It is the highest road in Romania and one of the most spectacular mountain passes in Carpathian Mountains. The road has its highest point at Urdele Pass, where the elevation is 2145m above sea level. It is closed during winter season due to access of snow. So before going there, check if the road is open.
There are two theories regarding when it was built. The first one claims that it has been built at the beginning of the 2nd century AD by Roman legions for their war campaigns. Later on it was supposed to be used to transport gold from nearby regions to Rome. The second theory says that it has been constructed during reign of King Carol II and that this is a reason why it is called “The King’s Road” (“Drumul Regelui”). No sources are sure though, which one is true.
The fact is, that during the war, due to bad shape, the road was renovated by German troops, again for military purposes. Because of that, it was not open for the public. Only few years ago (around 2007) some renovations started and most of it is now paved and in good shape. They might claim that the whole route is renovated but yeaaah.. not exactly. We had a couple of situations where the road just ended 😉
We had also couple of other unexpected obstacles – like many different animals just standing on the road. Imagine, you’re driving this spectacular road and the suddenly there is a horse standing on the curve 🙂 It was really entertaining.
The whole road was really nice, the views were amazing and it was a lot of fun just to drive. It is very curvy, so it is better to drive during the day – you can’t see anything in the night either way. In couple of places there were shopping stalls set up where you could buy some cheeses, hams and locally brewed alcohols (and they are sold in old coca-cola bottles xD ).