Cycling the Transfagarason, Romania.
comments 25

Romania

Footage of our journey across Romania.

We really enjoyed Bucharest and ended up staying way longer than we had envisioned. Our planned time-frame was quickly forgotten about when we were distracted by all the cafes, bars, shops  and markets. We were lucky enough to catch a music festival and a wine festival on the same day! We got the bikes fixed so they’re in tip-top shape ready to cross Europe.

Grit, grime and beauty mixed elegantly in the city.

???  The biggest brewery in south Eastern Europe, Beraria H.Romanian hip hop distracting the impressive led light show in the background!

Ciaran’s new bike gang. We met these German guys on their last stretch of their trip.  It’s always nice meeting other tourers to trade in snicker bars and tube patches!

  

Lots of interesting market stalls and dodgy music.


We filled our faces with crap, crap for breakfast, dinner and tea. This crap actually ain’t that bad as opposed to other crap… anyways here’s some crap, which is carp eggs in a creamy light cheese paste…we think!
 The road out of Bucharest was busy and flat. We passed endless fields of corn and cabbage. Because of the open fields and lack of hedges, trees etc we found it hard to find wild camping spots in Romania and anywhere that seemed suitable was already occupied by stray dogs. We obviously shared the same taste in hiding spots.



A mountain of butternut squash for sale at the side of the road.

Taking a break in Curtea de Arges, a pretty village. I have ditched my front panniers for Europe. Note the stick. A very important piece of gear used to scare away stray dogs that are rampant in Romania.

 Inside the princely court.


We climbed 1500 steps to check out the ruins of Poenari castle. And as if that wasn’t enough exercise for one day we embarked on crossing the Carpathian Mountains via the Transfargarasan road the same day.


The start of the climb. Believe it or not this was the easy part!

The road winds its way up to 2034m but it’s so windy that the gradient isn’t actually too bad, says he.


Taking in the view.


And what a view! The whole road was pretty breathtaking. It was originally built by the communist leader Ceaușescu to transport tanks across the Carpathians. It is sometimes more aptly named Ceausecu’s folly.


It’s dotted with waterfalls.


  


Switchbacks as far as the eye can see.


Up in the clouds.



After freewheeling all the way down we headed to Sibiu, a picturesque city.

  
We found that most of the roads in Romania were too busy for our liking so we took a lot of minor roads. Sometimes they were riddled with potholes or very mucky but always fun and interesting.

  

There were plenty of roadside berries ripe for the picking.

Who would’ve thought a cabbage and cheese pastry would taste so good!


There was always someone selling honey by the road, good for dipping our snickers into! The area where we bought this honey was covered in apple orchards, which we think gave the honey a slight apple taste, as the bees feasted on the fallen apples.


This is salam de biscuiti, a very popular snack in Romania. It’s mainly made from rum, chocolate and biscuit and it’s yum!


  

We spent a couple nights in Cluj Napoca, a great city with an even better steam punk bar, we’ll be back!

      

As we were traveling through Transylvania, we were both reading Dracula. It was fascinating to read the book and physically obsorb the imagery described by Bram Stoker as we passed fortified churches, jagged mountains, dark forests and lots of religious icons. We always woke to misty mornings with dew drenched cobwebs around us after a night of trying to ignore the howling dogs. It’s easy to see how this land inspired the most famous of horror stories.
Thanks to  Bicishop, Bucharest, for fixing up the bikes, and the advice.

http://bicishop.ro/

25 Comments

  1. Annette

    Hi Folks. Lovely pictures and you write beautifully.We went t o Bucharest in February 2007 and stayed in a boutique hotel opposite the park.Had some interesting experiences.!!I love your description of food!Happy cycling.A friend of ours Julian Bloomer cycled around the world in 5 years, XAnnette and Roland Evans Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • lauramc

      Hi Annette, thanks for the feedback! Food has got to be the best part about cycle touring, we spend most of our time cycling and eating! We will be cycling for another month but it’s very tempting to keep cycling and go all the way around the world! Maybe some day!

      Like

  2. Hi Ciaran,

    A long time since we last met! Don’t meant to put a bit of a dampener on things but if you are heading up through Hungary can you keep an eye out for this kid:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-34478855

    I know it is a bit needle in a haystack but this story is one of the worst things I have ever seen.

    Your photo blog is great – I was reading it late last night and just thought I would throw this in on the off-chance….

    Cheers,
    Fergal

    Like

    • Thanks sinead! It’s slow progress, we’re staying with a friend of mine in Brno, Czech Republic, for a few days, it’s a great place.

      Like

  3. Fiona ODonoghue

    Hi Ciaran and Laura

    Woow I’m really enjoying your photos and comments. I saw an article about you in The Irish Times in the summer. Reminds me of Derla Murphy ‘s adventures on a bike. She was attacked by a wolf while cycled through Yugoslavia years ago and wiped out a gun to defend herself. Your sticks seem pretty harmless in comparison.

    We, my husband, son and I live just of your route in south west Germany, in Lahr about 30 km south east of Strasburg. If you fancy a bed and a meal, just let us know. We can stick up in snickers😊

    Like

    • lauramc

      Hey Fiona,
      Thanks so much for getting in touch! We both read Dervla Murphy’s book in preparation for this trip but she makes our trip look like a walk in the park with all our modern gear! We have actually veered off our original route and headed north through Poland. We’re in Wroclaw today. We have gotten a little behind with our blog posts but we should have an update soon!

      Unfortunately we can’t take you up on the offer to stay but thanks so much! You’ll have to send the snickers by post 😉 We’ll be following the euro velo route #2 across Germany which will bring us through Berlin.

      Like

  4. stefan psalt

    Glad you liked Romania
    The crap was not creamy or with cheese but with lots of preservatives or conservants! For me is really crap/shit Only a few procents are fish eggs. Anyhow I envy you two Unfortunately I travel alone but that s it.

    Like

  5. Dylan Fernley

    hi you two ,great stuff -I’m heading for Moldova next summer ,was thinking of going via Transylvania and like you use minor roads -did you plan a rough route and alter it to suit the conditions or just wing it ? l will be camping most of the time as you are independent that way …..

    Like

    • Hi Dylan! We did have a rough plan before we arrived into Bucharest, Romania. However it changed a little as people advised us on places to visit as we headed towards the Hungarian border. I’d image you’ll be passing through the North West of Romania on your way to Moldova-lots of people told us how beautiful and friendly it is. Enjoy and safe travels… watch out for the dogs!!

      Like

      • dylan fernley

        thanks for the rapid reply -your advice sounds good to me , I’ve always tried to keep plans as flexible as possible as nobody can see round corners ! did you find using the velo routes a bit ” touristy” – just that if everyone uses the same path things can get jaded ? I suppose it depends on how busy they become – paper maps are my preferred guides as you have an overview that digital etc don’t really do – my journey will be a bit time constrained so I will need to make mileage over a period which is not ideal but you can’t have everything , much respect , Dylan

        sent by councillor.dylanfernley@gwynedd.llyw.cymru

        >

        Like

      • We joined part of the Velo route after Brno, Czech Republic. We didn’t find it very touristy and were glad to be away from busy roads. In our experiences the Velo route is good in some countries and non existent in others! If you have a smart phone you should download Maps.me ( http://maps.me/en/home) to use along with your paper map. It words offline, is open source and has recommendation destinations from other travellers, we actually found many wild camp sites in Russia that some other hikers used and added to Maps.me.

        Like

  6. Pingback: Five Countries to Cycle Tour, 2017. | Crank and Cog

  7. Pingback: A Photo Collection of our Favourite Cycling Roads From Around the World! | Crank and Cog

  8. Living vicariously through you is much less tiring than peddling myself. Thanks for doing the work and posting the wonderful pictures and information. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s