Even though it has a rather unpleasant sounding name, Ponorului Blind Pass is one of the most beautiful places in Romania. A shepherd called this place a much more beautiful name, God’s Palm. Those who love to get lost in nature from time to time so they can disconnect from technology and leave the urban rush behind, will find this place an oasis of peace and will fall in love with the fairy-tale landscape.
The place, situated in the Sureanu Mountains in the Gradistea Muncelului National Park, is a national reserve and one of the most attractive regions in Hunedoara County. Even though they don’t have a very impressive altitude, the Sureanu Mountains are endowed with gorgeous landscapes. This place is full of history as well, as one of the old Dacian fortresses, Sarmisegetuza Regia, is found in this area; the archaeological site and the ruins tell silently about the culture, lifestyle and habits of bygone people.
The beauty of this basin is enhanced by the rich and varied landscape, with rocks poking out from the hillsides and pine and deciduous forests perched on top of the taller hills. The river Ponor crosses the meadow and disappears in the mountains, opening the entrance to the caves Sura Mare and Sura Mica. The landscape is dotted by herds of sheep that spend the summer in this area.
There are several impressive sites within the Gradistea National Park that offer a unique experience to visitors, such as the Crivadiei Keys, the carstic complex Ponoraci-Cioclovina and the caves Tecuci, Sura Mare and Bolii.
To get to this wonderful place one needs to take the Hateg-Petrosani highway. After leaving the town of Ponor, the road turns to the left to the village Federi. From the village one can hike or ride a bicycle to Ponorului Blind Pass; the hike takes about two hours one way. The path goes uphill and an amazing landscape opens up as one ascends it towards God’s Palm.