Next day i woke up at 0530 and looked out the window at the mountains.
They where calling for me. There where a few clouds and morning mist but i knew that would not spoil my ride up Transfagarase's north side.
About half a hour later i was all set and ready to go. got my stuff down and would you know it my bike was still right where i parked it in front of the main doors. The lady in the reception had a surprised look on her face when i was this early. After all i had only been there a little less then 7 hours and she knew i was a tourist. I had to state why i was visiting Romania on a form when checking in and i wrote tourist. AAAHH tourist she said loud and smiled. Maybe she don't have that many at this time of the year, or at all. I don't know.
After just a couple of kilometers the road started to climb up into the mountains and the next 20 or so was great. But then i reached a roadblock made of concrete blocks. There was a gap between them, big enough for my bike and i thought: What is the worst thing that could happen and i pushed on between the blocks.
The road went on going up and it just got more and more beautiful. Breath taking views to the front and right hand side.
But the road was full of small and big stones. Some as big as a couch.
One of those could easily ruin a otherwise perfect day, so i was going slow. After a little while there was snow covering almost all of the road. I found a narrow strip close to the edge and got around them all until i reached 1640 meters. The road was gone completely under the snow.
I parked and walked the next couple of hundred meters to get this view.
I thought about spending some time clearing away some of the snow. Looked at the wet slippery grass beside the road, but in the end decided i would not push my luck and head back down again. On the way back my head was full of thoughts. Happy that i got to ride most of the north side of the pass, and sad that i could not do it all. Maybe i will need to come back for this later in life. At least i can now say i have ridden most of the north side of
About midway going down i meet a front loader going up. I thought to my self, i hope he is not on his way to clear snow, and if he is i hope i never find out. I was suprised that he did not even look at me as i was coming down this closed off road where i should not be. Maybe he is just so used to it i thought, or he is laughing his ass off now as he improved the road block......
And sure enough
He did. The gap was gone and i seemed to be stuck. Another car drove up to the roadblock on the other side, looked at me and turned around. Maybe he was laughing to. Maybe the front loader operator saw me going up and thought he would teach me a lesson.
But they did not know I was not a average biker, but no less then a resourceful ADV rider. Did a roadblock stop Colebatch in Chernobyl or Anjinsan in Mexico. I looked at my options and the curb was 6 inches high and that would be hard to get up with my bike. But he had left me with enough material to build a ramp.
So i got to work. Carried the panniers and top box over and drove up the ramp and down the other side.
Ha.. I was feeling that whatever Romania would throw at me i could handle it. Rivers roadblocks or virgins.. Bring it on! Well still not seen any of these virgins but I'm sure i would have handled that to.
Now i set my course for Bran castle, this would be my last stop before Bucharest where i would meet up with Anjinsan and Andrea again. On the way i passed thru several villages and small towns.
Do this men i can go back to my dirty old self?
I also had a longer stop in Fagaras, at the old castle. It is impressive with its thick walls and wide moat. It was open but no sign of any activity. A few information posters told a short history of the towers but beside that not much information.
The road from Fagaras to Brasov where a faily new road with perfect hard surface and 100 km/t speed limit. I stretched this limit a little and where enjoying myself, on the winding roads as it passed over and around the rolling hills of this area.
Close to Bran city i passed another fortress and was tempted to make a stop. But decided not to as i was ready for Bucharest.
Bran castle was a beautiful picturesque castle sitting on top of a cliff. Bran itself was transformed into a tourist machine supporting the castle and i was not to comfortable and quickly walked the steep track up to the castle. It was beautiful restored and complete with furniture and other items appropriate to its time period. About 5 euros to enter and totally worth it.
It had a couple of towers, but i found no virgins in any of them.
At this time i was getting hungry as i had still not yet eaten breakfast. So i bought me something that was freshly backed over a fire. The name escapes me but maybe Alex can fill in what it was if he sees the picture.
It tasted wonderful,
Time to get back on the road, and it was another great winding road going over mountains for the first 2 hours or so. then it continued onto the plains that Bucharest sits on and that was more dull. The traffic was getting worse and worse as i got closer to. There was some very aggressive drivers, overtaking me with just inches to spare but i did reach the apartment area where i was to meet up with Alex and Andrea. The gps did not take me to the exact address but missed by one street. Alex asked me on the phone what the area looked like. and my reply was: I'm under some trees between tall apartment blocks. That would describe 95% of Bucharest. It took some phone use before we where able to teem up again. In the end i was found, rescued and fed.
Andrea cooked us dinner and later we went out to see and hear a traditional Romanian music group perform. Alex would not join us as he had work in the morning. We had desserts and i disappointed by going for something as plain as ice cream. (its my adventure - i'll eat what i want to:)
The musicians were playing at the tables, one table at the time doing requests and me and Andrea was afraid they would think we where a couple and play something romantic. So when he approached our table i warded him off by saying we where Norwegians and would not know what to request. He then started playing a few norwegian traditional tunes and that took me by surprise. I did not see that coming.
Andre took me around down town showing me some of the buildings that looked better in artificial lighting then they did during day time. Her knowledge and passion for the city was impressive. Sadly both my cameras was out of battery so no pictures from this walk.
Every so often there would be a derelict building in between the others. And apparently this is a problem in Bucharest as most of the buildings where occupied by the communist regime and given to officials. Now there are trials as the rightful owners who were kicked out 40 years ago want the buildings back. And while this go on the buildings fall into disrepair.
It is sad and i hope they manage to sort it quickly.
Next day it will be more touring of Bucharest and then off to Bulgaria. And a look at the most impressive monument i have ever seen.