Situated in the Bucegi mountains at an altitude of 1720 meters (5643 ft), Mălăiești hut (”Cabana Mălăiești” in Romanian language) offers hikers plenty of routes for exploring this majestic massif. Located in one of the most picturesque glacial valleys in Romania, this chalet is very accessible for hiking enthusiasts, even for those with a minimal experience.
We took advantage of the nice weather forecast and went there last Saturday, but not for the hut itself. Our main goal was finding some of the rarest species and flowers in Romania: the Edelweiss and the Red Vanilla Orchid.
We left Brașov with our car and reached the starting point, in Valea Glăjăriei, near Râșnov, in about one hour. There were already tens of cars in the area, so we quickly realized we’re not going to be alone on the trail.
We began with a fast-paced hike up and immediately reached the first tourists, who were already tired 🙂 As we continued, we managed to overtake quite a lot of hikers and reached the Mălăiești hut in just about one and a half hours, way quicker than expected. As we wanted to keep a social distance from everybody else, we decided to take a short 5 minute break and left immediately towards the higher plateau. As we were climbing, we looked back and the tables were already full. ”I’m so glad we didn’t stay there.” – I said, looking ahead at the massive cliffs in the valley.
We knew from last year’s hike the approximate location of the flowers so we left the trail for a few meters in the nearby meadow and immediately found what we were looking for. Although the Edelweiss flowers were scarce, there was an abundance of other wild flowers, something we can rarely see. We found several species of orchids, the globeflower (protected) and even the Red Vanilla Orchid.
We sat there for about two hours, looking at the clear blue sky and taking photos with our beloved flowers.
On our way back to the hut, we saw some tourists pointing to a small patch of snow which was still present in the valley. “Look, there’s a mother bear and her cub!” shouted one of the other tourists on the trail. We quickly took out our camera and zoomed in.
The cub was playing in the snow but due to its lack of … agility… he slid down the snow, to the delight of the onlookers. We couldn’t imagine something like this happening in the middle of the day just a few hundred meters away from hundreds of tourists. So there’s another reason why you should visit Romania 🙂
Reaching back to the hut, when we saw the crowded place we decided to just go through it and reached the car in about one hour and ten minutes. If it wasn’t for the crowded trail, we could have done it in 40-50 minutes.
On the way back to Brașov, we kept asking ourselves… ”Why suddenly, there are so many people in the mountains?”. Does this pandemic have a good side, making people cherish every moment in nature?
Until the next hike 🙂