Bucegi Mountains – living legends
June 5, 2008Posted by on
Bucegi are probably the most hiked mountains in Romania, due to their straightforward location when you look up North from Bucharest. Oh, and their beauty…
In old Romanian language “a bucegi” means “to choose” – these are “the chosen” mountains; and some of the events occuring in the area (see below) give a true meaning to their name.
Two major tourist attractions are located at above 2200m altitude (2216m, to be precise): the Sphinx , an old stone looking like a human face, apparently formed by wind erosion, and the closeby ” Old Women” (Romanian: Babele), a rock formation resembling human silhouettes.
People talk about an old special traveling route in these mountains, called “the silver belt of the world”, 8 hours long and quite difficult, with a lot of ups and downs – yet at the end nobody feels tired, but relaxed and joyful. Some say that’s because this route overlaps with a major energy flux of the planet. It starts in Valea Doamnelor (The Ladies Valley), and continues to Omu Peak (2505m), the summer route of Babele, Piciorul Cocor, and the Ialomiţa Cave in Valea Horoabelor, the most beautiful valley in the Bucegi mountains.
The name of the Ialomiţa cave came from the Dacian language, “jalomit” meaning “to cry”, this cave being known as an ancient place where Dacians celebrated death as a major event, passing from one life to the next one.
The cave has 3 levels: the first one is for the tourists, shaped like an S; the next two are harder to cross.
The first level has many names, the most known are Grota Pustnicului (The Monk’s vault- because some say that the cave was discovered by a monk, Father Teofil, after he had dreamed of the place and the way to it) or Grota lui Zamolxe (Zamolxe’s Vault) – Zamolxe is an ancient Dacian priest/god. It is said this cave was used by Zamolxe and his people to hide and pray when they were under attack.
At this level you can find one of its most peculiar attractions: somewhere in the stone there is a groove, like a pail, filled with water. The strange thing is that once the water is removed, it starts to “rain” from the ceiling, and it stops when the pail is full with water again.
Another attraction is Hades Well, a coalpit inside the Ialomiţa Cave: nobody could explain yet why any kind of light just dies inside this groove.
The second level hosts two Dacian thombs, and the third level a glaciar lake.
The entrance to this cave is guarded by a small hermitage, called Schitul Pestera, built in a very long time because of a long series of weird events – people say that every time they tried to finish this church a lot of hostile natural phenomenastroke the building: fire from the sky, avalanche of stones. Maybe, it is said, because no one should build churches in the land of Death.