Transfagarasan road 2011: Top Gear's best road in the world

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In recent years, the fame of the road crossing the Southern Carpathians from North to South through the Fagaras Massif has spread outside Romania: the Transfagarasan is always mentioned among the most scenic roads in the world.

The first to award it this title were the Top Gear team, who drove on this road in 2009. That year, the Transfagarasan road took the top spot as “the best road in the world”. It took 20 tonnes of dynamite to forge the path of the Transfagarasan, and now as it sits between Curtea de Arges and Cartisoara as the most majestic piece of road in the known world.

The road was built between 1970 and 1974, with army logistics support, the aim being to connect the historical provinces of Transylvania and Walachia on a previously inaccessible route. The construction has involved great sacrifice, and only Ceausescu’s immeasurable ambition made the task possible. The project’s cost to the country was high, especially that many lives were lost during its achievement.

Transfagarasan road

Because of the cold weather and the heavy snow that appears sometimes even in july, the Transfagarasan road opens on 1st of June and closes on 1st of November.

Along with Transalpina are two of the most incredible highways from Romania. A walk on one of this roads can offer you some unforgettable experiences through the Carpathians mountains.

Sights around Transfagarasan road

This spectacular route takes the traveller on a 92-kilometre journey through nature reserves, around a massive artificial lake, under waterfalls, through tunnels, to the top of the mountain, at an altitude of 2042 m, on the shore of the Balea glacial lake. The Transfagarasan road has 27 tunnels and Capra-Balea Lake (887 m) is the longest tunnel in Romania. Lying in the shadow of the Fagaras Mountains, Vidraru Dam can be seen on Transfagarasan road.

It is been said that during the process of building the tunnel, the people who were in charge with the explosive assembly were holding hands, making a line of 20-30 people, so that they wont be taken by storm and thrown into the abyss.