A renowned Romanian violinist, Alexandru Tomescu, bought the old Caraiman hut in the Bucegi massif (Carpathian Mountains), restored it, and reopened it to the public.
Caraiman is amongst the most favorite huts of my childhood. My father had first led me here, up to this alpine hut clinging to the edge of the cliff at 2,025 m of altitude. I think we reached Caraiman then on the easy, high plateau trail from the Babele cable car. The strenuous 3-4 hour climb of Jepii Mici valley, a technical but spectacular summer trail, I did later, in my late teens.
I kept coming back to Caraiman afterwards - with college classmates, with my fiancée and later my wife, with friends.
At one point, few years ago, I arrived to Caraiman hut in the afternoon. I was hiking with my youngest son, as my fatherd did with me decades ago. It was a late, snowy November, and getting dark early. The hutkeeper - upset with me. He said to me: if I were not here, then what would you have done? Well, how could you not have been here? I replied. And then I found out the hut wasn't a hut anymore. Caraiman hut had been acquired by an Englishman. It was his private property, and removed it from the touristic field. The hutkeeper was no longer a hutkeeper, but the administrator of this private property. Nevertheless, he accommodated us then.
I came back to Caraiman several times since, only after prior negotiations. But the whole charm vanished. Built with much enthusiasm and great efforts in 1937-1938 by young, mountaineering high-school students from a top college of Bucharest, the old hut was spoiled by the new owner with some iron frames and concrete blocks, an uncompleted extension project. Hikers passed the hut without any interest because it was closed. The older ones looked at it with sadness, each perhaps recalling the wonderful times they had spent there.
Just when everything looked lost, there was some good news. Renowned violinist Alexandru Tomescu negotiated with the owner and, in October 2022, announced he had bought the hut. One might even say that Alexandru Tomescu has bought it back for the hikers, as he has undertaken renovations and made it available to the general public.
End of July 2023, just before he officially reopened it to the public, Alexandru Tomescu organized a concert of young gifted violinists and guitarists who gave a performance straight on the high-altitude plateau near the Caraiman hut.
4-DAY PRIVATE TOUR: On TRANSFAGARASAN Mountain Road to the HEART of TRANSYLVANIA