This is Roadscapes Wednesday on a Thursday! As you might have heard by now, the BBC has fired Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear. And while the BBC says they might bring back Jeremy, Top Gear won’t be the same. And let’s be sure about something, we have not heard the last from Jeremy Clarkson! Nope, he will be somewhere else very soon, maybe the US version of Top Gear, one can hope!
So, I wanted to showcase Jeremy Clarkson’s most favorite road in the world! The road is in Europe and the country of Romania. The road is called the Transfăgărăşan and is a part of Romania National Road route 7C. The road is the second-highest paved road in Romania and was built in the 1970’s. The Transfăgărășan was constructed between 1970 and 1974, during the rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu. It was built as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. Ceaușescu wanted to ensure quick military access across the mountains in case the Soviets attempted a similar move to a previous one during 1921.
Yes, Romania already had several strategic mountain passes through the Southern Carpathians. But, these passes were mainly through river valleys, and therefore easy to block and attack in event of a military invasion. So, why not build a road over a major mountain. The sad part about this road, was the cost in human lives. Estimates of around 40 people were killed while building this road. The Romanian Military built this road, and many soldiers were untrained with dynamite. Not a good mix!
So, what does this road have to do with Top Gear. The show visited the Transfăgărășan in 2009. And after filming, Jeremy Clarkson declared this road as the best road in the world! Here is a video clip of this from the BBC.
So, in honor of Jeremy Clarkson and the Transfăgărășan. Here are various road videos featuring this mountain pass!