Km done: 2641 km
Daily Average: 60 km
Days in RO: 44
Days on the Bike: 32
nights in the Tent: 33
nights in Houses: 11
Altitude climbed: 23266m
daily Average: 727m
Breakdowns: 1 broken Spokes
Daily Average: 11,50€
Romania... Stories from wild Dogs, Thieves and other horrible Things!27.06.14 - 10.08.14
i was so excited, a country that offers Adventure. at last be careful, overcome some obstacles and getting a appeal to all senses.
All went totally different ... and better!
the Start was totally bleak. Except for the Fields of Sunflowers that, just to lampoon me, bloom all together at the same time the country was flat and monotonous. I moved hand over hand from one Churchtower to the next. They are the only landmarks and refused to get nearer over the day... Music in my ear makes the thing better and so the two days in these Area passed by.
Timisoara was the highlight of that Region. An habsburgian Town, formerly known as Little-Vienna felt to pieces in the communistic era. Now there is so much to repair that you can´t really ride throngh the Citycenter cause of all the Construction Sites... But it worths it. The orthodox Cathedral is a feast for the eyes, but what impressed me more is the commitment of the people to the Faith. All are praying to and kissing the Icons... A wonder that there are not more Infectious diseases in the City ;-)
After Timishoara it gets more hilly. I crossed a Wine Region and reached the West-Carpatians which i crossed (also look at by the way...) In Cluj, formerly called Klausenburg, i could rest a few days, what was the right thing.Take Care of the Bike and of me. There was time for Football also and so i could recharge my batteries. Stefan, my Host in the Town took me to his Hut at the Lake tarniza, a small Paradise in the Mountains near Cluj. Two Days of doing nothing, Barbecue and swim whenever you want... perfect!
Stefan wants to create something touristic up there. Take a look at his Travel-Website, there the Hut is (soon) described...
After Cluj i headed north, there are two exciting Areas waiting for me. First Maramures, a remote Region totally in the Northwest of the Country where you can find a lot of wooden Churches. The Construction is similar to the wooden Churches of Norway and they fit perfectly in the hilly Landscape up there. In Sighetu Marmatiei they build up a Museum to show the systematic violence to the People the communists did in the Era. Very Impressing After that it was very difficult for me to find something positive about the Communistic Times...
in the Northeast, called Moldovita there are a lot of Monasteries waiting for my visit. Fortified against the attacks of the Nomad Tribes and painted totally inside and outside. That is extremely impressing... I took a look at several samples and the Colours and Designs of the Decoration are so perfect... Still after 500 Years.
Sometime i went south again, there i have to cross three passes (have created a small Passes-Page, take a look here...) over the Carpathians again to Siebenbürgen.
It was a cool Ride down from the Pass. Just let loose... After a seems to be a never-ending ride i arrived in Gheorgeni and reached a total different world. Siebenbürgen (or Transylvanien) iis different from the north, you feel the influences from former Austria-Hungarian Times. Barockelements on the Houses and obviously cleaner villages you find there. The special thing in the Area, the fortressed Churches, you can find everywhere. Formerly over 300 of them where spread over the Landscape. A few of them get the Worldheritage Seal and a few of them i visited. From time to time you meet germanspeaking people and mostly both sides are lucky to speak this language again ;-)
The cities are beautiful, Sigisoara (Schässburg), Medias, Sibiu (Hermannstadt) or Brasov (Kronstadt), all have nicest (feeling middleeuropean) medeavel Oldtowns. After the Tour through Transsylvania i started to cross the Fagaras-Mountains using the Transfagarassaran Mountainroad. I crossed the first 2000m Pass. The Mountains up there are spectacular and the route guidance also... The weather wash´t so fine so i had to ride the top part of the Road in Fog and Rain and wash´t able to enjoy the view... It was an experience. As i seen on a Postcard in Brasov the road is really extraordinary...
After descending on the other side i drove a few days through the Hilly Outskirts of the Mountains with a Stop in Brasov before i hit Bukarest... Everyone warned me to go there because of the traffic and the city itself, so ugly...
But all were wrong, the city is Fantastic, starting with it´s ´biggest`Attraction the House of the People, a gigantic Building that Ceaucescu (completely with a City-Quarter around and at any price) started raising and isn´t finished today, or the Streets behind these Facades that show the poor old Bucarest. It was known as the Paris of the East and some of the buildings from these times still remain in different conditions. the Oldtowns former ruined blocks were renovated and now home of the Nightlife. Nowhere else Rich and Poor clashes so directly in Romania.
I had the opportunity to climb Moldovaneu, Romanias highest Mountain with Vali and his Son. An easy but steep Hiking-Mountain and the View from the Top is wonderful
Before i finished my visit to the Country i had to take a look at the BlackSeaCoast. TO get there i had to cross the Valchia, which was a nice three day ride through the hilly terrain. On Day two i met Irwin from Belgium and we made the last part to Constanta together. In the city which is fully touristic i took 2 days off the Bike before i rode the last part to the Bulgarian Border.
Short before the Border i visited the beautiful Hippies Village of Vama Veche. Commerc arrive here also but the Flair is still alive. It´s possible (but forbidden) to camp on the Beach and every Night a big Party on the Beach took place. Livebands play every night in the Clubs and thou don´t have to wear clothes on the Beach ;-) 2km after the Village (what means translated old Border) Bulgaria and a new Adventure begins...
I am totally keen about the Country. In the former Countries the people are more reserved, but here they saluted me in the first village enthusiastic... The Kindness of the People continous, the helpfulness is incomparable... Everyone i came in contact with, was feeling good. we also talked about the situation in the country that is not rosy at all. Mostly optimism flashes... Nice to see!
The many people on my way helped me with little gifts or even Accommodations. So time goes by very fast. I was in the country for 44 Days and it didn´t get to be a bore at all.
The Landscape now looks like home again, the mountains could be in Switzerland but without the Peaks but they came in the South...
Physical the country is very poor. Partly they live in very awkward circumstances. But they are still able to laugh, a thing we going to loose in Western Europe... A Life near to the Nature is the mindset. whereby the rubbish is a issue they don´t have a handle on. A lot of lies around, the forests are wild trash dumps, what remembers me of Asia. Progress is faster than the Education about Rubbish-Managment.
The Country is deeply characterized from the Faith, so churches pop up all over. the poorer the village, the bigger the church...
The Romanians have, as whole Europe, problems with the Romas (Gipsies). They are the reason for all the bad things... Don´t work, steal, and are totally lazy. Like with every clichee there is something right on this but they carry it around for generations, and keeping up with this does´t changes anything in the Country. I´m really curious how it will develop in the future.
like you can read here it´s a really exciting country
wash´t able to take a look at a real bear. 5000 wild Excamples life out here...
A little bit of Statistics:
Days in the Country: 44
Days on the Bike: 32
without Bike: 12
Distance covered in the Country: 2641km
Altitude covered: 23266m
in the Tent (in the Wild): 18
on a Campsite: 15
in a Hostel: 2
House of Friends: 9
Average Costs per Day: 11,50 €
Breakdowns: 1 broken Spoke on the Backwheel