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TEXT: Jirka Hovorka
FOTO: Hanka Hroudová

The idea to go on a trip to Banat was actually born by accident.

Jirka got a call from a friend who said she was looking for someone to help her bring her car from Bratislava. And since Natasha lives in Rovensko, one of the most beautiful Czech villages in Romania, more of us decided to go.
There wasn’t much time for the whole event. But we had a really unusual long weekend and we were actually quite surprised what we could do in a few days. We left on Thursday evening, and we split into two groups because one of the cars was going to stay in Banat.

We arrived early Friday morning. Rovensko is situated high in the hills and a rutted road full of holes leads to it. Already when you arrive, you have the feeling that you are going to a place where foxes say goodnight. The village hung in darkness and the roads were covered with a thin layer of snow. Cold.

Fortunately, a heated cottage was waiting for us. In spite of the early hour, Mrs. Pražáková came to greet us and, expecting our arrival, kept the stove, which was in every room of the house, burning long into the night. It was up to us to provide further heating. We were a little surprised to hear that the wood was with the ostrich. And it was. In the pen, along with the nicely stacked chopped wood, was this exotic creature, a descendant of the dinosaurs, which we eventually chased around the yard when it escaped while trying to gather wood.

After dawn we went for a walk around Rovensko. Thanks to the high position of the village, we mainly looked around the other hills, which were covered with white frostbite. We took a lot of pictures because everything was so picturesque. The low colourful houses and the ruined canvas fences.

In the evening we prepared food on the fire. The wind was blowing quite a bit, but we stayed cold long enough by the fire and then had a good meal.

The next day we had the main points of the program. First we went to do urbex. The journey there was already quite an experience. We drove on a road that was so fresh it wasn’t even marked on the map yet. It lacked asphalt and went through Romanian villages where everyone seemed surprised that anyone was even going there. We drove down into the valley and pretty much all the way along the Danube.

Our Urbex target was a closed copper mine. We first toured the building immediately adjacent to the mining tower. There was rubble on the floor and sheets of forgotten forms. We made coffee a short walk from the mining pit. The most challenging part was getting to the top of the mining tower. The boys worked up quite a sweat pulling the trolley up to about the 12th floor. The staircase was quite narrow, had no handrail and the wind was blowing through it from all sides at the top. 

Afterwards, transfer to the spa town of Baile Herculane. We wanted to take a dip in the thermal outdoor baths. In the hotter bath, which is about 50 °C and slightly more accessible for wheelchair users, but it was crowded. However, we all managed to transport ourselves to another, slightly cooler (about 36 °C), and stayed in it for a couple of hours. We drank and, in truth, smoked quite a lot too. As one of the members of the expedition remarked, we behaved quite Hedonic. Our last night at the cottage was waiting for us. Again good food and drink, playing musical instruments and singing. And then it was just a long drive home.

We enjoyed the trip so much that we decided to make regular trips to Banat! In every season the Banat offers a lot of nice trips and experiences. Maybe next time you can come with us!