Turda Gorge

Anna and her two sons, ages 13 and 10 tell of their most recent experience (real and imaginary) of Turda Gorge, a spectacular little canyon in Cluj County, Transylvania, Romania.

Turda Gorge

Anna, the Mom

Turda Gorge is a beautiful small canyon on Hășdate River, in Cluj County, Transylvania, Romania. It is approximately 3 km long (1,86 miles) with cliffs reaching heights of 300 m (984 ft). It is one of the main rock climbing sites in Romania.

Since we live quite close to this beautiful place we go whenever we can as an excuse to get out of the house and just enjoy a good hike in the shade of some really big cliffs, letting our imagination use the spectacular scenery to create new stories of what might have happened there.

Turda Gorge 

The hike is not very long, it takes us, a family of two adults and two children aged 13 and 10, about one hour and a half from the beginning to the end and then back again. In some parts the path gets a bit challenging as it might become rough with slippery, uneven rocks brought to the surface by years of rain erosion and people walking there. Sometimes it gets very slippery, very close to the river, but thankfully ropes made of steel have been pinned to the rock of the cliff next to the path to help the hikers get through safely. I would not recommend anyone going there when it is raining without proper hiking shoes as the slippery ledges become quite dangerous.

Slippery ledges above the river

The hike takes us on both sides of the river, alternatively, depending on where the trail becomes more accessible. From place to place there are bridges that lead you to the path. The hikers have only one way to go back and forth so from time to time we might need to stop to let a fellow coming from the other way to pass by. A lot of the trail is quite levelled without ascending or descending much, this might give the impression of an easy hike. In some places the river bank becomes accessible, we have seen younger kids playing in the water there.

The trail takes us over a bridge

On coming back from the hike almost always we treat ourselves with a meal eaten at one of the several outside restaurants that can be found in the area. We will have either mici (a Romanian kebab) or other grilled meats, tripe soup or other sort of soups (Romanians love to eat soup), salad, fries. When it is very hot we even get an ice cream for ourselves.

The treat at the end of the hike

There is a zip line connecting a hill in front of the gorge with the trail head. It is fun, we tried it once.

The zip line

I would definitely go again whenever I can for the whole experience, the hike at bottom of the cliffs, the fun meal at the end of the hike.

Turda Gorge is for me

Threatening cliffs towering over the hurrying little river at the bottom;
Groves of delightful shade where a tired traveler can rest for awhile;
The urge to look up when you should look down;
The peace in the meadow at the end of the cliffs;
The cracked block of rock seen from a distance.
Big cliffs 

Mihai, 13

On the 14 of July, my family and I, (along with my friend, Marius) went to Turda Gorge, a huge gorge in the Turda region, about half an hour away from our house.

A winding road to the gorge led down to a small hotel next to a restaurant, which was a few steps away from the trailhead.

The hotel next to the trailhead 

We were not interested in the restaurant nor the hotel, but made a beeline for the trailhead and soon got to the entrance to the gorge. Usually, you would have to pay a small fee to get into the gorge, but the toll booth was closed.

After some walking, we came to a rickety wooden bridge that took us to the other side, on which a spectacularly tall stone cliff was glaring down at us.

The boys crossing the bridge

Next to the cliff was a rock with some old boots protruding from under it. No, nobody got crushed by a falling boulder, but the park management thought that it would be a funny joke.

The boots 

A while later, we came to a slippery stone ledge, next to the cliff, that we had to use to keep going forward. Luckily, there was a convenient metal wire that you could hold on to for support, and nobody fell into the water that day. At least, we didn't see anyone falling in.

After walking on the ledge, a bridge took us to the other side, where we soon finished the trail.

We went back to the restaurant near the entrance to the trail, ate some mici and ice cream, and then went back home.

Turda Gorge is:

The rock with boots.
The rickety wooden bridge.
The gargantuan lobster lurking at the bottom of the river.
The dull roar of the river.
The sensation that the ledge might try and toss you into the river while you are crossing it.

I would go again to hike on the slippery stone ledge.

Paul, 10

The drive to Turda Gorge from our house took about 45 minutes.

Before we got into the car I went to my buddy Marius' house to ask him if he wanted to take part in this quest. The immediate answer from my noble comrade was of course, "yes!" After having his mom's permission, he came and we set off in our noble steed aka the car.

When we arrived at the trailhead we heard a damsel screaming, so we walked with all haste on the way to her.

We noticed how big the cliffs were...

On the way to saving the damsel in distress

We started running towards the screaming and we saw that the dragon that was tormenting the damsel had eaten her. On our way to save the damsel we had to pass a ledge that was very slippery so we had to hold onto a wire; then we arrived at the scene.

The slippery ledge today

The moment we saw this horrific sight of the damsel being eaten we fled back to our steed. Along the way to the dragon we had noticed somebody who was rock climbing but on our way back he had disappeared.

Can you see the rock climber?

When we arrived back to our steed we went to the gorge tavern and ate some chicken breast and an ice cream, then we went back to our castle aka house.

I would go again to actually save a damsel before the evil dragon eats her.

Turda George is for me:

The fear that a cliff will fall upon me;
The taste of meat straight from the grill,
The smell of mud on the path,
The colourful butterflies landing on flowers,
The dread of imagining myself falling off the path into the waters below.