Strategica – Transalpina’s little sister

During A.D. 2009 the powers that be decided to asphalt Transalpina. Letting aside the discussions on the real (hidden) reasons, the practicality of the idea (given the fact that snow is  meters high from November until May !!), what this means for us is THE END of Transalpina as we knew it.

Transalpina used to be this hidden gem of a national road, higher than Transfagarasan, but unpopulated by the famous Romanian Buffalo . It used to be a road for ‘aficionados’, for people that love the adventure and nature, beyond the love for their cars or their image. You would see Fiat Pandas, Citroen BXs, Daewo Matizes et al trying their best not to fatally hit the underparts of their cars, just to be able to enjoy the extraordinary landscapes. It was not a road for SUVs (I have not seen X5s, GLs and the likes), for manelists and barbecue eaters.

All that is gone now, with the advent of asphalt and ‘civilization’ . I have personally vouched to search for alternative roads for those who would appreciate them (there are rumors about a passage between Curmatura Oltetului and Vaideeni). But until I find them, we do still have one option in the area: the Strategic road.

Like Transalpina this was built by ‘ze Germans’ during the second World War. It is approximately 60kilometers long, on the top of the Latoritei mountains. It is perpendicular on Transalpina, which it crosses in the Saua Stefanu. That is one end of the Strategica. The other is in Valea Macesului, between Brezoi and Voineasa. This end is well hidden, as well it should be:

Where from
Where from

When you see this sign, stop the car and start looking for an un-obvious ascent into the forrest:

Hidden Gem
Hidden Gem
Hidden Gem
Hidden Gem

In my opinion this is were your adventure should start, because the first 4 kilometers are literally tough for ‘normal cars’ (non offroaders). So I’d rather have the difficult part in the beginning of the day, with gas, energy and time ahead of me. For real offroad cars, when dry, it’s a walk in the park. If rainy, it could become tricky (lateral inclination, no trees, ruts, mud, etc).

When dry, the ascent has been done with cars as ‘low’ (offroad-wise speaking) as the Audi Allroad or the Subaru Outback. They DID however struggle (had to push, burn the clutch, etc). Enough with the small talk already, let’s look at some pictures:

Plaiul Poienilor
Plaiul Poienilor, Obstea Mosnenilor
Plaiul Poienilor
Plaiul Poienilor, Obstea Mosnenilor

This is the reason you want to get on this road: it’s so high that you actually look DOWN on eagles:

Where eagles dare
Where eagles dare

I made an inspired “stop” :

Land Cruiser how it's meant to be used
How Land Cruisers are meant to be used

and what I mean by “Inspired Stop” is that I chose the best damn place to take this LC picture, toghether with the fact that I did actually stop 3 meters from the abyss:

View from the top
View from the top

You can notice the road from Valea Macesului to the Galbenul and Petrimanul lakes on the bottom on the valley!

After this, the road is easy, clear and simple (you can make mistakes, but they are correctable: if the road disappears or becomes to difficult, you took a wrong turn 🙂 )

As you can see, somebody is taking care of this road:

Clear Road
Clear Road

This is the biggest danger to offroad cars on this road:

Very Useful to have MT tyres
Very Useful to have MT tyres

which means that there is a lot to enjoy on this road:

Busy Bee
Busy Bee
Real Help
Real Help

There are some ugly things going on in the area, like the forest clearing on the road from the lakes to Curmatura Oltetului:

Say WHAAAT?
Say WHAAAT?
Forest Clearing
Forest Clearing
Forest Clearing
Forest Clearing

These photos are a dedication to those who say that offroad cars disturb the environment…

Oh, since we are having a parenthesis about destruction, here’s how the Muntinu Stairs died:

Say Whaaatt, take 2
Say Whaaatt, take 2

“shooting works” 🙂

If anyone is still not convinced to make this trip, I end this post with a bang (actually what I hope to be a memorable photo of the area):

What you can see
What you can see

PS 1: I have to mention the fact that the road passes through two peasant yards. So you have to stop the car, get out, open the gate, pass, get back out and close the gate, so that the animals don’t get out…

PS2: if you like these photos, and trust me when I say there are more coming about beautiful and interesting places in the world, then you might want to  stay tuned (via RSS or  email )

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6 thoughts on “Strategica – Transalpina’s little sister

  1. Stiam ca drumul a fost contruit in primul razboi mondial pentru nevoile armatei romane de a ataca pe austro-ungari in 1916 in Ardeal. Nemtii (in al2 lea razboi) nu aveau nici un interes strategic sa-l faca. Dar poate gresesc!

  2. Am sanse sa il fac cu o frontera stock in perioada asta, cand e mai multa umezeala…?
    Cam cate ore mergi pana ajungi in transalpina?
    Daca nu am harta,( sunt din zona dar nustiu drumu… rusine mie) oare ma pot descurca, se distinge drumul strategic, de altele?( ex. e mai umblat)
    Mersi!

    1. Domnule,
      as zice ca daca e ud nu poti face drumul fara gume.
      Daca ai macar ATuri incep sa iti creasca sansele.
      Nu se stie cum a iesit drumul din iarna, si am impresia ca pe transalpina mai e ceva zapada, decipe strategica si mai multa 😦
      Cu masina de teren, propunandu-ti sa mergi, fara timp de poze, etc, faci vreo 2-3 ore ca sunt 60km.
      Daca te intinzi la masa, poze, etc, se fac mai multe.

      Dupa parerea mea, fara un track gps sau fara a citi cu mare atentie threadul de pe softpedia 😉 nu nimeresti de la un cap la celalalt. De fapt, nimeresti, dar mai pune niste ore pentru balaurit 🙂
      Sunt cateva intersectii ‘tricky’ …
      Prima nu te coboara la ciunget, a doua te duce nicaieri, apoi risti sa cobori la vidra, sau sa urci la releul de pe Fratosteanu…

      Succes!

  3. Am fost pana la urma pe valea rudareasa( asa se numeste…) si am urcat pana la bazinul de apa… ma rog, putin mai sus… oi fi nimerit sau nu o parte din strategic nustiu, dar cert este ca am vazut multa zapada pe versanti si nu am mai continuat, chiar nu avea rost, mai ales ca eram singura masina… Am aflat de la un localnic ca s-ar trece pe transalpina, si de aici am banuit ca poate fi strategicul, dar nu sunt sigur fiindca strategicul pare a fi pe celalalt munte, iar de pe el poti vedea acest bazin… astept vara si poate mai gasesc pe cineva dornic sa mearga. Multumesc pentru raspuns 🙂

  4. Acum un an vorbeam de strategic, azi ne-am vazut ” live” pe drumul spre manastirea Pahomie( eu sunt cel cu Frontera, datorita bucuriei am uitat sa ” ma prezint”…)
    Cum ti-am spus si cand ne-am vazut azi, sper sa ne mai vedem, mi0ar face placere!

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