It has been two years since the 2019 RUF Gala, "Share Romania’s Beauty with the World" dedicated to Via Transilvanica project launched by Tasuleasa Social.
Dubbed the "road that unites", Via Transilvanica is the first long-distance hiking route in Romania, crossing 10 counties along more than 1400 km, linking Putna and Drobeta-Turnu Severin.
The route follows paths, dirt roads, some paved portions, generally suitable for hiking, cycling, or horse riding. The aim is, first, to reconfigure tourism in Romania, especially in rural areas, by promoting sustainable and responsible activities, and second, to bring to the fore countless remote communities, paving the way for their development in the field of hospitality.
In 2018, at the start of the project, Via Transilvanica had an anticipated length of 900 km that later turned into 1000 km, with a finalisation time of at least 10 years.
Today 1077 km are marked, documented and put into use in 8 of the 10 Romanian counties of Suceava, Bistrița-Năsăud, Mureș, Harghita, Brașov, Sibiu, Alba, Hunedoara, Caraș-Severin and Mehedinți and 4 launch events have already been organized for Mures, Harghita, Sibiu, and Caras-Severin.
Via Transilvanica could be the world's longest sculpture exhibition, stretching 1,400 km with 1,400 works of art in andesite.
Every year since the beginning of the project, andesite carving camps have been held on the Tășuleasa Social campus. A total of 150 sculptors, artists, or graduates of Art Universities, participated in the sculpture camps from 2018 to 2021 and each milestone was individualized by an original sculpture because they believe that a story can be built around each fixed milestone and the artistic element enriches the project. On top of this, they serve as moral support for the hiker to get from one milestone to the next, motivating his curiosity from one kilometer to the next.
For those of you that donated, here is how you can find the existing milestones.
Since the launch of the project, more and more hikers are adventuring on the trail estimated at about 4,000.
Any self-respecting tourist trail must have a Hiking Guide that contains information on necessary equipment, first aid measures, contact details in case of emergency, accommodation and meals, and a detailed description of the route, which is extremely useful for a safe hike.
Amongst those who walked the Via Transilvanica trail is also Christine Thuermer from Germany.
Christine devoted herself exclusively to long-distance hiking, biking, and paddling. With 53.000 kilometers on foot, 1.400 kilometers of them are those on Via Transilvnica that included the unmasked portions of the trail, she is probably the most hiked woman in the world.
Throughout the project, Via Transilvanica had the great honor to have wonderful people supporting and promoting the "road that unites". In addition to the main organizers are also its ambassadors: Marcel Iureș, Mircea Miclea, Mihaela Miroiu, Andreea Esca, Dragoș Bucurenci, Nicolae al României, Tibi Ușeriu, Toma Coconea, Horia Tecău, William Blacker, Charlie Ottley, Marius Manole, Amalia Enache and Pavel Bartoș.
Many activities and events have taken place along this road so far such as the Via Transilvanica Marathon where about 400 athletes participated.
Other events that are worth mentioning are outdoor photography exhibitions, a symposium of sculpture in andesite on Tasuleasa campus, the Christmas Truck (Tasuleasa Social project) went to several VT communities and in December 2019 and December 2020 about 30,000 gifts for children living on the VT trail were given, and we are sure such events will take place in the future.
Via Transilvanica is an ongoing project but in the summer of 2022, Tasuleasa Social aims to have the entire trail completed and there are still 350 kilometers left in Alba and Hunedoara counties.
You can still donate towards the completion of the hiking trail, your contribution empowers the freedom to hike across the country.
Alin Useriu, president of Tasuleasa Social, sends us an emotional message.
It's been two years since I was in Chicago with the Romanian community in the United States. At that time I took part in one of the most beautiful events in my personal life, but of course, also in our organizational life.
The 100 kilometers we have covered with you, in one evening, have given us courage and confidence, but also resources, so that today when I send this message, I can share with you that we have passed 1000 kilometers.
This project started on the 100th year anniversary of the proclamation of the reunification of the country, in Alba Iulia, in 2018. Thanks to the exemplary mobilization of people like those from the Romanian United Fund, in 2022 when it will be 100 years since the coronation of Queen Mary and King Ferdinand in Alba Iulia, we wish with all our hearts to put the crown on our beautiful country through this project.
We still have 350 km to go and we invite you to be part of this project because every kilometer we complete brings us closer to the completion of the road that unites!
We still tell stories about the evening in Chicago, it is still very vivid in my memory and ours, the Tasuleasa team. That I think says it all. I thank you kindly and I am glad to know you! From me and the whole team, we wish you happy holidays!"