Romania
Municipiul Cluj-Napoca

Here you’ll find travel reports about Municipiul Cluj-Napoca. Discover travel destinations in Romania of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • Day193

    Roadtrip

    October 13, 2017 in Romania

    Shocking, I didn't want to get up. Only animals can make me rise... so I did. I got up.
    The hostel had free breakfast so we helped ourselves then walked to the car and got on the way. It was about a 40 minutes drive to the liBEARty bear sanctuary. (The bricks for bear people) we had trouble finding the entry because it was an illegitimate street but after passing straight by it the first time - we found it.
    It was 40 lei each to go on an English tour which was totally, 200% worth it.
    We had about a 20 minute wait before our tour started - a solid 30 people were waiting with us.
    Found out it also costs 55 lei to take photos which is an outrageous $16 but ONLY if you use a camera - not a phone wooohooooo!!!

    Knew i was going to be a loser and cry at some point because before we even entered I read one sign that said "it's not a zoo, it's a sanctuary so you may not see us but we finally have the chance to be free" and my eyes stung.

    Our guide could speak English quite well so that was a great start - he told us the rules then led us to a room to watch a 7 min video about the sanctuary
    Had stingy eyes during the doc too.
    It talked about the abuse of bears and how they were used for entertainment. The sanctuary opened up in 2005 inspired by Maya the bear who didn't make it. She was in such a bad state she self mutilated and ate her paws. She died in the founders arms.
    In 2007 the laws changed in Romania and a lot of bears were saved and taken away from entertainment pits in tourist areas.
    Romania has about 40% of all of Europes bears - apparently not because they are plentiful but because everywhere else has few.

    Ok so after the video we saw Maya's memorial and next to it a cage that one of the bears - Opi, lived in for 12 years.
    They have a variety of bears in the sanctuary... ones that have suffered true horrors like Opi and other that have been wild bears but started to go into human areas - one of the bears actually caught a train 😂😂😂😂😂😂 it had to be tranquilized and taken away from humans.
    Opi is rarely seen and chooses to feed when people arnt on tour.
    They only do 3 tours daily in the morning to make sure the animals arnt stressed.
    Others come close to the fence to eat during the tourists hours so they could be seen.

    The sanctuary currently has 98 bears - we saw 20!!! So an awesome amount.
    After bear 1 we saw bears 2, 3 & 4 - a mum with 2 cubs 😍 she was a wild one.
    Max the bear was who we saw next. Max is blind - he had needles poked through his eyes.
    He also had his teeth and claws removed.
    Humans all deserve to die, We are the worst.
    This was all done intentionally so that when people took photos with him it took an element of the danger away.
    He seems quite content now.

    Next we walked to a big big big big enclosure - can't remember how many hectares but a solid chunk - 5 more bears were near the fence feeding.
    Apparently in the wild there is only one bear every 20 square kilometers but because they are provided with enough food they live in peace (mostly)
    It's a real high tech place - they have cameras everywhere so they know if a bear is sick but also have a 24/7 live stream on YouTube.
    The organization has agreements with supermarket chains to give them the expired food to feed the bears. It still costs $50,000 a month to run everything.
    The bears were eating chicken and one was munching on a bread roll haha
    We walked past some deers who we learnt will never be bear food 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼lol
    I also saw my first ever wolf! So cool! They have 6 on the property - a zoo shut down and they had nowhere to go.

    We saw a few more enclosures - they have only have had 1 bear get pregnant in the park - normally they castrate the bears before they reach sexual maturity but this particular male reached it 2 years early so...

    She and her cubs were in a smaller enclosure to keep the cubs safe cause the other bears would attack them - the cubs will go back into the wild.

    We both actually had such a terrific time! A great great organization!

    We left feeling like time well spent and drove to sighisoara *
    It took 2 hours - it was a nice drive - full of more lunatics though. The side of the road is covered in memorials. I would have seen 35+ today. We saw so many near accidents it was frightening.

    The what I presume to be Romani settlements are so cool and just scream ROMANIA.

    A few cool castles on the way and when driving into sighisoara it too was an awesome sight.

    Vlad was born here and it was a halfway point so seemed a good time to stop for lunch.

    We didn't walk up the hill to the house (now resturant) but still could see it.

    Drive drive drive onto Cluj - romanias second biggest town. So far not impressed - granted I haven't seen anything but eh.
    Our hostel is nice though and we are the only ones in our room YAYAYA I CAN PICK A BOTTOM BUNK 👏🏼👏🏼

    Forget to mention Will did the most beautifully genuine laugh today and it was hilarious.
    It was his reaction to the speed camera the gps spent along time warning us about.
    It was completely rusted over.
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Municipiul Cluj-Napoca

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