy wind yet despite our frozen fingers it was somehow not quite cold enough for snow.
Instead, the forecast promised nothing but sleet and ice rain for the next week. Of course, this was disappointing but as travellers, we know that things rarely go as planned, especially when it comes to weather.
We were not to be deterred however and filled our days with castles, churches and delicious hot soup and wine. Plus the Christmas lights and displays around the country were spectacular.
Finally, it was our last full day in Brasov and we decided to brave the weather and go for a hike up Tampa Mountain.
There is a trail that starts right at the edge of the town and takes about an hour to reach the summit. For those who would rather not hike there is also a cable car to the top.
After all the wet weather we’d been having the trail was fairly muddy and a bit slick but after a short while the ground become more frozen and there was even a light covering of snow. As we climbed higher the layer of snow became a blanket which was thickening as it started falling once again from the sky.
To say we were excited is an understatement. The next 30 minutes were spent throwing snowballs, shaking branches to release mini blizzards, singing Let It Snow and kicking up white fluff as we continued our ascent. Enjoying real Romanian winter at last!
As we approached the summit our mood subdued. We stood at the top peering down on the town in the distance below in awe that this winter wonderland was just a short hike away and we had no idea. It was quite surreal.
Here we were alone at the top of this mountain in Romania, a pristine white setting shrouded in the kind of nearly complete silence that only a fresh snowfall can create. We stood in silence for what seemed forever enjoying the perfect, peaceful scene before we lost in our own thoughts.
It was one of those pure and unexpected experiences that make the occasional challenges and disappointments of travel life fade away to become barely a memory.
In hindsight it really is quite a good metaphor for life and how you never know what’s around the corner.
You will have times of disappointed and feel battered by storms but if you keep pushing through and trying new paths you are often rewarded with surprise moments that could never have been planned (Romanian winter snow land) I guess that is what travel is really all about.