Located just 3km from Sebeş city in Alba County, on the road connecting the town with the Daia village, Râpa Roşie is a stunning landscape, in a geological reserve spreading over 10 hectares of land. The amazing stone walls you can see here are between 80 and 100 m tall. The deposits are formed as a succession of red clays, grey and reddish soap-stones, friable white soap-stone in which the drainage water eroded a rich variety of shapes that make this natural monument a landscape wonder. On the surface of the slopes the soil was washed away, revealing day by day new layers of clay, soap-stone and conglomerate layers.
These red columns, towers, pyramids, although they might look like a Hollywood set, or a landscape from another planet, are, in fact one of the wonders of the earth, and luckily enough, they grace Romania, attracting some tourists to Sebeş, but not enough.
Râpa Roşie is not a popular destinations, simply because it is not promoted as it should be. One way, this is a good thing: nature keeps its beauty untamed. But for the local tourist development, and economy, this landscape should be marketed as a tourist attraction.
At the foothills of the reddish stone walls, life goes on, undisturbed. Farmers work their land, and the animals find here a welcoming habitat. In the clay of the rocks, there are thousands of bird nests. You’ll even spot the usual reptiles crawling around, bugs and insects living together in perfect harmony. And when it rains, the watter streams running down the slopes gully the walls with a sinister noise.
The traveler is overwhelmed by the sights – somehow, although almost nothing grows on the rocks, there are enough rare and endangered species at the foothills: Cotoneaster integarrima, Ephedra distachya, Centaurea atropurpurea, Dianthus serotinus, Cephalaria radiata, Asplenium nigrum.
All images courtesy Râpa Roşie nature reserve. Please visit the website: http://www.rapa-rosie.ro for more information (in Romanian).