The Foothills of the Carpathians

The mountains called us to stay another day.  And so we did.  We stayed an extra day in Ranca, a beautiful, developing ski resort on the Transalpina route.  We decided to live it up in a pension and happened upon the lovely Vila Ozon.  We spent two peaceful nights in the mountain air, relaxing to Romanian jazz music , drinking homemade vino and playing ping pong or reading a book (I just finished Bill Bryson’s Neither Here nor There- a little outdated but a good read – Thanks Jen).  The Vila Ozon is a wonderful family run pension- open year round.  Definitely worth a stop!

Vila Ozon

Vila Ozon

Today we headed down the mountain and along the foothills on our way to Ramnicu Valcea.  We decided to stay high in the foothills to avoid the major road, heavy traffic and pollution.  The road started out beautifully. Lots of fun climbs followed by even more fun decents.  We passed over a series of ridgelines and valleys.  At about 35 km our pavement turned to dirt and the going slowed significantly.  The climbs became longer and steeper – a few over 10%.  Two km of climbing, a short flat section over a river or through a town and then right back up. Over and over. The views were spectacular which made the ride worth it.

We arrived in Horezu and stopped for a late lunch.  Horezu is a lovely little town with lots of history.  How could we not stay to see the sites and rest the legs a bit more?  Ramnicu Valcea can wait.

The view descending from Ranca.

The view descending from Ranca.

Riding the Foothills.  Beautiful

Riding the Foothills. Beautiful

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