Three weeks ago as I was on all fours going up the Slovenian mountains I confessed to Maciej, Sweetheart, if I tell you something do you promise to still love me?
I took a deep breath and finally said it. I don't enjoy hiking. Not like this. Not dragging 35 pounds on my back up sheer cliffs, sweating through all my clothes and not noticing the nature around me. I'm done. I can't do this anymore.
Ever since our first date I have been trying to keep up with Maciej and anyone who knows him knows that he is actually not 100% human. Underneath his skin is he is a real mountain goat and I've yet to meet anyone that is faster than he is.
So, we decided right there and then that he would summit the rest of the mountains on our trip...alone.
On Saturday we woke up at 6am and met 7 others at the train station and headed for the Bucegi mountains to summit the 2507 meter peak.
The hike took us through a pine forest, green valleys, streams, mountains and by real sheperds herding their sheep. It was breath-taking.
During the six hours, I somehow managed to keep up with the boys. All this time, I never realized what a great coach Maciej had been!
That night we got a room in the weather station on the peak, with three beds and a table. It actually resembled a prison cell but we got out our Mahjong set, taught everyone the game, had a great time and eventually fell asleep like pigs in a blanket.
The following day we took the cablecar down and headed for Peles Castle in Sinaia which was worth the trip. Its elaborate 19th century rooms all designed with themes from various European nations. The Castle was filled with all kinds of ingenuity most noteworthy the 1901 central vacuum system, electrical and automated sunroof, and full plumbing and heating -- an amazing place well ahead of its time.
On the train home we met Ben and Tess, fellow travelers who also lived in San Fran. We all went out to a late dinner and had yet another sleep-over with everyone at Jeremy's place.
It was great weekend and I've come to the realization that hiking to the peaks of mountains isn't that bad when Maciej carries all the weight. ;)