Photo: Profimedia Images

Built by the army, the original purpose of the road was completely different

Transfagarașan is a road made by the army, in the 70’s. It continues to delight even today, because the road that crosses the Carpathians is truly amazing. And the landscape around it is even more so. Along it, we find another engineering jewel, from the 60s, Vidraru Dam. The most spectacular road in the world! This is how the producers of a well-known international show exclaimed, testing a road by car on Transfăgărășan.

When the two objectives were built, Transfăgărășan and Vidraru Dam, tourism was not taken into account at all. The Transfagarasan was for a quick crossing of the mountains, in case of problems with the USSR. Lake Vidraru was created artificially, by the appearance of the dam, and the goal was pragmatic: the production of electricity.

In our century, people’s needs have diversified. Now we have more cars and a greater desire to discover our country. And the traveler is fine with the road, but he also has to stop from time to time.

Nicu Ceausescu’s cottage has been transformed into the most coveted hotel in the area

Cristina Cileacu : We are filming in an extremely beautiful place, we are near Lake Vidraru, we see mountains and forests in the background and we are on the balcony of a hotel that you told me developed the whole area from. How exactly?

Dan Grecu, entrepreneur : Several years ago, at the time when the Vidraru Dam was built, a small hut was built here, which was the place where the engineers and those who ran the dam at Vidraru Lake lived. Later, this cabin entered the BTT tourist circuit, it was used for a long time almost exclusively by Nicu Ceauşescu. It was a pretty small cabin, 15 rooms, not much was going on here.

About 15 years ago, I somehow took over this cottage and created a project, I imagined a development project, in which to achieve a much larger and much more feasible tourist structure from the point of view of a business, plus that I felt the potential of the place here, there was practically no tourist destination related to Lake Vidraru or Transfăgărăşan. And I considered that a structure, about 60 rooms, and so I did the project, in which I included this cottage, I practically covered it somehow and introduced it in this hotel, without damaging absolutely anything, even more moreover, I took over the architecture of the cottage. We applied for European funds on the 2007-2013 program, the regional development program, in a project that had a value of 4 and a half million euros, without VAT.

Cristina Cileacu : If it weren’t for European money, would you have made this investment with your own money?

Dan Grecu: Never. Not at all. I couldn’t do it, it was very complicated. In fact, the money was what the project itself, the fact that there was the opportunity to finance with European money led us to the idea of ​​developing a hotel in this place. Otherwise I would never have started, it was very complicated.

Cristina Cileacu : The show we are filming for is called “Europe. I’m fine, I’m fine “, in the idea that we want to introduce this idea, that we can only develop if we work together. What did the construction of this hotel, with European money, mean for the whole area, Transfăgărăşan and Vidraru Dam?

Dan Grecu: I really wanted to create this destination, to make the world aware of the potential that the area here has, in this case Transfăgărăşan and Lake Vidraru, and I insisted on making this hotel and I did it, as I said, with effort. The important thing was that at the time we started building the hotel, a lot of people (he said): if he builds a hotel there, it means that he knows something.

The celebrities are staying on Transfăgărășan

Cristina Cileacu : She has information, as they say.

Dan Grecu: Yes, he has information. And many began to build pensions. At this time, in this whole area downstream of the Vidraru Dam, I think that over 100 boarding houses have been built, another hotel has been built on the lake shore and some more structures in the mountain area have been developed, more has been invested. in the renovation and extension of some structures on Transfăgărăşan. Moreover, we in the hotel have developed all kinds of activities to promote the area. We also had Gerald Butler as a guest here, which created such a special aura for us …

Cristina Cileacu : And you had the ones from Top Gear, right?

Dan Grecu : And those from Top Gear and that’s how we got to promote Transfăgărăşan a lot, so there are weekends, during the summer, when practically in the alpine area, there, in Bâlea, the traffic is blocked, because they are a lot of people come there in the area.

The Romanian tourist must be taken to school

Manele sounds from a boat going to Lake Vidraru. It could be any melodic line, it is just as annoying to pollute nature’s tranquility. The boat that walks tourists on Lake Vidraru offers them, from the house, noise. We still have to learn that when we move to a new place, we are the ones who have to adapt to the conditions we find there. I mean, if we go to nature and it’s quiet, we don’t play music louder. If on their part the tourism managers are still developing, the citizens, as tourists, have to learn how to respect what is around them.

Cristina Cileacu : I mentioned those from the famous car show, Top Gear, who said when they were on Transfăgărăşan that it is the most beautiful road in the world. They visited many such roads. What can be done in the area and I think I would be more interested in answering the question: why do we all crowd, only in summer, buluc, as you say traffic is blocked, and we do not understand that a tourist destination can be touristy all year round?

Dan Grecu: Yes, unfortunately, we have a permanent struggle with everything that Transfăgărăşan means, we have some projects, I personally had a meeting with two Romanian prime ministers to whom I presented a re-evaluation of the projects made in the Ceausescu era by architects from epoch, in the 70s. They imagined an alpine resort in the Bâlea-Capra area and one of the prime ministers told me at one point that this could really be a country project, that is, it is about investments of over one billion, which could bring this area to any international competition. There are many opportunities, especially since we are in the middle of nature, so as you can see, the nearest location is about 8-9 km, in this case Vidraru Dam. So it’s in the middle of the woods. That gives a lot of peace of mind, except during this peak season, like August,

On the other hand, it is the potential that Lake Vidraru has, for leisure on the lake. We are in a big mistake, from my point of view, and that is what I am saying at the national level, at the political level. Unfortunately, it is about educating people, which has nothing to do with common sense and leaves an indescribable mess in this area and very often we go with our staff, at least in the surrounding area, which is not our property. , but because it is close to the hotel, it gives a bad grade.

“Spring is absolutely insane in the mountains”

There are many who come now, probably everyone has already become familiar with what bears mean in the forests of Romania, of course we are no exception and here are many and many feed these bears, which practically victimize them, he turns into a victim, because the bear, once he has eaten leftovers, will not eat anything else, he will not go to the forest and he may even starve to death. And in winter it descends into the villages, enters people’s households and causes all kinds of inconveniences.

So, here we have big problems with people’s education and a very big problem and now I am answering your question about the crowds that are made in the summer. Of course, everyone wants a vacation in the summer, which seems abnormal to me. Look at what is happening on the coast, the quality of services is declining, because this is also an objective factor. It’s normal, when there are a lot of people, the staff doesn’t cope anymore, moreover, everyone knows that we face a personnel problem everywhere, in everything that means the activity structures in Romania, but also in Europe. I have noticed that there is a labor crisis everywhere and as such, it creates artificial pressure for a very short period of time, which creates dissatisfaction for those who want to enjoy the holidays and at some point return. home more stressed than gone, which is not normal. And if we make a holiday staggering over the course of a year, man can enjoy the holiday at any time. At least in the spring, it’s absolutely insane in the mountains.

Transfăgărășan, abandoned by the authorities

Cristina Cileacu : We remember or maybe we don’t remember, but in this show we used an expression a few times that was used by a presenter of a famous car show, I mean Top Gear, because it is an international brand. There are those who said when they arrived on Transfăgărășan that it is the most beautiful road in the world. Why, in your opinion, does this beautiful road fail to look and be maintained as it deserves?

Ion Mînzînă, president of the Argeș County Council: It is a question to which, unfortunately, I did not find much answer, although governments of different colors have perished in the Romanian leadership. I do not understand and I will never understand, during the period when he was a minister of the same political color as me, I made countless trips, expressly asking him to try to discuss at EU level the rehabilitation of this very important road, leaving aside that old idea, strategically, and so on. However, the idea of ​​developing tourism in this area remains, it remains the idea that it is one of the busiest roads in Romania. At one point, of course, we witness all kinds of blockages, we talked before you that if we are through something spectacular in Argeș County we are spectacular and by the fact that every Saturday and Sunday this road is blocked.

You May Also Like

More From Author