The big trip of the weekend

The short trip from Saturday, which I mentioned in yesterdays post, was only the warm up for a big trip planned for Sunday. You see, Sunday was the 1st of May and this day is celebrated as the “Day of Work” here in Romania. And what is the best way to celebrate the “Day of Work”? To NOT work 🙂 . On May the 1st everyone usually goes out for picnics and relaxes for the entire day. Well, because “just relaxing” is not my thing, I proposed the following trip for the weekend:
The trip included visiting three places in a neighboring county (Salaj): The Garden of the Ogres which is next to the village of Galgau Almasului, the Botanical Garden of Jibou and last, but not least, a Roman fort called Porolissum.

Getting to the first target was real easy. We just followed the road from Cluj-Napoca towards Zalau (E81) and did a sharp left turn in the village of Sanmihaiu Almasului. From there on the road became slightly worse and in some cases I had to avoid some potholes. The traffic, however, was really low and so we got to Galgau Almasului in about 20 minutes after leaving the main road. To actually get to the Garden of the Ogres itself (which by the way is visible from the road already), one must go up on a short unpaved road which in some places looked like a Camel-Trophy stage, so do not try getting there in a Ferrari 😛 . Luckily we were going with a medium sized four-seater, which was completely suited for the job, so we have found ourselves in the parking lot in no time.

The second place, the Botanical Garden of Jibou, was famed to be better than the one here in Cluj (which is also supposedly very nice, but I haven’t been there for about 8 years 😛 ). Now, THIS I had to see: can it really be that cool? Jibou was also the target place to stop for lunch. We didn’t really know where, but luckily some people ARE working on May the 1st and so we have found a really neat place called Complexul turistic “ALEX”, which was open. The food was great, the personnel acceptable and it was really cheap compared to Cluj. After having lunch and spending some quality time in the botanical garden it was time to move on towards our final destination for the day (well,… the last one except home 🙂 ).

To get to our 3rd target we needed to follow one of the worst roads I have ever been on. It was a paved road leading from Jibou to Zalau, but it was full of potholes. I think we were lucky to get there in one piece. This time the site was not visible from the road, so you really need to know where you are going (I suggest using a GPS…). The only indicator directing visitors to the fort is almost at the site: the village of Moigrad (although on google maps it is presented with a much more expressive name: Moigrad-Porolissum). The final stretch of road leading up to the fort (yes, up, I was surprised too 🙂 ), is something which might need a separate post by itself (who knows, maybe there will be :P), so I will not get into details about that here. We went up. Period. In the end, however, the view and the site was really rewarding so it was worth it.

All in all it took us an entire day to visit all three places, basically starting off at around 10:30 AM and arriving back home at 9:00 PM. Apart from the light rain which reached us only at the 3rd site, we had a lovely day and have seen a lot of interesting places about which we haven’t heard of before. This lack of information, however, made me think: I HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT THESE. So, expect three new posts in the following days, in which I am going to give more details about the three places we visited 😉 .


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