A Hidden Garden

As I have mentioned in yesterday’s post I am going to describe all three places we have visited last weekend in more detail. The first place we have visited is called The Garden of the Ogres and indeed I think this is the best name one could give for a place such as this one. The Romanian name is a bit odd “Gradina Zmeilor” (a close match would be “Garden of the Dragons”), but someone came up I guess with this more expressive English name, which I like better, so I am going to use that in my descriptions.
Garden of the Ogres
I have already described the details about how we got to the place in yesterday’s post, so I will skip that here. I’ll just start from the parking lot: the parking lot is actually a small fenced area covered with grass where people can leave there cars. There is no entry fee, no parking fee… just grass 🙂 . From then on one can easily spot the trail leading into the garden. This trail does a circle in the garden, so the only dilemma on how to organize the visit is which road to take: clockwise or counterclockwise. I suggest the counterclockwise option, it is more impressive to have an astonishing glimpse of the entire “ogre” group first and then move on to see the details.

The route itself is quite easy, but for the ones having a spirit of adventure it is always easy to spot narrow routes to climb up the cliffs and get ahead of the group who lazily follows the trail leading up to the “grand view-point” from where the entire garden can be seen. The view is indeed rewarding (no matter which route you take). I have never seen rock formations such as this before and they really provided a surprising view to say the least. Yes, this is the grand photo-shoot place: take photos of the entire view, zoom in on things, spot interesting curves… go ahead, have fun, find the perfect composition for your Picasa album ;).

After satisfying the joyful photographer from inside, it is time to move on following the ridge of the cliffs among the woods. There are small “balconys” to satisfy the little photographer from inside, so no worries, the photos will get better and better 🙂 . During this short walk along the ridge there are ample possibilities to watch the formations from every angle and admire their beauty. As one gets along and starts to get to the edge of the garden and realizes that the distance to the bottom of the cliffs is still above 6-7 meters, a little voice starts to get louder and louder in ones head: how am I going to go down from here? 😀

At the very edge of the garden, still on the ridge of the cliffs, the answer to the annoying voice inside will emerge. I can’t say it will be a pleasant answer, but it will be there: a steep descent into the bottom of the cliffs. Luckily there are some improvised railings which help. I am not saying that it is a deadly descent, but don’t go there in high heels, they are just… inadequate 😛 .

Once arrived down to the ground, the route allows the excited visitor to get closer to the formations and take some more photos, now concentrating on details (yes, it’s time for macros too). Among being able to read the actual names of each formation, there is a possibility to try to go trough the tight cracks among them which is kindof cool 🙂 . Also do not miss the cave and the small swampy area below the ridge.

Although the area is somewhat adapted for the occasional excursionist, the place offers some challenges for the more spirited individuals. This makes the place really attractive for a broad range of visitor-types. The arrangements also include things like waste-baskets which allow visitors to keep the place clean without throwing away that annoying chips-bag or juice bottle in the woods (nice touch 😉 ) . It took us around an hour to do the trip in the garden and it was worth every second of it, so I recommend it to anyone who has the chance and time to visit it.

And because there was a little photographer also inside of me, I have also made some photos, which can be seen on my Picasa acount.

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