Balkan with my mother

Romania

During breakfast, we had an important issue to discuss: The route. Originally, we had planned to ride Transfagarasan, which is one of the two famous roads in Romania. The other one is Transalpina.

It was late May, so there was still a bit of snow here and there, whenever we were at high altitude. So when we saw a photo on a facebook group showing exactly how much snow Transfagarasan had, I didn’t even make sense to make the attempt. There’s a tunnel at the top that goes connects the north side with the south side, which would simply be shut.

Photo: Peter Riber. See his entire ride report here: Danish or English.

Although it is technically shut didn’t mean we couldn’t go through as the big steel gates had a door opening, which we could squeeze through. Assuming that the road was clear of snow, that is. Which it didn’t look like it would be.

In addition, we heard that even though there is no gate on Transalpina, it also had a lot of snow. So that would not be an option either.

As we had “lost” one day in Mostar due to bad weather, we decided to simply ride north, on backroads, towards Hungary. We would then start our home-bound leg, and we wouldn’t have to rush through.

We found a nice little cafe for a cup of coffee and a bio break. We were the only ones there, a very small place not used to foreigners. For some reason, he insisted on we keeping a receipt for our purchase, and keep it. At least, that was what we understood from him. Not sure what that was about, we just did what he asked us to do

Taking a break and enjoying a little of the Romanian Carpathians

A little later, we ended up with the police on our tail, which was a little intimidating. They didn’t pull us over, or anything, and they eventually went somewhere else. Maybe they lost interest, or maybe they just happened to be heading the same way. Who knows.

Because we don’t want to ride large roads, we sometimes end up places where there is nothing. Well, if something is a restaurant or a cafe, then we ended up at a place where there was “nothing”. But we did find a very small grocery store, where we could buy some essentials, like bread, cheese, and sausage. It turned out to be a nice lunch in the middle of a very small village somewhere in the Romanian farm lands.

The rest of the way to the Hungarian border was quite uneventful, although the roads certainly tested both shock absorbers, butts, and backs.

Crossing the border is easy. Both countries are EU member countries, but Romania is not Schengen, so there is passport control.

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