The Bicaz Gorges and Red Lake
The Bicaz Gorge (Romanian: Cheile Bicazului) is a gorge in Romania, located in the north-east part of the country, in Neamţ and Harghita counties; it is part of the Cheile Bicazului-Hășmaș National Park.
The gorge was excised by the waters of Bicaz River and it serves as a passageway between the Romanian provinces of Moldova and Transylvania, the former border between Romania and the Kingdom of Hungary.
It is a noted location to see the wallcreeper, an uncommon cliff-dwelling bird.
The gorge is a protected area within the Hasmas – Bicaz Gorges National Park which has hundreds of plant species within its environs.
A number of these are rare, for example, there is a rare variety of Edelweiss, also the Yellow Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium) and the pyramid bugle. (Ajuga pyramidalis).
A few kilometers west, you cross into Transylvania’s Harghita County and immediately hit the resort of Lacu Rosu. The lake gets its famous mystique due to the strange forest of dead tree stumps that juts out of its murky waters at 45 degree angles. This oddness is due to numerous dead tree stumps which rise out of the waters of the lake at an angle of 45 degrees. Lying as it does, in a pretty valley surrounded by soaring peaks covered with pine forests, a resort with hotels, villas and stores has sprung up over the years to service the many visitors to the lake.
While this is considered to be one of Romania’s weirdest natural wonders, don’t get your expectations up too high or you’ll be disappointed. It’s just a cool sight and a nice place to picnic. Don’t drive way out of your way to get here. This attractive lake was formed naturally when a landslide in 1838 dammed the Bicaz River and created what is often considered to be one of Romania’s oddest natural wonders.
Legend has it that the ‘red lake’ or ‘killer lake’ was formed from the flowing blood of a group of hapless picnickers who had the misfortune to be sitting beneath the mountainside when it collapsed, crushing them to death. I’m not sure about the blood part, but a landslide did occur in 1838, which led to a natural damming of the Bicaz River, flooding the valley.