✔ Share in Ceauşescu’s Folly


Ceauşescu’s folly, or more accurately,the Transfăgărăşan road (No, I don’t know how to pronounce it, sorry. I have no clue what those accents above the “a”‘s do, not what the cedilla under the “s” does.) is the highest paved road in Romania connecting the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Piteşti. Additionally, it is said to be the most drammatic road in Europe, and the best road (according to Jeremy Clarkson) to drive on.

The road was constructed between 1970 and 1974, during the rule of Nicolae Ceauşescu. It came as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. Ceauşescu wanted to ensure quick military access across the mountains in the event the Soviets attempted a similar move into Romania. Consequently, the road was built mainly with military forces, at a high cost both financially and from a human standpoint—roughly 6,000 tons (6,000,000 kg) of dynamite were used on the northern face, and the official records mention that about 40 soldiers lost their lives in building accidents. However, the unofficial numbers given by the workers mention thousands of deaths.One of the workers recalls that “only the tunnel took 400 lives”. Due to this, the road is referred to as “Ceauşescu’s folly“.

Built as a strategic military route, the 90 km of twists and turns run North to South across the tallest sections of the Carpathian Mountains, between the highest peak in the country, Moldoveanu, and the second highest, Negoiu. The road connects the The northern section is used as a part of yearly cyclist competitions Tour of Romania (Romanian: Turul României). The difficulty of this section is considered to be very similar to Hors Categorie climbs (literally beyond categorization) in the Tour de France.

So; the plan is to cycle the route, which is rated “beyond categorization”, without dying. Or at least, that’s the hope! (lots of the above content is from Wikipedia)

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UPDATE: This is now COMPLETE! Admittedly, I didn’t cycle the whole route… we cycled for about 3 days to Sibiu, where we rented a car… and then drove up the Transfagarasan… absolutely stunning! Pictures coming soon…

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