Crossing the border into Romania is the point at which Europe starts to get a little bit bonkers. Things will happen that don't happen elsewhere. Some of these things will be amusing and some might kill you. Expect to be chased by dogs.
14th - 30th April 2013
Romania has a lot of dogs on the loose and they just love cyclists. Don't think that they are limited only to the countryside. I was chased by a pack of them through the streets of Bucharest.
Romania has some nice, if sometimes desolate, countryside and some god-awful towns. Occasionally you'll find a lovely town - like bits of Sibiu or Sighisoara - in which case you should treasure it.
Here we go. You need to imagine the Romanian road map. There are red roads - the equivalent of A-roads - and yellow ones. The red roads are often heaving with very fast traffic. Yellow roads are of a ropier quality but are quieter and some of the nicest cycling in Romania. Unfortunately there aren't many of these.
Romanian maps also have a vast network of tiny white roads. You really need a mountain bike to cycle on them, especially after a bit of rain. They can be badly potholed, or soft dust, or mud. This is a typical one:
And what's this, you might be asking, a track in a farmer's field? No, this is a road that appears on the 1:500,000 scale map of Romania. After a heavy storm this wouldn't be passable on any kind of bike.
Romania has campsites liberally scattered about the place but few were on my route. The three I stayed at averaged €4 (ranging from €3 to €5). A room isn't too expensive either. Of the eleven hotels/motels/B&Bs (or in reality just Bs - no breakfast was included) they averaged €22 (ranging from €11 to €36).
Restaurant prices are reasonable. A schnitzel and chips, a tomato salad and a beer came to €6.
People occasionally spoke English or sometimes German. Romanian, as its name suggests, is a Romance language and so if you know French, Spanish, Portuguese or especially Italian some words might look familiar.
Attractive scenery, the odd pretty town, cost, to live life as close to the edge as Europe will allow, to get eaten by dogs.
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Went though Romania on my biking tour from Denmark to Nepal in 2009.....and yes you will be chased by dogs in Romania. Crazy stuff.
Marianne (Oct 2014)
The 67C is the Transalpina Pass, which is the highest pass in Romania at 2,145m even higher than the "Top Gear" Transfagarasan. The Transalpina takes you into Transylvania. It's a nice, challenging climb and is pretty quiet.
I loved the cycling in Romania. It's a fascinating country.
DaveFY7 (Apr 2013)
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