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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Florence, Italy
Posts: 327

Pitesti - Transfagarasan - Brezoi - Transfagarasan - Sebes. 530km, 09:40hrs.

Today was 'the big one'. The legendary Transfagarasan pass. My internet research about the Transfagarasan told me that even though the official highway website said that it would not open until the 1st of July, it is often the case that locals unofficially open the road a few days beforehand.
I would be there just 5 days before the official opening so I was willing to take the risk that it may not be open because my research also seemed it say that the closed part was only a few kilometres long so I wouldn't be missing too much if I couldn't drive that section.

So, I got an early start and headed off up the southern side. Sure enough, there were signs saying the road was closed at the 104km mark, but I pressed on anyway. I stopped briefly at the dam at Lake Vidraru for a few photos, then continued to the top. I stopped when I reached the Balea Tunnel where the road was indeed closed by a large steel door that blocks the entrance to the tunnel. I spoke to a local guy who told me that yesterday a group of locals tried to open the door as both sides of the pass were now free from snow. Apparently a highway official arrived with a maintenance crew and rather than concede that the tunnel could now be opened, instead ordered the crew Weld the door shut!!

Talking further with the guy revealed that the tunnel is only 700 metres long and there is a pedestrian entrance for people to pass through to Lake Balea on the other side. If I wanted to visit Lake Balea by car I would have to drive the long way round via Brezoi, & up the other side of the pass.

So that’s what I did... It was quite a long day out, but I can say I've driven up & down both sides of the Transfagarasan pass! (all but 700 meters of it)...

For more about the Transfagarasan:

Hotel Leul de Aur.

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Dam at Lake Vidraru.

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Lake Vidraru.

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Transfagarasan pass (south side)

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Transfagarasan pass (south side)

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Balea Tunnel, door WELDED SHUT!


Nick W.
The problem with modern cars? - Too many computers, not enough carburetors...

Last edited by GTV18; 07-12-2019 at 01:44 AM.
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