my comments and posts from my cycling trip through Europe
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 ?
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.
After my coffee break I did those people company, visit the hig mass.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Watch your self (New) Deva fortress restoration
Almost same way back and now the weather become more lighter, thiny small scratches in the heaven shows light blue sky
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.
Tomorrow a new day and on my bike again, heading castle Bran and Count Dracula’s domicile
See yeah later
My sleep has been good and today, 2 May my first goal is Beiuş 40 km away.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 day later just before 14:00, passing the border croosing and passcontrol in Ártánd and then I cycled into a Oradea, Romania.
and I stopped at a big, clean and beautiful square close to Crişul Repede river
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.
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
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.
After 70 km, heavy headwinds after dull road and many sunflower fields, has forgotten how many…
…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
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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 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 .
The only thing I worried about just then was if some borderguards notice my choice of camping place.
Tomorow, Hungary border and thewn Miskolc.
Crossed the borderline into Slovakia whithout a control but that´s the facts if you choose the smaller border crossings.
Just 100 meters after the bridge a campingplace with roofed camping tables lined up, large green areas surrounded by forest, perfect place for me.
After 101 km on the saddle today, my legs was a little bit stiff and my self tired.
To pitch up my tent did´nt took long time and then I occupied the roofed camping table and prepared the evening’s dinner.
Tomorrow an other country on my global journey, Slovakia