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Old 05-09-2013, 03:00 PM   #32
JohnnyTh OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Norway
Oddometer: 231
Next morning was another sunny and warm day. So far on this ride i have had more nice weather then i did in all of the summer 2012. We had breakfast and set off to see some churches. First we visited a small church close by. For a little less then one euro each we got a guided tour inside, witch was interesting. The church is Unesco world heritage. The inside was covered with pictures painted on the wall.

Sadly the name of the church will be untold in this story as i do not remember. Sorry.

Anjinsan had heard about a shortcut to the next one and it included a few kilometers on gravel. We found he road, but it was blocked by a gate. Apparently the gate was there to protect the trees fro illegal logging. A guy came out from a nearby house and he was happy to open the gate for us. At least i think so because i did not understand anything of the Romanian Anjisan and the gate man was discussing.
I must say i was a little worried when he had a hard time opening his garden gate, but he did manage and in a few minutes we where off into one of the most beautiful woods i ever been to.

After leaving the woods we came to The Dragomirna Monastery. It is a huge structure, thick stone walls protecting the church and a monastery. It date back to 1608. During our visit there was a mess going on and the music added to the experience. This was one of the things i wanted to see in Romania.

Sadly i did not get a good picture of the outside. But it was very impressive

After this it was a short ride down to Suceava where we visited a castle ruin that was under restoration.
Close by, as a bonus was the world famous, world biggest easter egg. Well world biggest egg anyway.

Easter eggs are a big thing here and i have been seen them all over romania.

the three of us rode together south from Suceava fore some kilometer but due to that Anjinsan had to get back to Bucharest for work we split up after a little while.

Here is a rare shot of the famous couple.
They heeded south for the direct route to Bucharest and I turned west again to go to Sighisoara to see the medieval city. It is an inhabited medieval citadel that, in 1999, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage.
But first i had to conquer the mountains again. Again this turned out to be a beautiful and great road to ride. After a couple of hours i reach the narrowest pass i have ever seen. Steep cliffs on each side and at the nearest no more then 10 meter opening.

I did not see any historical defensive structures and i found that strange. Surly such a pass would have had military value in days gone by.. Maybe i just did not notice. Did i mention i like defensive structures?

The downside was that there was heavy traffic. It was like every Tom, Dick and Harry in romania wanted to go to this pass on there easter day off. So for me that meant slow moving traffic up hill, in (to me) extreme heat. I was worried that it would over heat but the GTR handled well and there was no issues. The rider did worse and i had to stop a couple of times just to cool down. But at least i had less problems then this guy.

At the top there was a major traffic jam as several tour busses was coming each way. But after i got over the top the traffic was lighter and i could enjoy the sweeping road going down the mountains on the other side.

Mostly it was 50/50 with great good roads and roads with bumpy surface and potholes. What i found most frustrating was that i never did trust the road i was on. It could be great for miles and then suddenly around a corner there was a huge pothole or the hard surface could be missing completely.

After a while i needed a little rest and i saw a beautiful church up on hill. I thought that could be a nice place to stretch my legs. Turned off the road and searched for a way to the church. The road took me to a river crossing ford and i looked at it for a few seconds and thought: well there is a first for everything and i set off. It was deeper then i thought but i did get over whiteout getting anything else but my boots wet.

Sadly the road ended soon after the small river and you needed to walk the last 500 meters up to the church. I did not want to leave any gear on the bike as there was a couple of older kids around that looked like they where up to no good. Sorry if i sound judgmental and maybe i was, but i just did not want to take that chance. And i did not fancy to cary it all up the hill. So i set off back over the small river and onto the road again.
At least i had forded a river.

I reached Sighisoara as the sun was setting, so i parked and walked around the beautiful medieval citadel.

This city should not be missed if you are in the area. While walking i thought; I'm 200km away from Transfagarasen pass. I know its closed at the top, but the reason i wanted to go to Romania the first place was to ride that pass. And im gona ride what ever i can of it no matter what. So leaving Sighisoara i set my course for the original goal for my Romania visit.
This took I'm on some secondary roads that was in really bad condition and the 200 km took me 4 hours. As a bonus i saw several fortified churches along my route.

But finally at 2300 and riding almost 3 hr in the dark i found a hotel and crashed for the night. It was a nice hotel and only cost me 60 ron(about 14 euro). But the name slipped my mind. Its located at the roundabout where Transfagarasen ends on the north side.

Next time i might be riding the North side of the pass.
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