xBhp Rides the Best Road in the World : Mission Red Planet

July 8, 2012


It is amazing what just a show can do to a country’s tourism. In 2009, Top Gear aired an episode in which they take three supercars in search for the ‘World’s Best Driving Road’. The previous road, Stelvio Pass, was effectively trashed for the TransFagarasan as the new king of spectacular roads. The Stelvio was too ‘tight’ to get any serious driving pleasure, so instead they found another, an exotic and relatively unknown one, the Transfagarasan in Romania. In fact, even the Stelvio Pass was not famous before they went there.
However, it was lucky that this road was en route the Mission Red Planet roadtrip and the weather was looking good for the remaining three odd days in Romania.

Introduction to the Road

The road starts from the small village of Bascov (near town of Pitesi) and ends in Cârţişoara in Romania. In Google maps if you find directions between these two towns it will take you via Highway 7, the boring route. Pay attention and you will see a parallel and highly convoluted road running longitudinally – the DN7C. This, gentlemen, is the real deal – the TransFagarasan Road. 146 kms, out of which 90 kms is the stuff video games are made up of.

I approached the road from the southern end, from Pitesi. The road starts off as any other ‘normal’ road. Green, quite and narrow. Decent tarmac quality. Then it starts to build up. The turns start getting tighter, many of them decreasing radius. Then suddenly you take a turn and the landscape hits you. There you have a string of asphalt carelessly thrown over and middle of high mountains in the valley below. And then I remember what they said in Top Gear – it seems to be made up by stitching the best corners from all the race tracks of the world. And I seem to be agreeing with it.

One advantage of this road over the Stelvio was its remoteness and therefore the minimal traffic. When I went here were very vehicles, most notably a couple of people in a Citroen high end car who seemed to take photo in every corner. Obviously they were journalists like me, but it was highly unlikely they were going across ten countries…

Digging up the history of the road (pun intended), one can find that this road was built by the same man, the same dictator which I mentioned in my day before yesterday’s blog (Buchrester for a Day…)- Nicolae Ceaușescu in order to be ready to move armies and other stuff across the mountains in case of an invasion. This same man was responsible for so much sorrow as well. Funny and sad he didn’t get to ride a motorcycle and enjoy the very thing he created…

It will be utterly useless for me to try and do justice to this road by playing with words. I am a MotoGrapher and I will let my photos do the talking.

But before let, let me tell you that when Top Gear came to Transfagarasan, they missed seeing the TransAlpina Highways, which was literally next door since it wasn’t asphalted by then. But as my good luck would have it, that road was just finished in 2012. And it was waiting for me tomorrow…




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3 Responses to xBhp Rides the Best Road in the World : Mission Red Planet

  1. Bogdan Marcu on September 24, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    If you liked Transfagarasan, you will also love it’s siter, Transalpina You should try it someday.
    http://www.transalpina.biz/ or google it for pictures and movies.

  2. Cristian on September 24, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Simply Romania

  3. Mike Renz on September 24, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Great photography and spectacular geology.
    Far more interesting than a bunch of fat, drunk people on Hogs at Sturgis.

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