Transfagarasan - best road in the world
The Transfagarasan was voted as the world’s best road by team Top Gear. It is a true spectacle for all who go there because the view is incredible.
Originally built as a military route, the Transfagarasan makes the connection between Transylvania and Muntenia. The road was built in the 70s in just five years, but at great cost: 40 people dead, 240 wounded. They were used 6,000 tons of dynamite to 90 kilometers of road.
The road climbs to 2,034 meters altitude, making it the 2nd highest mountain pass in Romania after Transalpina. The most spectacular route is from the North to South. It is a winding road, dotted with steep hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents. The Transfăgărășan is both an attraction and a challenge for hikers, cyclists, drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. Due to the topography, the average speed is around 40 km/h (24.8548 mph). The road also provides access to Bâlea Lake and Bâlea Waterfall.
The road is usually closed from late October until late June because of snow. Depending on the weather, it may remain open until as late as November. It may also be closed at other times, because of weather conditions (it occasionally snows even in August). There are signs at the town of Curtea de Argeș and the village of Cartisoara that provide information on the passage. Travellers can find food and lodging at several hotels or chalets (cabane) along the way.
Among the attractions along the southern section of the road, near the village of Arefu, is the Poienari fortress. The castle served as the residence of Vlad III the Impaler, the prince who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula character. There is a parking area and a path to the ruins.
The northern section is used for annual cycling competitions including the 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.
In September 2009 the cast and crew of the British television show Top Gear were seen filming along the road. The segment appeared in the first episode of Series 14 which first aired November 15, 2009. They were in the country on a grand tour with an Aston Martin DBS V12 Volante, a Ferrari California T and a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder. Host Jeremy Clarkson went on to declare Transfagarasan – best road in the world .