Testimonial of Dragos Stoica

When nothing works and everything is upside down, you want to escape at least on weekends ….

Prahova valley would be too daring for me to try, for sure, and because of the long trip back, I would be late for work. Towards the mountain, it’s too far away. Fagaraş, Herculane, Felix, too. Where can I get up the mountain and ride a bike, without carrying it with my car, to sleep in the fresh air outside of Bucharest, the one polluted and overloaded by cars, with or without the EURO?

I hear something of Balotesti. Good! What can be in Balotesti on DN1? A pub, a tavern, a space where citizens with “claims”, tired of nannies, where they let the kids scream in a sand pit, calling this education.

Well,  I’m not talking about that. In Balotesti, a little further from the city asphalt, on Cantonului road, in the forest there is a piece of heaven…of eden, Edenland Park. Build in the forest, it captures you from the entrance, where you have to leave the noisy little car into a parking space in the field. In serenity and peace,  you walk on a paved alley which leads towards the heart of the forest, where you discover pleasant activities.

Whimsical by nature, with a lousy start of the day, I rotate between playing table tennis or ride a bike silently on the paved alleys, far away from the noise of Herastrau or other “oases” swamped by “loud people”.  I discover the climbing trees courses, a true network of suspended streets. I see instructors assisting from young children to young and older people, swinging on a zipline, or flying through the air on a anchored net .

I rush to a medium course, assisted by an instructor that explained me what and how to do … Dreamy!  There’s also a climbing wall. A little tired, I start the big exam on the climbing wall. It isn’t easy … after 40 years! I smile: like I am Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. It is true that there are some “small” differences. Let’s get over it.

After the impossible mission to climb the wall, I get off and discover archery, airsoft and paintball. Aaaah …. this is for me! I’m a fan since little, for Agent 007 films, from Sean Connery till today. I shoot with a bow and gun from all positions, then I throw myself in the paintball perimeter with a new team. In the camouflage rented outfits, I feel like Chuck Norris in Vietnam.

I get rid of the confrontation and arrive at the horse stables. I see kids riding ponies, escorted on the alleys in the forest. I meet with Gyuri, a white horse, that gave me a ride in the forest with such great experience: gallop in the forest, a team of 4-5 horses, walking and trotting through the woods accompanied by singing birds.

We came back to the stables and thanked for an amazing experience. In the nearby riding hall, the instructors are offering riding lessons. Only those who are advanced can go horseback riding in the woods.

Not far away,  I discover the rustic restaurant. After so much effort, the inviting smell is calling me to order all sorts of goodies. After I made my belly happy with some fish and  other ” wonderful preparations”, I get to the conclusion that the dry white wine closes a well deserved feast.

I feelt like on vacation, but it’s not. I’m with my, car which I have to leave here. The tree houses are the answer: a night in the forest without mosquitoes and other flying insects.

The treee houses have a reed roof and are 2-3 meters above the ground. I feel broken down by all the good and I check-in in a tree house. I woke up in the morning feeling invigorated. I ate breakfast and arrived in Bucharest in 30 minutes.

Bottom line? I had an awesome day and night …