Hitchhike to Arieseni, Apuseni Mountains

Marie Damman
Marie Damman

To travel to Romanians villages with a friend or two, hitch hiking remains the best way to move around. The road is mostly beautiful, with trees, mountains, some castles or monasteries hidden in the wood, and some springs.

Nevertheless, it is never a good idea to start to move late on the afternoon even on the summer time, especially when you decide to take the shortest road. From Cluj-Napoca to Arieseni, the shortest way is to go through Gilau, Marisel, Albac.

There, the roads aren’t finished. A driver told us workers started to build the asphalt years ago. They stopped before winter and the cold made the roads in a worse shape.

Another contact told us we needed a carriage or tractor in order to be able to reach Albac.

Once reached Marisel, villagers stopped us for these reasons. An old man offered us a place to stay, food and palinca. His kindness touched us. With his wife, they showed us around his property, and took us on a tour in the village. We didn’t expect this much of sweetness. The parents were so proud to have travelers at their place that they called their four children to tell them and to forward them on the phone to us.

The next day, it took the whole morning before we could finally move from the house. The family didn’t let us go hitchhiking anywhere. The son dropped us at the next hitchhiking point.

24 hours later our first departure from Cluj, we finally reached Arieseni.

The way back was much faster, around 4 hours. We decided to take another road, through Turda. It was much easier to find cars this way. Also, the road from Campeni to Turda is beautiful. On the way, there is a waterfall and a castle. Trees and mountains also make the road trip amazing.

We heard Arieseni is nice to visit, for the landscape and the nature. Though, I think Scarisoara is a better village to visit. It is before Arieseni on the way from Albac. There, there are a lot of caves. We visited the ice cave, 10 km away from the center. The area is also full of sources, springs and waterfalls.

Once deeper in the mountains, we could smell summer, look at the beautiful flowers, pick some up, and we could also look around to the caves and trees. They made the landscape amazing to watch.