Just back from this amazing trip (1st September 2012 – 8 days)
The company and Guide;
I was so pleased that this was not a large company who would shift you around in packs from one destination to another, without having time to absorb the beauty that surrounds you.
Mircea (Mee-cha) is the guide and owner of the company, who devised the routes and itineraries. He has the ability to connect with people in a natural and uplifting way with such ease you forget he is the guide. This is also evident in the way he interacts with our hosts at accommodation stops or points of interest, who are always genuinely pleased to see him and clearly not just for the income.
He takes a very liberal and relaxed approach to the itinerary, which took some of us a day or two to get accustomed to. But once we observed how competent he was we didn’t have to think about any arrangements for the rest of the week. Though I believe he has put in an awful lot of hard work beforehand to create these amazing routes. It became total relaxation, with everything being prepared for us. Proper luxury for an old (older :) independent backpacker like me. We also had another guide Iulian, who came along to learn the route - again very helpful and looked after us all.
I opted for the Saxon Village/church tour. I had no previous interest in Saxons of the Transylvanian region nor churches. But I am interested in the history of communities and architecture and it was fascinating.
We cycled from village to village through some breathtaking scenery meeting some lovely people along the way. Villagers would come and say hello and be happy to have photographs taken as long as it was done respectfully with their permission.
Stopping off at fresh water wells to fill up and lazing in the shade before moving on in these old but well preserved villages and woodlands was sublime.
The bikes were of a high standard ( i had one of iulians new ones - very lucky, though it came complete with full saddle bags, not so lucky)
All of the accommodation was perfect, staying in old saxon houses, pensions and a horse farm. Each one was very clean and the beds were deceptively comfortable. Much appreciated after a long bike ride.
The hosts were great fun who provided very locally produced food to an unbelievable standard. You really could taste the difference.
The only let down was the brown dirty water at the horse farm, which the owner gave us a concerning disclaimer about. Maybe something the owner needs to address if he is to have paying guests staying. The water everywhere else was crystal clear.
I’m missing them already and have only been home four days – so that should speak volumes.
It seems from previous reviews that Meecha attracts similar kinds of people. People who enjoy fresh air, exercise and beautiful surroundings. But they are also respectful towards the local people and their homes, learning from their way of life. I also learnt so much from my fellow bikers. We were from Romania, Germany/Belgium, Peru, USA and England and enjoyed talking nonsense to more insightful discussions to outright, uncontrollable belly laughs. Age range for this particular group was early 20’s to 40’s.
I stayed on for another week after the tour visiting other parts of Transylvania and its cities/towns. The people continued to be so friendly and welcoming, which made it hard to leave.
So overall I cannot recommend this tour highly enough, but it all depends on what you are looking for.
I'm struggling to find negatives to offer a more balanced review. The only minor point would maybe to have option of a packed lunch from the host that particular day and pay the difference. Just a thought as it's a long day burning calories with no substantial meal during the day.
So as it stands I’m looking to book with Mercea again next year on one of his other tours, it was that good.
Thanks to Mercea and the group for making this such a special trip. Please feel free to contact me if I can help with any information.
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