Travelling with kids (and babies)
5 months passed quickly and with a couple of warm holidays under the belt, we all felt brave enough to introduce the proper winter and the snow: Poiana Brasov with a baby! Mum, dad, friends and family back in Romania were delighted!
Bucharest was white when we landed. Friends travelling left us a flat, some others gave us a car and friends with kids arranged for a travel cot for the 10 days period – always appreciated to have such a warm welcome & support.
Bucharest is not particularly baby friendly in winter ; we organized few visits and play dates, but otherwise restaurants were at the time mostly still smoking ( I know, this is shocking for EU!) and outside when melting snow and mud are everywhere, it’s challenging and unpleasant to steer a bugaboo. So we stuck to a sling, car and baby car seat for most of the occasions.
We drove to Brasov lunch time aiming to catch the full 3 hours sleep of the baby. It went relatively well, we got to grandparents by 4pm, had a family lunch, hugs and fun and thereafter drove to Poiana.
In Poiana Brasov (or briefly just Poiana) we picked a new boutique hotel next to the ice ring, conveniently located 5 minutes from the slopes – Rizo. Their apart options were great to allow parents to ski and still be in 15 minutes reach should the grandparents need us, baby to sleep lunch time and evenings and nights in its cot, whilst parents were socializing in the living area. We had few friends over, sometimes went to the restaurant, sometimes we were just next door. Rizo boutique hotel had also some good food options, some traditional Romanian dishes and few decent oriental ones. The other guests were quite diverse, some Romanians, some Israelis, some Russians and other Eastern Europeans.
We haven’t been skiing in Poiana for many years, probably over 8 exactly. Friends marketed occasionally improved skilift infrastructure and no longer the queues that we grew up with (potentially up to 40 minutes for a 10 minutes descent). And whilst during the week we’ve seen some improvements, we haven’t been quite swept from our feet. The snow at the beginning was relatively decent but the winds somehow meant the cable car wasn’t working. The other days the spring decided to come and all of a sudden we had over 10 degrees, which meant skiing on a funny texture watery mud and artificial snow. But we did manage to catch two mornings and one afternoon skiing in 5 days, sipped some beers on sunny slopes and enjoyed the mountain smells and refreshing silence.
The baby enjoyed the grandmothers company, went for walks in the pram and laughed his head off of their silly tricks. We also started weaning him in London couple of days before we left, so for the trip we brought with us a freezer bag with lots of frozen homemade vegetables fish pots. It worked out very well, with fresh fruit grated and homemade little recipes with protein – all v convenient to carry around and feeling good about the baby diet even when travelling (the freezer bag lasts 20 hours at normal temperatures which was ok for short drives and was kept in the freezer from the minibar).
And of course no trip to Poiana is complete without a visit to Coliba haiducilor. And this is one charming place where we felt looked after baby taken into account. Service was prompt and they arranged for a nice table in a large non smoking area, food as usual delicious with the typical mulled wine and tuica flowing. We all left feeling happy full and light headed 🙂