About the region

Pension Alunul is on Hell’s Valley, in Remeti village, 18 km from E60 road.

You enter on the Hell’s Valley on the water gate carved between the massive Bihor and Philanderer Forest mountains, or you could come down straight from the sky. The universe narrows, the high lays almost on your shoulders, so that you can feel all the weight of existence, and the communication with the divine is done face to face, without any intermediary. The mountains cathedrals approaching, close the horizon and the sweet heavenly light surrounds you. After that comes another opening, another closure, such that you think you’re in a text of Noica, an embossed text, which briefs the talc of being and becoming.

Bulz commune is situated on the eastern part of Bihor county, at a distance of 75 km from Oradea (Bulz – center), at 37 km from Alesd, same county, and at 88 km from the city Cluj-Napoca. In the commune are the villages Bulz, Remeti and Munteni. At these must be added the holiday village Remeti – Tail Lake, located at about 14 km from Remeti village.The distance to the commune residence (Bulz), varies between 3 km (Munteni) and 12 km (Remeti). The commune is connected to the county by the county road Remeti – Bucea, and then, by the national road (E60) Bucea – Oradea. On the railroad, the connection with Oradea and Cluj-Napoca centers is made through the halt Stana de Vale (before 1948, Hell’s Valley, or, in the local denomination – Hell’s Mouth) and Bulz train station, located at about 3 km far from the center of the commune. Other access roads are: Beius – Stana de Vale – Remeti – Munteni – Bulz – Bucea and Poieni – Dragan Valley – Dragan Dam (Floroiu) – Remeti.

The commune area, of 119 km2, is delimited by the parallels 46°46′ and 46°55’, north latitude, and the meridians 22°37’ and 22°46’, eastern longitude. The commune perimeter is composed from 460 hectares – arable land, 2915 hectares – natural hayfield, 510 hectares – natural grassland, 9939 hectares – non-agricultural land (forests, water courses, roads, swamps, etc.) etc..

Grove type commune, Bulz is an area scatered on the soothe slopes and meadows of Bihor Mountains and Philanderer Forest Mountains, on the right and the left of Hell’s Valley. Thereby, the three belonging villages are totaling over 40 hamlets, some extremely old, grouped, in general, around a mother-family; in Bulz: Rastoaca, Pustam Hell’s Mouth, Bulz – Lunca, Hartoape, Cornet, Dosul Ianosii(Inete), Sanzasti, Pe Picior, Fata Ianosii, Panita, Tomnatec, Gligesti, Vesii’s Valley; in Munteni(Saracel): Fanesti, Dealul Notarasului, Onutesti, Magurice, Bitilesti, Petrutesti, Talancesti, Dealul Saracului, Botesti, Pridonesti, Micau, Valea Curii, Sacaturi, Dragus, Munteni-Lunca; in Remeti: Sturzesti, Vacaresti, Matesti, Fata Arsa, Zambru, Costesti, Porumbreu, Scaioase, Fruntinesti, Boncesti, Popesti, Netede, Corni, Izvor, Daica, Pe Lunca, Poiana(Tail Lake), Remeti-Lunca, etc.

Commune neighbors are: to E – Cluj County; to S – Budureasa; to SW – Curatele commune; to W and NW – Bratca commune.

The localities of Bulz’s commune are located, for the most part, on the slopes of Bihor Mountains and Philanderer’s Forest Mountains, separated by the river Hell’s Valley, whose meadow has an opening (width) up to 300 meters. A small part of Bulz village (hamlet Pusta and Rastoaca) is located on the riverside of Crisul Repede (about 3 km).

The relief structure is varied, with touches of the “wild” and “fantasy” of nature, meadows, alternating hills and mountains, almost like in the drawling rythm of the people from the mountain, which makes the soil to be poor, largely barren, covered with forests and hayfields, this, first of, because of the altitude, but also because of the petrographic structure and climatic conditions. Deep and narrow in the superior course, the Hell’s Valley acquires, in this area, the looks of a narrow path (Remeti Keys).

So, the relief of the commune is mountainous, with heights between 340 meters, at the confluence of Hell’s Valley with Crisul Repede, and 1471 meters, in the Peak Piatra Seniului.

Bihor Mountains, to the right of Hell’s Valley (from upstream to downstream), are characterized by associating the leveled surfaces, embossed by wide interfluves, flat, with ridge lines showing small level differences. These areas were, from ancient times, favorable places for scattered settlements, type grove, but also for practicing pastoral agriculture. Also, petrographic composition and the structure imposed their personality in the landscape. The crystal-like mezozonal and epizonal configurations, for example, printed in the relief a massive aspect, with wide interfluves and gentle slopes, in their upper half, as the magmatics sign up through cumbersome and massive forms (Massive Carligate).

The sedimentary rocks are manifesting, differently, according to their petrographic particularities. Thus, we distinguish a group of rocks composed of conglomerates, sandstones, marl and clay, and a second one – represented by limestone and dolomite, which contribute at the realisation of the well known karst relief. Where the structure is not manifesting in the relief features, the first group of rocks joins with flat surfaces, widely curved, sometmes with prominences. The karst rocks, due to their specific properties, have conditioned the appearance of the limestone plateau Fountain Boti – Rugut’s Hill, on the left of the Hell’s Valley, or the strong vertical deepening, fencing the valleys in wild keys, which often hide active caves (from which surface waters come out).

Situated between the Depression Vad-Borod and Depression of Beius country, the Philanderer’s Forest Mountains have low altitudes, being characterized, especially, by numerous plateaus and, due to the presence of limestone, with a high percentage of sinkholes, potholes and ditches.

The surface hydrographic network is disorganized, however, the underground being more developed. As a result of this, there is to note, among other things, the formation of some caves or the appearance of some impressive keys.

Due to the low altitude of the surrounding mountains, also because of the slopes and scarps, generally, gentle, of the numerous plateaus, in the local language, the most often occurs, the concept of hill and knoll for most of the ridges: Wolf’s Hill (991 meters), Michael’s Hill (900 meters), Hill Inete (799 meters), Codoban’s Knoll, etc., and for peaks – the one of taclu (taclul Salhijului). The most important peaks located on the territory of Bulz commune are: in South: Muncelasu(1415 meters), Philanderer’s Forest (1463 meters), Piatra Senului (1471 meters), Stana de Izvor (1339 meters), Runcu Caprei (1468 meters), Molivisu (1417 meters); to North, on the Hell – Dragan interfluve: Rotundu(1040 meters), Scoroset (1158 meters), Dealu Mare (1075 meters), Ferice(le), Pin; from South to North, on the interfluves between the tributaries of Hell’s Valley: Seniul Mare (1076 meters), Salhij, Dealul Lupului (991 meters), Dealul Mihaiului (900 meters), Salatruc, Mogos, Zambru, Porumbreu, Dragus, Pobraz, Dealul Notarasului (783 meters), Inete (799 meters); in the inferior basin of Hell’s Valley, the altitudes drop between 650 and 600 meters: Micau, Poor’s Hill, Tomnatex, Pe Picior, Ples, Cearnau, etc. From the massif Philanderer’s Forest (on the left side of Hell’s Valley), the most representative heights are: Dealul Beiusele (1003 meters), Hodrangusa (1027 meters), Piatra Dacii (975 meters), Fata Movilelor (958 meters), Fata Arsa, Coastea Fruntii( 950 meters), Dealul Ponorului (975), etc.

Karst topography is represented by caverns, sinkholes, potholes (Devil’s Mouth, Hartoape), dens, sinkholes and caves, Hell’s Valley basin being, with about 300 such formations, one of the richest in the country. Among the most important caves, we can mention: The Water Cave from Bulz (at 336 meters altitude, on the left bank of Hell’s Valley, at the foot of a steep over 200 meters high), accessible only to speleologists; The cave from Lesu’s Valley, populated by cave beetles, being present also cave bear fossils (Ursus speleus); Small Cave, Shepherd’s Cave, Ciuhandrului’s Cave – with a unique climate, of a particular scientific importance; The Cave on Spring’s Valley, discovered during the construction of the supply channel Hell – Dragan, is apparently, extremely interesting, but it wasn’t included in the tourist circuit, etc.

The geological structure and the topography aspects determines also the variety of riches of soil and subsoil, highlighting numerous resources for the area development. Bauxite deposits, especially from the Philanderer’s Forest Mountains, appear as lenses in the sinkholes of an ancient relief modeled on the  massive limestone, exploiting it in Remeti (at the points Daica, Corni, Stravinoasa, Spring, etc.), taking the road Dobresti, Chistag, then Oradea. A vein of white clay, discovered on the direction Remeti (Fata Arsa) – Damis – Ponoare awaits its investors. Also appear large reserves of compact limestone, used, to a limited extent, today as in the past, to produce lime(chalk).

The pretty fast waters, which descend from the western slopes of the Bihor Mountains, but also Hell’s Valley, bring large amounts of gravel and sand, which are deposited in the lower areas of the rivers, these constituting an important construction material.

But, the most important soil resources remain, in the area, forests, natural hayfields and meadows, which occupy about 70% of the commune surface, and water, used for different purposes of large and small industries (dams, mills, sawmils, trout farms, etc.).

Crisul repede crosses the Bulz commune on a distance of 3-4 km, from Bucea (Cluj county) up to the border with the village Lorau (Bratca commune), collecting the entire hydrographic network from the territory of the commune, represented by the major tributaries networks (Hell’s Valley and Village’s Valley, the latter in Bulz-Pusta).

Hell’s Valley is the most important tributary of Crisul Repede, in which flows, at an altitude of 340 meters, near the CFR Halt Stana de Vale (formerly Hell’s Mouth), after a journey of about 52 km. The river flows from the Bihor Mountains, from the western foothills of the Peak Glade (1627 meters), near the resort Stana de Vale, adding, in a first step, the Wonder Spring, the Bubbling Fountain, the Fountain of Peace, Spring of the Prophet, the Spring Narcisse and Spring Hermit, collecting then, along the waters of numerous creeks: Carligate, Runc’s Valley, Ciungi, Gugii’s Valley, Horse’s Valleys, Wolf’s Valley, Salatruc, Stravinoasa, Spring Valley, Mill Creek (Creek’s Bilaviz), Disor (Valley Church ), Toplita, Wolf Creek, Dumi Valley, Valley Court, Sărăcelului Valley, Valley Mihaiesii, para Tocilelor (Toptitelor?) on the right, and on the left: Iedutu, Murgasu, Parauta, the Valley with the Way, Hodrangusa, Lesu’s Valley, Causului Valley, The Bad Valley, Lungii Valley, Fatii Valley, Red Creek.

Hell’s Valley, in the years 1970-2000, was subjected to a hydrological planning process, which led to the construction of several dams of accumulation and regularization of the water course. Thus, the accumulation lakes appeared in Lesu (upstream of the confluence of Lesu’s Valley with the River Hell, about 28 million cubic meters of water), from Munteni and Bulz, but also from Carligate, Sipote and Spring Valley, tied by the power plants in the area through multiple adduction channels and tunnels (Hell – Dragan, from the point Cârligate, Dragan – Church’s Valley, Spring – Church’s Valley, Church’s Valley – Munteni, Munteni – Bulz, etc.). Hell’s Valley hydrographic basin is filled by numerous temporary streams – supraphreatic waters – whose appearance and dynamic are depending on the weather conditions, when it rains excessively or when snow suddenly melts.

Because of their scientific and landscape interest (flora, fauna and the constant temperature of 4°-5°C) should be recalled the Lake Toplita (about 500 square meters) from Remeţi, a vauclusian spring, with freshwater, which does not freeze at negative atmospheric temperatures.

The climate of Bulz commune is typical for the mountain side, cold and wet. The gradual increase in altitude from Hell’s Mouth to Stana de Vale, leads to a decrease in the temperature and air pressure, and an increase in precipitations, cloud cover, humidity and wind speed. The average annual temperature varies, between 4° and 7°, the maximum in summer hovering between 30° and 33°, and the winter lows  between  -20° and -22°. The lowest temperatures were recorded at Stana de Vale, -30.4° in January 1942, and -28.9°, 31 January 1987. The peaks can reach up to 33° (at Stana de Vale, 29.6°, July 1987). Hoar may occur in all months of the year, excepting the summer ones. Most commonly, it falls in September. The earliest fall frost was recorded at Stana de Vale (August 7, 1987) and the last spring frost – same location (20 July).

Atmospheric humidity is around 80%, and the precipitations reach 1400 mm per year (at Stana de Vale, on the western slope, is accumulated a record annual average amount for Romania, of 1668,2 mm). Sometimes, during the summer, the clouds unleash heavy rains (at Stana de Vale, May 20, 1940, the maximum amount fallen in 24 hours reached 94,4 mm). In average, yarly, the number of days with rainfall may reach 170 (Stana de Vale is known as “the pole of rains in Romania”, where the rainfall can reach 217 days), of which the snowfalls are around 70-80. Snow remains on the ground between 40 and 80 days. At Stana de Vale, in percentage, in four seasons, the precipitations fall like this: winter – 23,3%; spring – 24,9%; summer – 29,3%; fall – 22,5%. Here, the snow can be maintained at the ground sometimes even 136 days, due, in particular, to the thickness of the layer (194 cm, in January 1987; 310 cm, in January 2000). Hail falls are recorded, on average, to 4-5 days per year. On the high peaks, the highest frequency it has the west and southwest wind.

The specific soils for Bulz commune, according to Romania’s geographical monography, are the brown mountain forest soil and the podsol, and acid brown mountain forest soil, in varying degrees of podsol. On the high peaks, alpine meadow soils occur, characterized by the predominance of rainfall, which makes that the pedogenetical processes to take place in a relatively limited time.

Vegetations under which they are formed are made up of primary and secondary grasslands dominated by Agrostis rupestris, Festuca suspina and Nardus stricta, sometimes alternating with bushes of Pinus montana. In general, the profile of these soils is thin, with a high content of humic meterial, formed from fulvic and humic acids, which gives them a high degree of acidity. The forest domain soils are formed predominantly on acidic rocks, crystalline schists or sandstones and conglomerates  disposed in islands and in the occupied areas of forest (hardwood and softwood, from 400 meters altitude).

Mountain brown acid soil is prevalent in high mountain area, under the spruce forests, under a humid climate, cool and with excessive natural drainage. The presence of less inclined slopes and areas with poor drainage conditions conditions the appearance of podsol processes, that lead to the formation of acid brown podsol soil.

Mountain brown forest soils occur in areas occupied by beech forests, beech-timber  mixed forests, spruce forests, etc., there where the petrographic layer is represented by various rocks and limestone base, which limits the development of podsol processes.

Brown forest soils occupy the largest surfaces, hovering in the forests of mixed deciduous beech, up to an altitude of 700 meters. They develop on a parental material that is rich in basic components, and the climate conditions are milder.

An intra-zone soil type, rendzinas, it occupies fairly significant areas, especially in Philanderer’s Forest Mountains, being conditioned by the presence of Mesozoic limestones. Rendzinas can be met in the conditions of the rough terrain, occupying the interfluves areas, linked to humid conditions of the forest areas and the existence of beech forest areas and beech forest mixed with conifers.

Meadow soils contain river deposits and alluvial soils, representing the actual agricultural area along the Hell river and its tributaries.

Flora and fauna of the Hell’s Valley are extremely diverse and rich. Vegetation associations are arranged in a vertical zonality, thanks to the relief in steps, climate influence, slope orientation, etc.

The subalpine floor can be found on restricted areas, especially in the massive Carligate and surroundings. Due to the harsh conditions, here are growing meadows dominated by rocks grass  (Agrostis rupestris) and taposica (Nardus stricta), mixed with smooth-stalked meadowgrass (Poa alpina), variegated fescue (Festuca violacea) parusca (Festuca sigh), bear’s dill or mountain parsley (Lingusticum mutellina), bell (Campanula napuligera), but also mountain alder (Alder virilis), mountain pine (Pinus Muga, Pinus montana), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), Gentian (Gentiana punctata ), dwarf juniper (Juniperus sibirica), etc.

Fauna, on this floor, is represented quite weak, especially through rodents, reptiles – common viper (Vipera berus), mountain lizard (Lacerta vivipara), gastropods – Mastus venerabilis, Campylea faustina sativa – and birds – mountain bud ( spinoletta spinoletta Anthus), stone butterfly (Tichodroma muraria muraria), extremely low presence of the chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), etc.

Conifers floor, at over 900-1000 meters elevation, is dominated by spruce (Picea excelsa), to which is added the fir (Abies alba), and the mountain maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia) and at the groundfloor forest – blueberries, green muscles, cranberry, blackberry, raspberries, etc. Grasslands that are formed in clearings display an abundant mesophilic grassy vegetation, dominated by red fescue (Festuca rubra) and taposica. This floor is dominant on the massifs between Stana de Vale and the Great Hill.

From here, until below the dam Lesu, on the sunniest places of ridges (Horse’s Valleys, Stana de Runc, etc.) and, especially, on the hights  of Philanderer’s Forest Mountains, where the climate is milder, occure the resin forests in mixture with beech. Wood species forming mixed stands are beech (Fagus sylvatica), spruce and fir.

Bush layer is, here too, underdeveloped. We find the hazel (Corylus Avellana), hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Carpathian lilac – lilac, wind wood, calin (Syringa josikaea) – glacial element, endemic species, in just a few groves, and then mountain marigolds (Trollius europaeus) – protected plant, etc.

Floor phage itself dominate the lower course of Hell’s Valley, especially Philanderer’s Forest Mountains, but also the lower peaks and gentle of Bihor Mountains. Characteristic for this floor is the predominance of pure beech forests. If the top of the area occur, in small quantities, spruce and fir, at the bottom, as insignificant, appear hornbeam (Caupinus betulus), ash (Fraxinus excelsior), elm (Ulmus campestris), oak (Quercus petraea), etc. Shrub layer is, usually, poorly developed – in beech forests. They can be found, more often, hazel, corn (Cornus mas), hawthorn, wild rose, etc.

Meadows from forests places or glades constitute most precious hayfields and meadows in the forest area (Spring Valley-Brusturoasa, Seniului Valley, Porumbreu, Salhij, Sipote, etc.). In their composition is prevailing the wind grass (Agrostis Temis), peptanarita (Cynosurus cristatus), tremuratoarea (Briza media), orchards fescue (Festuca pratensis), ovasciorul mountain (Arrhenatherum elatius), Feverfew (Chrysanthemum leucantheum), pimpernel (Pimpinella Saxifraga), bells (Campanula patula), various species of clover, etc. In very few wetlands (swamps) can be found a poor vegetation – reed, rush, bulrush, sedge, etc.

Forest fauna is meaningful especially through the presence of important forms of cynegetics. Mammals such as deer (Cervus elaphus carpathicus), bear (Ursus arctos), lynx (Lynx lynx) are quite rare, like the black goat, though. In limestone regions appears the stone marten (Martes foina) and in deciduous forests – collared mouse (Apodemus tauricus), squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris fuscoater), wolf (Canis lupus), marten (Martes martes), wild boar (Sus scrofa), deer (Capreolul capreolus), hare (Lepus europaeus), fox (Vulpes vulpes), etc. The bison, it seems, represented, sometime in the past, the glory of this places. Also included are numerous birds: capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), hazel (Tetrastes Bonaria), eagle owl (Bubo Bubo), raven (Corvus corax), blackbird (Turdus merula), hawk, etc., and more recently, the accumulation  lakes are visited by wild ducks. Also recently, is recorded the appearance of storks. The caves are inhabited by bats.

In Hell’s Valley waters, and in most tributaries, arise the indigenous trout (Salmo trutta fario), the rainbow trout (Salmo irideus), the grayling (Thymallus thymallus), the mountain barbel (Barbus meridionalis peteny), the chub (Leuscicul cephalus), cicarul ( Endontomyza Danford), and also the mountain cancer (Astacus torrentium), etc.