EXCURSION IN DORNELOR MOUNTAINS
From the peaks of the mountains from Depresiunea Dornelor and the Ostra-Stulpicani depressions, many alike those of Obcine from the geographical formation and appearance point of view, two summits that master the area are noticed: Giumalau and Rarau, very connected between, but still different as landscape.
The mountain Giumalau, with a relief developed on crystalline schists rise over 1857m in the highest peak. From 1650 up, stands out an area of inferior alpine bushes and than alpine meadows in which prevail the graminaceae which provides favourable conditions for the development of grazing. The Giumalau chalet is situated at 1600m altitude, in the point of intersection between the wooded area and the pasture land. The abundant precipitations and ground justify the richness of the vegetation that enchants.
In the landscape of this mountainous region there is the forest reservation Valea Putnei, close to Giumalau that leads to the valley with the same name, coming from Trecatoarea Mestecanis. It is a significant natural monument from the scientific and touristic point of view, 12ha surface, made especially from secular spruce fir, some trees having over 120 years. Also in the areal of Codrul Giumalaului from the Putna area is the reservation of grey oak tree and downy oak tree for seeds. In the same place is the woodcraft / cvnegetics reservation with a surface of 211ha for the protection of the grouse.
The mountain Rarau differs from Giumalau trough the variety of the relief, generated especially by the various lithology, but also by the structure. The area of extension of Rarau is most of it above the geological formation represented mainly trough: pearl spars, calcareous dolomites, limestone, marble limestone, conglomerate, reef limestone, loam, sandstone which reflect deeply in the morphology in detail. Extremely interesting are the ruinous aspects generated by the islands and the limestone pillars from which are constituted Pietrele Doamnei, Piatra Soimului, Piatra Zimbrului, Sfinxul din Rarau less known by tourists and the Rarau itself. Over the dark green carpet of spruce firs arose, contrasting trough its grey, the precipitous and barren tanks, broken cliffs with strange appearance, all carved variously by the atmospheric agents, which provide the impression of a palace remained from centuries under the forces of nature. Is one of the most attended mountains from the superior tanks of Moldavia. The ways of access come from Valea Bistritei, from the south, on the valleys of the affluent, and others, the best arranged, from Valea Moldovei, from the north. The most beaten path is Campulung East – Izvorul Alb – Poiana Sihastriei – alpine hotel Rarau (14km). The hotel built at 1636m altitude, on the spot of an old chalet, satisfies the will of those who desire to see the towers and the cliffs of Rarau.
THE VALLEY OF BISTRITA
Under this name is the ensemble of Bistrita Valley from the contact with Tara Dornelor-downstream of Rusca locality- until Piatra Neamt. One can not find in this sector a more picturesque valley. Its poetry is unique as well as the feeling produced by the waters in steep slopes. The majestic pages of Alexandru Vlahuta, Mihail Sadoveanu, Gala Galaction and others dedicated to “Toacelor”, in the place where the mountains and the rivers provide a perfect vision, remain in the past. The atmosphere of a moving travel by boat in the corner of Bistrita was kept till nowadays, but in the place where the shore of the water was fallowed only by a hidden path, these days a highway is passing.
In all Valea Bistritei, at the piece of art of the nature were attached the results of the people’s work. While travelling on Valea Bistritei and admiring its forms one care realise that they have a certain semnification for the passage from the Bistrita Moldoveneasca Mountains. The passage is imposing first of all trough its dimensions. An amount of gorges between which appear ponds, more or less visible, some real depressions with a transversal extending to maximum 4.5km. The beautiful gorges from Zugreni, Holda, Izvorul Muntelui and Tarcau are the most expressive and legendary.
Between the gorges are a series of ponds like the ones from Borca, Largu, Handgu and Vaduri.
Since past times, Valea Bistritei remained one of the most populated carpathians valleys. The settlements multiplied, the construction of the reservoir from Izvorul Muntelui and others determined the economic development in this valley. A railway to Bicaz and a modernised highway all along Bistrita valley, which connects Piatra Neamt with Vatra Dornei have been buit. The touristic attractions are various. A special place in a picturesque landscape is the Chalet Vadul Bistrtei-Zgureni (760m altitude) with restaurant and parking lot, after the entrance of Bistrita in the defile from Toace is the mining exploitation of poli-metals from Lesu Ursului.
Brosteni, balneo climateric resort is an old settlement and a place for halting for the travellers that come from Dorna. At Brosteni was the school were Ion Creanga, the great teller, had been studying. Borca, the big village with a lot of settlements is known trough its folk clothing and the remaining of the baths of Dimitrie Cantemir and Mihai Sturza. Close to the viaduct – to the end of the lake at Poiana Teiului – a cliff of around 20m high named Poiana Teiului catches the attention. The Ceahlau village, set on the shore of the lake, is the touristic base with jetty for ships. From here depart marked paths to the chalets from Durau and Fantanele in Ceahlau. In the village are the ruins of the Cnejilor palace, architectural monument which was once a feudal palace. Bicaz town, in the past a village of rafters, is a beautiful city, in continuous development with picturesque settlements at the confluence of the river Bicaz with Bistrita.
The Bistrita museum with sections of ethnography and plastic art, presents past and present aspects of this region. Bicaz town is an important touristic base in Bistrita and Ceahlau.
At the exit of Bistrita from mountains we meet one of the “Pearls of Moldavia” – Piatra Neamt. Is one of the cities that can be seen as a postcard from the top of Pietricica (528m); as you can see Iasi form Culmea Repedea, Brasov from Tampa, Cluj Napoca from Cetatuia and Husi from Dealul Dobrinei. The strategic settlement was recognised from old times. The remaining of geto-dacian fortresses from the tops of Batca-Doamnei and Cozla and other archaeological elements confirm the long existence of this gift of the nature. The continuity is sustained by important proofs – the constructions remained here from the times of famous leaders like Alexandru cel Bun, Stedan cel Mare, Petru Rares, emphasize the past of this town, in the medieval period.
The historic sources refers it as a borough that at the end of the XIV century was known under the name of “Piatra”, afterwards trough a paper of an hospodar of beneficence, appears under the name of “Targul Pietrei lui Craciun” -1431 and only in 1859 gets the name of “Piatra Neamt” not to be confused with other “Pietre” (piatra=stone, pietre=stones)
The central part of the city delights the most, from the foot of Pietricica because of the park, the new buildings from the Valea Cluejdului and the old architectural monuments: Curtea domneasca – the Court of the hospodar, the church Sf. Ioan and the tour of the spire – during Stefan cel Mare period, with their original features harmonically combine with the images of the new vivid buildings.
Piatra Neamt is a city rich in history, geography, legend and poetry. The greatness of the nowadays urban picture winsome, but this places attract also trough the archeological vestiges and the value of the old monuments, some of them even before the written history from the museums and collections:
– The museum of history – settled in the center of the city, with tradition, reorganized in 1947 and recognized trough the multitude and value of its exhibit.
- The art museum – where one can admire valuable creations, famous in the national plastic art.
- The museum of the natural science organized in 1960, presenting interest for the specialists, but also for the great public, containing local elements of geography, geology and flora-fauna.
The multitude of touristic objectives, the specific characteristics and the natural environment awakes the interest for Piatra Neamt as a touristic centre.
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