Part 9: Romania.
Katrine and I had a peaceful start to the day. All the other guests were still asleep as we packed the bikes
As mentioned earlier Katrine and I have traveled together many times. One of the things we have learned is that staying more than 2 nights at the same place ruin the momentum of the journey and makes
After breakfast and when we had said goodbye to people it was time to move on.
From Doug’s Motocamp we continued north. After a couple of hours on nice small roads
in Bulgaria we crossed the border to Romania and thence followed the main road to Bucharest. As we approached the city the traffic got dense and there was a lot of road construction going on. As filtering is second nature to Katrine and especially me
none of it slowed us down much. It’s a blessing to ride a bike instead of a car in such conditions.
We soon left Bucharest behind and entered The Carpathian Mountains. Late in the afternoon we arrived in the town
of Sinaia. Polly had recommended the place to us. The mountain town is famous for its castles (Peles and Pelisor) and the Sinaia monastery that has given the town its name.
The previous night we had booked a room at a hotel within the castle grounds. It turned
out to be a really nice place. A small river with several waterfalls passed by on one side and on the other the driveway to Peles Castle.
Before dinner we took a stroll around Sinaia. The castles and the surrounding old part
of the town were charming.
After dinner we looked at maps and talked about where we wanted to go from here. The original plan was to more or less follow the Black Sea coast of Romania and visit Moldova.
During the journey we had talked to several people who had been to Moldova. None of them had much positive to say about the country. Monotonous agricultural country with tedious roads was the general verdict. When we told them it was part of our itinerary
they all asked "why???" Our only answer to that was "we haven't been there before".
As we sat there looking at the maps we made a decision – as this was Katrine’s first visit to The Carpathians and we both love
to ride in the mountains we would skip The Black Sea coast and Moldova and instead continue north through The Carpathians.
As we set out the next morning there was a “LAMP” warning on the display of Katrine’s
bike. The headlight’s low beam was dead so the first task of the day was to get a new H7 bulb. The first gas station we stopped at didn’t have them in stock but the attendant told us that the one just down the street probably did. He was right
and soon the BMW was fit for fight again.
The day was spend on interesting roads surrounded by stunning scenery.
Around noon we stopped at a gas station to fill up the bikes
and take a short break. While we were there 2 bikes with Czech plates pulled in. We soon started talking and before Katrine and I left we had received an invitation to stop by if we ever came to Prague.
For a couple
of hours in the afternoon we follow the same route as a small convoy of military trucks. One of them had young soldiers riding in the bed. We passed them several times as they were driving slowly while we on the other hand often stopped to enjoy the views
and snap pictures. The soldiers in the bed smiled and waved at us when we passed them the second time. We waved back. Their smiles got bigger and their waving increasingly enthusiastic each time we passed each other. Here's a video showing some of the riding.
Early in the evening we arrived at Sucevita on the outskirts of the mountains just south of the border to Ukraine. Originally Sucevita was just a monastery but over the centuries a small town has sprung up around it. We checked in at a hotel 2 kilometers down the road from the monastery.
After a quick change of clothes we
went to take a closer look at the monastery. It turned out to be open to the public. There was a sign at the gate asking visitors not to take pictures of the nuns and monks living on the premises. It was a tranquil experience to snoop around.
We donated the remainder of our Lei (which wasn’t much) to the monastery when we left. The ancient nun who received the money was very touched by the donation. She insisted on writing down our names and then blessed us and our entire family.
We returned to the hotel as the sun set – just in time to order dinner before the kitchen closed. The food was traditional Romanian and excellent.
It had been a long day of great riding
and several memorable moments when we finally got to bed that night.