Bucegi Mountains lay in the Eastern part of the Southern Carpathians, along the entire superior section of valley of Prahova. From its high peaks, one can enjoy the view of towns stretched like real beads on the entire length of the valley: Sinaia, Predeal, Poiana Tapului (He-goat clearing), Azuga and Busteni. From bare rock walls, steeply, with an altitude difference of over 900 m, this mountainside is marked by numerous deep ravines: Izvorul Dorului (Longing Spring), Valea Morarului (Miller's Valley), Urlatoarea Mare (Big Howler), Valea Cerbului (Valley of the Stag), Valea Babei (Old woman's Valley), Valea Alba (White Valley) and Valea Jepilor (Knee pines Valley).
The striking contrast of the astonishing Prahova landscape is given by its high plane covered by alpine meadows, located on the other side of the mountains, towards Izvorul Dorului and Valea Ialomitei. The fauna of the Bucegi Mountains is very diverse, with squirrel, wolf, stag, bear, wild boar, hare, lynx and deer. In the highest points of Bucegi, tourist can enjoy the presence of black goats and mountain eagle. Cold and fast mountain rivers are the perfect habitat for Mediterranean barbell, trout and chub. The bird population includes hazel grouse, bearded vulture and heather cock.
The access on the Bucegi Mountains is through two cableway routes: from Sinaia up to the 1400 m elevation - then to the 2000 m elevation, and from Busteni to Babele and then Babele - Pestera. In Natural Reservation Bucegi, tourists can enter on one of the two roads accessible by cars, that cover almost the entire area of the Reservation. The first access road starts from the Eastern part, having Sinaia as starting point, goes on to Cuibul Dorului (Longing Nest), Saua Dichiului (Dichiu's saddle) and further on Valea Ialomitei (Valley of Ialomita), up to the alpine field area. The second route situated in the Southern part, starts from Moroeni and climbs up to Bolboci dam, then to the Pestera hotel, where is the crossing point with the roads that links to Bucegi plateau. Those tourists that are eager for adventure and sport can reach Natural Reservation of Bucegi through its hundreds of paths and forestry roads. Here are the towns connected by roads with this superb destination: Zarnesti, Sinaia, Rucar, Poiana Tapului, Pietrosita, Busteni, Moroeni and Azuga.
Accommodation options are pretty large, including a lot of chalets with different comfort grades, facilities and sizes, but also a 3 stars hotel located on Valea Ialomitei. The most interesting places of this massif are: Sfinx - altitude of 2216 m, Babele (Old ladies), Pietrele from Omu (The stones from Omu), Crucea Eroilor Neamului (People hero's cross), Cascada Urlatoarea (Howler waterfall), Pestera Ialomitei (Cave of Ialomita), Cheile Zanoagei (Zanoaga's gorges) and Cheile Tatarului (Tatar's gorges).
The Sfinx, or the Great Sfinx of Bucegi, is located at 2216 m altitude, just 10 minutes away from well-known Babele chalet. Back in 1900 it was caught on camera for the first time, frontally, and not as a profile, as it is seen nowadays in most of the flyers and postcards. It was given the "Sfinx" name in 1936, when the 8 m high and 12 m length rock was photographed from an angle having as reference point the axis starting from it to one of the rocks close to it - Baba Vantoaselor, and in that moment the rock gained the look of a man looking towards the circle that precedes the equinoxes. The Sfinx get its best lines on 21st of November, just after sun set.
Babele (The old ladies) is the group of stones close to the Sfinx and about their forming, over the time, a long line of theories and legend occurred. Due to their bond with Sfinx, they were called " Cyclopoid shrines from Caraiman", dedicated to the Sun and Moon, Sky and Earth, but also to Mars- agriculture and war God. The scientists think that among the factors that shaped the rock are sudden freezing and melt downs, the water, the wind, but also the different layers of gritstone, limestone and rocks from its surface. Human interaction cannot be denied regarding the finishing touches of the present shape of the rock, more or less even. But, as until now no scientific evidence could explain entirely the phenomena of forming this stone, the legends that connect the supernatural with reality is what we still have.
Stones from Omu are to be found in the North of the massif, on Varful Omu (Omu's Peak), considered the highest point in Bucegi, the eighth in Romania, having an altitude of 2 505 m.
(Caraiman Cross) The cross of the people's heroes is first known for its historical significance, but also as a special touristic destination. The monument was built on Caraiman Mountain between 1926 and 1928 in the memory of heroes from the First World War.
Cascada Urlatoarea (Howler's waterfall) is short distance from the touristic route between Busteni and Bucegi alpine field through Jepii Mari Valley, being formed by Urlatoarea spring. Due to its high flow and its 15 m height, one can say it is one of the most spectacular waterfalls. The legend of the waterfall says that its rumble or the sound of falling water represent the sobbing of a young lady shepherd, the daughter of some old knee pines which, terrified by the love of the two brothers, in a breakdown moment, threw herself from the cliffs. The route towards Cascada Urlatoarea is considered as the easiest to go on - in just an hour of walking through deep forests you can reach the foot of Knee pine Mountains, the same place where the waterfall is, but one can also reach this place starting from Poiana Tapului (He-goat clearing).
Pestera Ialomitei (Ialomita cave) is the cave having just a single 480 m long level. Its first 400 m, up to the "Shrine", are available for tourists. Next there are 80 climbing meters, in different galleries and large spaces. The level elevation is about 60 m. Pestera Ialomitei seems to be a combination of drifts and large spaces and it is crossed by a spring. Right at the entrance there is Manastirea Ialomitei (Monastery of Ialomita) dated back to the XVI-th century, founded by Mihnea cel Rau, voivode of Romanian Country.
Cheile Zanoagei (Zanoaga's gorges) is the plateau located close to Scropoasa lake and lays on 150 ha. On its path there is a protected "island", built from thermophile plants and very rare species of trees: Pinus cembra, Anchusa burellieri and Carduun candicans. Having about 1 km in length, Cheile Zanoagei is seen as the most impressive place from entire Bucegi Mountains.
Cheile Tatarului (Tatar's gorges) is a segment of Ialomita valley gorges, having 0,5 ha in length, located upstream of Padina chalet. This reservation was set in 1970 and preserves different and protected karstic land forms: towers, limestone pavements, caves and so on. From all the caves found in this area, the one which is truly remarkable, also considered the highest Paleolithic resort in Romania is Pesterea Ursilor (Bears cave), having two corridors: first having 88 m length, the second only 25m length.
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