High Mass day in Făgăraş and a snail picker

May 7

 

Outside Arpasu de Jos I had found a quiet place to pitch my tent

The First I met next morning was a local man with a bucket filled with snails, maybe for selling them to the fancy restaurant in Bukarest, who knows ?

Did not say much, probably because he could´t speak english

It doesn’t look tasty… but at the fancy restaurant maybe

The weather is cloudy but warm and I have good hopes that the gray blanket of the sky wants to crack and become a little more sunny

My first stop this Sunday was in Făgăraş, lots of traffic and people time off from work everywhere in town. After the mainroad a café become my break. Coffe and navigation planning  and cross the street a magnificent  church or cathedral Outside people dressed up steps into the church for high mass.

In Romania Orthodox cathedrals is common and and they are majestic where they are standing, inside as well

After my coffee break I did those people company, visit the hig mass.

Well attended High Mass in Făgăraş 

I have never seen and experienced Romania from a bicycle saddle before but it has been very positive.
Romania is up and down, valleys, mountains, nice rural areas and cozy small villages and so far I´m  very pleased what I´ve seen.The time has past 3 p.m and now heading Codlea where I´m planning to stop for food shopping, I’ve run out of coffee and bread.

Last 20 km after a small narrow road to Zărneşti and then an even narrower and much more crooked road towards Tohanu Nou… but very beautiful.

Zărnești filed and soon for camp and only 7 km to Bran

Big green fields, majestic mountains in background and the sun is shining. Few km from Tohanu Nou on a small hill with some grazed sheep, an elderly shepherd and his dog become my tentplace for tonight.

Tomorrow not more then 7 km to the castle Bran… and count Dracula

See Yeah
// P-G

 

 

 

By |2021-10-25T22:32:05+00:00maj 14th, 2017|Europe, Romania|0 Comments

Easy cycling and curious gypsies

May 5
I left hotel Deva early forenoon heading my next major goal, Bran Castle and count Draculas domicile. Maps.me has calulated around 275 km cycling and 600 altitude meters which mean that around 10 am, may 8 should I be there .

The first daycycling was quite easy, flat and long straight distances through agricultural areas and small cozy rural villages.

Gelmar, one of many small rural villages

In Sebes I stoped for coffe and some navigation search then further east. Just I left town it
began to drizzle and then more heavy rain and I was needed to change to rainwear.

When I passed a parking pocket by the road I stayed for more navigation check. I became immediately but kindly surrounded by a group of gypsies and their children.
They were curious about me but mostley at my bicycle and the GPS on the handlebar and I felt a single second of inattention and my GPS would be gone.

They also begged for money

When I stopped, I was immediately surrounded by curious children… and adults too!

In Romania, the Roma are very vulnerable, a majority live in poverty and the discrimination
against them is obvious… despite the fact that we have reached the end of the 2010s… deplorable!

An hour later I steered my bicycle off road and pitch up my tent in a field and protected by some bushes.
The rain has stopped, thanks for that

See Yeah later
// P-G

 

By |2021-10-20T23:09:41+00:00maj 13th, 2017|Europe|0 Comments

A leisurely day among old houses and Fortress visit

May 3 – 4 – 5
Toaday a day I´ve planned to do as little as possible, just load my internal batteries and my legs.

Breakfast was serving on the entrance floor. The tables were covered with white tablecloths and the breakfast options are ample, just to my liking.

I sat quite a long time enjoying the English version of the breakfast, scambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausage. That´s what I call a brekfast for a touring cyclist, maybe not so wholesome.

Then up to my room preparing my vist at Deva fortress. Rucksack, mobilephone, camera bag and citymap with road description to touristinfo office from where the funicular up to fortress starts from.

Today, a day when I will do little as possible, load my internal batteries and my legs.

Breakfast is serving on the entrance floor. The tables were covered with white tablecloths and the breakfast options are ample, just to my liking.
I´m sitting quite a longtime enjoying the English version of the breakfast, scambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausage. That´s what I call a brekfast for a touring cyclist, maybe not so wholesome.

Then up to my room preparing my vist at Deva fortress. Rucksack, mobilephone and camera bag. Citymap with roaddescription to touristinfo office from where the funicular up to fortress starts from.

Outside the weather was cloudy but warm, and the rain was hanging in the air. My walkabout through Devas old town district and parks after narrow streets and alleys.

Up there was my goal to day, Deva Fortrest. The street and resaturant I visit later in the evening

Fourtyfive minutes walking along small and narrow alleys I stod in front of tourist office, bought a ticket and picked with me some info material about the fortress.

Ceatea fortress and funicular from below The funicular car was made for 6-8 persons and it was steep, very steep up to the very top.

 

Fortress is crying out loud to be restored and thus regenerated.

Watch your self (New)  Deva fortress restoration

To watch something from above gives you another perspective about a city

Down below and in the neigbourhood hosts the Father of Heaven

Almost same way back and now the weather become more lighter, thiny small scratches in the heaven  shows light blue sky

Some statue of famous person from the region/county. Nadia Comăneci Romanian retired gymnast , five Olympic gold medals

Back to my room, shower and clothing thats fits my restaurant visit to night. Outside the dark has settle down and the air littlebit cooler.

Colored water action

Tomorrow a new day and on my bike again, heading castle Bran and Count Dracula’s domicile

See yeah later
// P-G

By |2021-10-16T21:32:07+00:00maj 10th, 2017|Europe, Romania|0 Comments

Transylvania and Breakday in Deva

May 3 – 4 – 5

The first thing I did when the alarm called 07:05 was to open and see how the weather looks like. The sky was mostly light blue but down the village lies fog closed over the houses.

My tentcamp in Groși

So today it will be warm and probably more sweaty then before. I was not in a hurry so I took it easy, Eat breakfast and inspect the surrounding fauna.

Nice flowers, but unknown species to me

At ten o’clock I sat up on my saddle, first 12 km descent on a bad and bumpy road which is also lined up with road machines.

My first stop today becomes at a gas station in the village of Vârfurile for hygiene needs and get rid of some rubbish.

Next stop in Brad, look up a café and asked kindly for hot water which I also get. In my handlebar bag I have some bags of espresso coffe. I could also connect my Huawei to their WiFi network. Before I left Brad I bought another gasbottle.

Now I’m in Transylvania, Count Dracula’s county and home. If I’m lucky or maybe unlucky I might see him, othervise I need to wait until I come to Bran and his castle

Transylvania is his home

To Deva and a hotel is about 2 and a half hours of cycling and the first 10-12 km up and down, thereafter quite easy cycling.

Entering Deva before 18.00 and no problem to find my hotel, Hotel Deva. Already planned for tomorrow’s activity.

While As I cycled towards the city, I saw a tourist-information sign below a very steep funicular. I stopped for a few minutes and got some info about the funicular end destination.

I´ve booked two nights in Deva and felt satisfied with that. When I checked in I got a promise to park the bike at a hidden place in the reception, but my bags had to follow me up to the room. A shower and new fresh clothes and I was ready for a dinner restaurant somewehre in the neighbourhood.

See yeah later

//P-G

By |2021-10-16T20:35:05+00:00maj 9th, 2017|Europe, Romania|0 Comments

My first tough climbing

May 2

My sleep has been good and today, 2 May my first goal is Beiuş 40 km away.

View from my tent camp in the morning

Need a new sim card for my old cell phone I luckily had brought with me,  and also a new butane / propane gas bottle which is almost has running out for the camping kitchen

Now the summer has come, despite early morning. I can ride in shorts and short-sleeved shirt and I like that.

A sad sight in front of me between Brătești and Răbăgani  stopped me, a dead collie lying on the road. A it seems he had been lying there for a while and no one wanted to know anything about the dog either.

Today early fornoon , a sad sight. A dead collie on the road. I stopped to bury him

I found a small shovel and buried him on a grassy place by the side of the road. It is deplorable that no one in the vicinity showed any concern.

I entered Beius  just before noone, lots of people and traffics, seems to be a busy town at the moment.  I bought a new simcard at Orange, a new gasbottle to my camping kitchen and a lunch.

Some hours later I was om my saddle again peadling after small roads through rural villages.

In Cristio de Jos I did my last stop before my camp and stopped ouside a local grocerie shop which also worked like a meeting place for the locals.

My last stop before camp. A local grocery shop, bar and local meeting point

Three tables and a TV hanging on the wall above the pay desk. At one of the tables sat some villagers and chat while watching TV. I bougth some groceries and bread and then a cup of coffe and sat down beside the door. One of the men at the other table asked me with a mixed of english end romania where I was going.

 – I´m heading f0r Deva…

They laughed and shook their heads and gestured with hands and arms that it was very uphill and they said in chorus

 – Good luck … 

From here and now the challenge of today began.

The road wound like a serpentine uphill with steep precipices to my right and dense forest on the other side.

Roadworks had been started at some parts. Five – six km up then about two easy km to my camp.

Tired but satisfied, I got my reward on the top, the view down valley was magnificent… gave me Goose bumps,  Really

Just before 8 o’clock pm, two hundred meters from the road out in a field overlooking Groși down belov, I camped.

 

Pretty tough climbing before my tent camp

Next day, my third in Romania I´m plamming for a break in Deva before I visit the castle Bran where Count Dracula has/had his residence.

Before I fell asleep, I started my audiobook app, as I alway don every night and continued to listen Leif G.W´s ”Kan man dö två gånger” (Can you die twice) about Police commissioners Evert Bäckström and his exploits.

Has reached chapter 24 or 25.

See Yeah from Deva

// P-G

 

 

By |2021-10-16T20:34:30+00:00maj 8th, 2017|Europe, Romania|0 Comments

My meeting with a father to world famous womens and the summer has come

July 28 – May1

Visiting The Avas hill.

I started my second morning in Hungary  with an English Breakfast and coffe at the hotel, then I checked out and cycled to the bicycle workshop to leave my bicycle for service as planned since yesterday.

With a small rucksack I started to walk up to Avas hill. Upwards all the way and passing some residential areas but the landmark was hard to miss, the television tower was visible from everywhere.

The Avas televisopn tower visiable from everywhere

The sad thing was that the weather became more cloudy with risk for rain. Well up there I observe a luxurious views of Miskolc and it´s surroundings.

Luxurious views of Miskolc

I chose another way back down to town, steeper, more na rrow and switchback-path similar. Much nicer, lots of flowers, trees and small houses.

Back in city I picked up my bike which was ready for more adventures and hardships.

Two hours after I visit Avas view point Chris and his girlfriend appeared at our meeting place at Tesco Express.

He described the best way to his address and 45 minutes later I stod infront of his residential buildings. He helped me to carry up my bicycle to his apartment

– It´s to risky to park your bike at the yard, even if you lock it up

We had a nice smal talk and a beer  before nightsleep.

Chris couchsurfing host

It’s not a five star hotel but the experience of sleeping with a totally strange Hungarian is great for me and Chris was really a nice person to learn.

Next day, I less than 100 km to Balmazujavaros which is my goal to day.

106 km easy cycling today

coffe break next to the railway track

This guy from Germany had some odd packing

Balmazujavaros is a small village and I stoped only for  provision at rural shop.

While I prepare and pack my purchased groceries in my panniers, a boozer hanging around my bike and  talking incoherently. Tried to ignore him and cycled away.

When I pitched up my tent outside Balmazujavaros I noticed my cell phone was missing.

quite easy to pitch up a Hilleberg tent

Time has past  6 p.m and the rural shop closed so I had to wait until next morning bike back and ask if anyone found it, but I was sure the boozer stole my cell phone while I was packing food into my panniers.

I will kill the soon of a bitch.

A mobile phone is just more than a phone, it´s a life line to sister and friends, pictures, documents, addresses, codes, and you name it.

Day after I cycle back for searching my phone if someone ….! It was now I met an older well-dressed . He told me during our cycling that he spokes ten languages and was a proud father of two world-famous daughters, both Celione Dione and Maria Carey… !!!! Wow what a father

In Balmazujavaros this man told eme he was father to Celine Dion and Maria Carey…!

No Phone, it´s gone for ever  so I turned back for heading romania at Ártánd Border Crossing  75 km south.

For me as a Swede it´s always with joy to see a storkfamily. In Sweden they are very, very rare, only in the very south, Skåne if you are lucky get to see some couple.

a pair of storks in their nest who may be waiting the birth of their newborn

Waiting patiently to perform a day’s work

A day later just before 14:00, passing the border croosing and passcontrol in Ártánd and then I cycled into a Oradea, Romania.

Ártánd Border Crossing Station a gate into Romania

and I stopped at a big, clean and beautiful square close to Crişul Repede river

Oradea magnificet square where I stopped for coffe

I asked my self while sitting with my coffe… Why is the traffic so scanty, it´s monday?

Then I remember, today is it May 1, International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day and an official holiday even i Romania.

I continue drinking my coffee and eating one of my pizza slices which I had in handlebar bag and at the same time browsing on my Huawei MediaPad.

45 minutes coffe drinking and peeking on strolled DEVA citizens anf then I cycled around and across the river until my hunger told me to stop.

After a small alley outdoor cafes are lined up and after a certain inner persuasion, I sat down inside one of the restaurants and order a pizza.

Sat for two hours with my computer connected to their WiFi and at the same time as I myself felt relaxed.

A kind of inner harmony and calm had spread to my mental state despite the hassle and the loss of my cell phone, but fortunately you learn a lot from events like this.

Then I cycled ovet river Crişul Repede again and further south direction of Băile Felix which is a few km outside the city but the goal I have set is Drăgești.

The traffic has increased significantly, but it is quite easy to find your way out of Oradeao. Signs keep saying I’m on the right track.

It is noticeable that I have left Hungary’s flat and treeless pannonian steppes, now it’s more like Wales. Hills and small mountains everywhere and very green.

Passing many small and cozy villages and noticed the Romania’s Orthodox Catholic is very visible in the design of all churches, specialy the roofs and they are beutiful.

Romania is Wales look alike, grreen and many hills

On the very peak of a small hill and with a magnificent view over the valley below and nearby community I steered my bike a bit from the road and pitch up my tent.

Time has past 20:00, the air is lukewarm and only few clouds on the sky, so I calculated with a chilly night.

Eating a late dinner and have time to listen to three chapters about Evert Bäckström’s achievements

See Yeah from Deva
// P-G

 

By |2021-10-16T20:34:03+00:00maj 6th, 2017|Europe, General, Romania|0 Comments

Miskolc and couchsurfing inquiry

Has slept as well as possible despite the choice of my campsite beside the motorway and no rain.
Madness and crazy, but a fun experience in the end.

Today I’m going to cross the Slovenian border into Hungary. No checking, just passing the borderline.

Maybe a new bicycle cart worth a try

After 70 km, heavy headwinds after dull road and many sunflower fields, has forgotten how many…

Hungary is widely known for their sunflower fields – they are everywhere

…I cycled into Miskolc few minutes after 12.

The first thing I did was look for a cafe and found severals after the shopping street.
While I was sitting in the afternoon sunshine drinking my coffe and beer I send a inquiry to a couchsurfing service for a one night bed or two!

Expected no response at all but within quarter I recived an answer from a person calling himself Chris.
He was positive and told me this very night was´nt possible but next one. His real name was Ugochukwu Anigu and we decided for a short meet outside Tesco Express tomorrow afternoon.

We switched mobilephone numbers and e-mails and he also gave me a brief description of where he lived. Has never tried this kind of accommodation before, so it will be a surprise.

When I cycled into Miskolc, I saw a tourist info poster  about The Avas which is a hill of volcanic origin and also a landmark for Miskolc. This visit have to wait until tomorrow morning.

After my coffebreak I searched for a hotel and no problem to find one.
Rest of afternoon I cycled aorund the citycenter, left my bicyclefor servivce with promise it would be finished before 15 p.m next day.
Later in evening I took a walkabout for eveningmeal and few beers.

See yeah tomorrow
// P-G

 

By |2021-10-16T20:33:23+00:00maj 4th, 2017|Europe, General, Slovakia|0 Comments

A short but beautiful passing through to Slovakia

It was cold when I woke up, almost below zero and outside the sun had´nt show up… yet.

A quick breakfast and then up on the saddle and pedaling away south to Stavra Lubovna.

I had positive hopes for warmer weather within couple hours If I could be trusted to the local weatherforcast

I been told Slovakia is a little more mountainous than Poland and more grandious nature to look at.

It is the the views and magnificent nature together with all the encounters with people that give me the drive to ride a bike with panniers

The road follows a stream slavishly the first 4-5 km and surrondings is dense deciduous forest. Small villages with green sloping meadows and nice wooden houses.

One of some nice and cozy villages on the ride to Stavra Lubovna

Exactly what I expected after I checked my routeplan in Garmin GPS yesterday.

Every half an hour rises the heat both inside my self and the air, the sun was shinning and the altitude is rising

For the first time since start , I had to take off the jacket and just ride a short-sleeved shirt and it feels absolutely wonderful.

At the top of this hill at Sedlo Vabec I got a magnificent view over the valley, Tatra mountains and down to Stavra Lubovna.

View over Jabrinba Valley and Tara Mountains from Sedlo Vabec

after a speedy descent I stopped in Stavra Lubovna just for provisioning at LIDL for dinner tonight and some coffee at a coffebar in the city.

Buildings with beautiful architecture at, St. Nicolaus´ Square, Stavr Lubovna

Nice landscape views close to Plavnica

This day was the shortest on a saddle since I started in Ö-vik.  Barely 50 km and in Puste Pole, beside  and down by the railroad I pitch up my tent near a field and surrounded by small trees and shrubs

Next day april 26 in Lipany a  meeting  with my first  touring bicyclist on my journey, a cycle geek like myself and I notice him from distance , a long-haul cyclist, we cycle in a little special way when we have panniers and other stuffs on the bicycle .

My first meeting with an other touring cyclist, Lee Jay from Seoul

We stoped and talk to each other. He was from Seuol and his name was  Lee Jae and also only two years younger than me.
We mostly talk about where we came from and where we are heading. Changes email addresses and also ”Selfi-card”.

I like this, meetings with like-minded nerds. I noticed Lee only had two panniers, and he told
me because he sleept only at hotels.
His next goal was  passing Slovakia, then Poland futhrt into Russia and from there he would take a flight home Korea

In Presova coffe break for an hour, relaxing and som WiFi connecting, then I take a direction towards Kosice.

The happiness and joy in Pečovská Nová Ves

The tailwind I had before lunch is gone, headwind on very bad roadsurface, but the weather was warm so I stopped at Lemesany and my first icecreame this year.

In Kosice I did some dinner shopping at Tesco, but move on quite quickly to the Hungarian border.

After half a mile I saw a roadsign showing Kechnec which was near the border, but somewhere, now in the eveninglight and in the dense traffic, especially the long trucks, I missed an exit to a smaller road and I end up on a motorway.

After a few miles I was stopped by a traffic controllers who told me I can not ride with a bike on this road.

– This is an speedy highway
– You can´t cycle here, turn back and choose road 17!

After a crude intensive discussion, I could continue my bikeride in the dark that increases… to first and best exit I had promised.

Late evening around about half past nine p.m finally I find a place to put up the tent. Just 25 meter from the highway beside a sort of buildning for traffice monitoring .

Tent camp beside highway E71

The only thing I worried about just then was if some borderguards notice my choice of camping place.

Tomorow, Hungary border and thewn Miskolc.

See yeah
// P-G

 

By |2021-10-16T20:33:06+00:00maj 2nd, 2017|Europe, Slovakia|0 Comments

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