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Transfăgărășan / Pasul Bâlea 2,042m

In the Romanian Carpathians a paved road leads from Transylvania via the Bâlea Pass to Wallachia. The so-called "Transfăgărășan" overcomes on its northern approach more than 1,500 meters of altitude gain and is thus one of the most demanding climbs in Europe. As road cyclist you challenge a spectacular mountain cauldron with various serpentines on its last five hundred meters of altitude difference. Ambitious riders can even get higher on the "Transalpina" road which also leads from Transylvania to the south side of the Carpathians.

Start: Oberkerz 510m
Altitude difference: 1,577m
Distance: 29km
July 2019

More than 1,500 vertical meters on almost 30 kilometers distance form a long climb but with moderate grade.

Today's ride begins early in the morning in the sleepy village of Oberkerz and leads directly to the impressive scenery of the Carpathians.

After a few kilometers the way heads into a dark spruce forest. Thoughts on Transylvanian bears, wolves and numerous vampires provide for an unexpected height gain in short time :-)

After some initial 1,000 meters of altitude gain with moderate slope this is the view to Bâlea waterfall and the basin beneath pass summit.

Some traffic galleries have to be passed.

The grandiose curve spectacle of the ascent begins right here.

One serpentine after another

View back to the street ...

... and down to the lowlands of Transylvania.

The spectacular ascent winds for about five kilometers ...

... and 500 meters in altitude.

Souvenir shops and parking lots for the numerous tourists line up on pass summit.

On the far left the entrance to the unlit tunnel is visible leading to the south side of the pass. End of July there are still meters high snow walls.

Nearby Lac Bâlea offers wild Carpathian idyll.

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