The last days in Vienna were stormy and the weather was awful. So this came through my mind: a Romanian tradition I forgot to keep this year which is choosing a “babă”. Every year in February, you choose a day between the first and the ninth of March. According to tradition, the day you have chosen is representative for the whole year. Let’s say the day is rainy, according to the same tradition, the whole year will be “rainy”, meaning you won’t have the best year. The opposite happens, if the day you have chosen is sunny. But what is the connection between this tradition and the Babele Complex?
The word “babă” in Romanian refers to an old woman or a hag. We also use it for the tradition described above. But there is a third reference also: a natural rock formation in the Bucegi mountains.
The tradition can be linked to another Romanian legend, the one of Dochia, an old and evil woman. Dochia made her daughter-in-law do all sorts of hard jobs. One day, one the first of March, Dochia sent her daughter-in-law to pick wild strawberries. So she wandered in the mountains until an old man (allegedly God) gave her some wild strawberries.
Seeing the fruits, Dochia decided to take her sheep up on the mountain, believing that the winter has already passed. And in the next nine days, she threw nine coats, one each day. But the weather changed and according to the legend, Dochia froze, together with her sheep and their ice figures transformed to stone, statues you can see today in the Bucegi Mountains.
Babele (the old women) is a rock platform formed at an altitude of 2,216 meters. The series of mushroom-shaped rock formations formed over time due to erosion from wind and rain. That is if you don’t believe the legend of Dochia to be true.
The Sphinx, part of the Babele complex, has 8 m height and a 12 m width and watched from a certain angle, resembles a human figure. There is also an interesting coincidence: the Sphinx head from Giza has the same hight as the one from the Babele platform. Some people went too far with the legend, saying the Sphinx in Egypt is only a copy of the Romanian one. Other say, aliens formed this unusual rock shapes. There are some scientists that claim, the rocks were modeled by the Dacians, the Romanian ancestors and regard the Sphinx and the Babele complex as a sacred place.
It is not that important to believe in the legends or in the possibility of predicting the future through tradition and weather. The rock platform is unique and offers the visitors an amazing view. One should visit this platform in the summer. You can take the iconic cable car or, for the more adventurous, you can hike. Either way, the Babele Complex should be on your bucket list!
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