A Hike in Buscat

Anna and her sons write of their experience of Buscat Trail in the Apuseni Mountains, Romania.

A Hike in Buscat
Buscat landscape.

Anna, the Mom

Buscat is a mountain top in Apuseni mountains, near Cluj County, Romania. It is very close to Belișoara ski resort that is featuring several ski slopes and a chairlift.

On a very roomy plateau in Buscat. Blue mountain tops in the distance.

Hiking Buscat was easy compared to Scărița Belioara, but it was delightful. We loved this particular trail because although we did a good amount of walking, at a reasonable high altitude of around 5413 feet (around 1650 meters), the most of the walking was on an almost flat terrain with paths winding through vast swaths of wild blueberry plants and raspberry bushes. The weather was perfect, too. While down in the city of Cluj, the people were finding ways to deal with the high temperatures of the heat wave that hit all Europe this year, the few Celsius degrees drop in temperature on top of the mountain was a treat for us, a reward in itself.

Wild raspberries.

We rummaged unhindered in the landscape for blueberries and raspberries that were plenty and ripe at that time. The first time we went to Buscat, we went with a big group of friends from Cluj, which made the hike even more enjoyable.

Beauty all around. 

We were amazed that we have never been to Buscat before, while we lived not far from this area for most of our lives. I am reminded every so often that all one needs to do is go around their house and discover the hidden gems that are right there under their very noses.

We had to be careful not to mistake juniper fruit with the blueberries. :)

After our first time on this trail, we decided to come again, another time, on our own to devote ourselves to finding more juicy blueberries and raspberries. The wild ones taste different from the tame ones that you can find at the supermarket. It is the taste of fresh air and mountain beauty distilled in the smallest of berries. They are just incredible, I love them.

Wild blueberries. 

After we had our fill of blueberries, we decided to gather some to take home. What a tedious job that is. My father told me they have a special device they use in gathering such small berries that looks like a comb with a special bent edge at the back. I wished I had one, so many blueberries were just laying there untouched, so many of them.

We found some large boulders on the path from where we could take in the beauty of the landscape.

We planned going back many times afterwards, but we were prevented by rain. Up in the mountain, rain brings in colder than usual temperatures and is no fun. We promised ourselves that when good weather comes back, we will go again, even though we might not find berries again. The fresh air, the enjoyable hike with the ever present Apuseni mountain range in the distance, the silence of the evergreens towering over junipers and thick, pasture grass is the stuff we want to go back over and over again. I heard the landscape is magical in the winter, too.

My nephew looking at the jar of blueberries we managed to gather in Buscat.

Mihai, 15

Buscat is a mountain area in Romania with meadows, junipers, and LOTS of blueberries. We went to this wondrous area to pick and eat blueberries and to go on the trail.

Blueberry smile. :)

We parked the car at a small ski resort near the beginning of the trail, and from there, we started walking down the road, towards the mountains. A while later, we got to the first blueberry patch, which was just sitting on the side of the road. Nearby, we also saw a raspberry patch that we raided.


Soon, we arrived at the trailhead, and we started ascending the nearby hill. We ate blueberries from the patches near the trail, and eventually came to a signpost which points a way down a hill, but that is not the right way, as we had previously learned. Before learning this, we went in the direction the signpost showed and paid for it by wasting our time and having to go back.

Boulders scattered in the landscape with raspberry bushes growing around.

Later, we came to some boulders, which mark the (approximate) halfway point of the trail. The grass on top of the hill is very soft and perfect for sitting down and having a well-earned lunch.

Next, we continued walking down the hill and came to a marshy area. This place seems marshy because of the moss covering the ground, which absorbs water and is usually soaked. We came with our sneakers, and they got soggy rapidly.

Water break.

Buscat was:

The tree-covered mountains in the distance;
The abundant blueberry patches which grew everywhere;
The angular boulders sticking out of the ground.
The grasshoppers chirping in the tall grass;
The crunching of boots on dry leaves;
The rustling of fir trees in the wind.
The sweet aroma coming out of the kitchen on top of the mountain;
The fresh smell of pine sap.
The rough rock I sat on;
The spiky grass covering the fields.
The sweet raspberries in a meadow;
The overly spiced pork chop at the restaurant;
Trudging along slowly down the road leading to the car and collapsing into the car after getting to it.
Our first time in Buscat with friends. Was a hot day.

Paul, 11

My favorite thing to do in Buscat was to walk through the soggy, springy moss that pushed my feet upwards every time I stepped on it. The trail took us through marshy terrain. In this small marsh, my shoes got soaked, and my socks became wet. I thought I should have worn my hiking boots.

Down, in the lower part of the path, we walked on soggy grass for a while.

After walking through the marsh and hiking down a slope, we made it to the great raspberry fields, where we ate raspberries and blueberries. Vast quantities of both were there, and we stuffed our faces until we had purple lips. This brought a plan to my mind that I promptly executed. I smeared some blueberry juice on my face, and thus started the saga of the war paint. The juice stuck, and I could not take it off, so this is how the saga of sadness began.

Blueberry juice smeared face, second time when we went to Buscat.

Our group took a wrong turn that led onto a steep path. Me and one of my friends supposed that the path was carved by water because it was somewhat like a shallow trench. Halfway down the hill, the person with the GPS said that we were going the wrong way and that we had to go back up (facepalm).

I would go to Buscat again to collect as many berries as I can and then eat them all… maybe not all of them.

Buscat was for me:

The juicy blueberries' juice squeezing out on my teeth;
The soft moss bouncing under my feet;
The bright red raspberries glistening in the dew;
The dark storm clouds looming in the distance;
The rumble of thunder from afar.  
The gravel of the road crunching under my feet.
The sound of me slipping on a tree stump hidden in the grass.
The crunching of a sandwich in my mouth.
The smell of pine needles in the wood.
A rough stick in my hand I used as a walking stick.
A smooth rock that I had picked up from off the ground.