Judit, my Hungarian colleague, who works now in Amsterdam is here in Bucharest on a project. During the week we work together and in the weekends we travel to explore the beauties of Romania.

Last weekend we drove a long way up North to see a beautiful lake and an impressive gorge. The lake is called Lacu Rosu (Red Lake) in Romanian but the Hungarian name is Gyilkos tรณ (Murderer Lake). It was formed in the early 19th century by a major landslide. According to the legend the landslide buried a shepherd with his entire flock and his dog and their blood painted the lake red. Hence the name in both languages.

The lake is not red and it’s rather peaceful.

Red (Murderer) Lake

Over the years the trees that were standing in the water for a long time got rotten away and fell down. Today only the stumps of their trunks stick out of the water. The ducks like them!

So the lake can be called murderer as it has killed quite a few nice trees.

From the lake we went on towards Bucovina through the Bicaz Gorge which is a very impressive gorge formed by the Bicaz creek. It is one of the most popular climbing places in Romania, many Hungarian climbers visit it as well. Many routes start almost from the roadside. Unfortunately, Judit doesn’t climb so all I could do is watch the huge walls with my mouth open and take plenty of pictures.

Bicaz Gorge with the ‘Preacher’s Stool’ in the background. Lots of climbing routes go up to the peak

Just looking up made me feel dizzy

Swallows and Amazons

Looks like summer has ended and the monsoon seasons is just ramping up! After a couple of weeks of superb dry sunny weather (which luckily coincided with a series of bank holidays allowing us to get out and about climbing in the Lakes) we have now returned to more normal British summer weather; heavy showers! We’ve even had some pretty amazing thunder and lightning most evenings this weekend. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

So, the weather stopped play climbing-wise, but we did get out for a walk that delivered a few pictures worth sharing. Not exactly prize winning wildlife photography, just a few snaps…

A Dipper on the Kent
A duck family

And after spotting the swallows I spotted this rare Amazonian that gave me the title of the post…

We passed through the most amazing blue-bell wood, every single square centimetre (except the very few narrow paths where people had walked) was covered with blue-bells! Amazing. In just a couple of weeks they will all be gone and as the tree canopy fills with new leaves the woodland floor will become quite bare and brown. I wondered, it’s illegal to dig up blue-bells (or any wild flower for that matter) but not so many years ago all of lowland Britain was covered in woodland and would have been equally covered in blue-bells. So all of the grassy fields we see have been dug up and cleared of flowers, were the farmers who did that prosecuted?

Blue-bell Woodland

To get back from our walk, without a many-kilometre diversion, we were forced to ford to the river Kent. We took our shoes and socks off and waded in. It was cold! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ But it was great fun too!

Fording the river Kent, it was pretty fast flowing after all the rain and thunder storms!

More miles on the bike and a stroll around Ilam

Following Richard’s run last weekend he contracted a cold … and hence as he was out of action; I took the opportunity to get back on the bike. I managed to combine a visit to see my Grandad and a bike ride, by organising for my sister to give me a lift home…. this enabled me to choose a linear route, which as I described last week, is hugely preferable to cycling around in circles. Unfortunately the route from Tamworth to Nottingham is devoid of picturesque sights and hence no pictures were taken. Nevertheless the following interesting points were noted:

  1. There is an “airport trail” around East Midlands airport – presumably for plane spotters.
  2. Breedon on the Hill is very nice and has a small, interesting circular prison.
  3. If you wish to open an account at Nationwide you have to queue up twice.
  4. It is not at all obvious from a page of the road atlas whether one should turn left or right on the canal at Long Eaton to get to Ilkeston.
  5. The canal towpath from Long Eaton to Ilkeston is really bumpy and is a little off-putting when motorcycles ride past.
  6. It is really quite hard to eat a flaky sausage roll and cycle at the same time.

It was a nice ~40 miles, but the lift back with Sarah was appreciated. The cake of the evening is pictured. Whilst it was meant to be a roulade (swiss roll-like), this required hours in the fridge, which obviously wasn’t going to work and hence it ended up as a stack. It was delicious and even better on Sunday night!

Raspberry chocolate tower

The physio, who is fairly happy with my calf icing/heating/stretching/strengthening efforts, said that I should start walking up some gently inclined slopes, therefore on Sunday, Richard and I went to Derbyshire and walked from Thorpe to Stanshope and back, with a pub stop in the middle. The weather was lovely and the light dusting of snow made everywhere look very pretty.

Arch at Dovedale
Near Stanshope
Coombes Nature Reserve

I now have the cold ๐Ÿ™