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Old 08-26-2009, 04:10 AM   #1
Rudl OP
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
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Pictoresque Landscapes, Painted Churches, Perilous Animals, (Un)Paved Roads..

..Or: Rudl Rides Romania

The plan: A one-week solo ride from Vienna, Austria to Romania, starting on Saturday Aug 15th. In Romania do an anticlockwise circle along the Carpathians with a stopover in Bucharest where my girlfriend, Bettina, works every other week. Intention of the trip: See a mix of historic towns and great landscape going mostly on paved roads, but open to some gravel.



My first hotel in Timisoara is booked and Bucharest should be anywhere betwen Monday and Wednesday, preferrably Tuesday. A last night from Saturday to Sunday in Budapest is also planned, as Bettina will be there with a friend. Other than that, nothing is fixed.

The ride: Triumph Tiger 955i from 2003.


More pictures of the bike will follow, as it was my only companion on the ride

My photo bag, Douglas Adams-inspired.


I asked around here for some advice, so thanks cold_fire for your suggestions!
This is my first ride report, so please be tolerant.

Read on how it all worked out.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:42 AM   #2
Rudl OP
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Day 1: Vienna-Budapest-Szeged-Timisoara

Actually a fast crossing of Hungary mostly on motorways. Vienna to Szeged is 4 to 5hrs of motorway, then on lesser roads on to the Hungarian-Romanian border. There I made the first two mistakes of the day.
Mistake 1: Take a photo of the entirely flat border region. So a Romanian border guard comes up to me, explains very politely that it is forbidden to take photos here and chats a bit with me, asking also where I'm headed for the day. My answer: "Temesvar", the Hungarian name of the city also used in German. "Ah, Timisoara.", he replies. Mistake 2 and I haven't even shown my passport.

I get reminded how the city is called in Romanian upon entering it. Timisoara is also the city where the Romanian revolution started in 1989.


In Timisoara, I had to ask several people where the hotel was. All were extremely friendly, a girl also knew and pointed me in the right direction.

As the day wound down, ..


..I was getting dinner and a few Timisoareana beers downtown. Great bar scene and lively night life.


Glad I brought my own.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
zadok
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Good to see a Tiger report. It looks very stock. More?
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:05 AM   #4
Rudl OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zadok
Good to see a Tiger report. It looks very stock. More?
Yes, apart from the luggage and a main stand it's stock. That's all I could afford

BTW, Tyres are Anakee 2.

More to come..
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:16 AM   #5
Rudl OP
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Day 2: Timisoara-Lugoj-Orastie-Petrosani-Voineasa-Sibiu

Next morning I went downtown again and took a few pictures.

Downtown Timisoara - Pedestrian Zone


Timisoara tramway


Piata Unirii


Romanian Orthodox Cathedral


Then I was on the road again. Tank stop in Lugoj. Thanks to ingenious navigational skills (me..) and high tech navigation equipment (ordinary Romania street map in panniers) I missed the turn off point to Petrosani, so I had lunch in Orastie, from there with ~15km of backtracking to the intersection and on to Petrosani and further on the 7A road along the Carpathians to the Olt river valley. This road was through great landscape of mountains in thick forrests. Not all of it is paved, and I'm not sure I prefer the paved, but potholed part anyway. A lot of construction is currently going on there, so probably it will soon be all smooth. On a mountain pass, I gave a hiking German a ride back to his car as it was getting late and he and his group had spend the last days in the mountains. His car was parked on a side road off Transalpina so I also catched a glimpse of that famous road, but only the first few kms. I wanted to go to Sibiu and it would get dark soon, so no Urdele for me.

Between the Transalpina road and Voineasa I also saw marks for the Romaniacs 2009, didn't see any riders though.

For this day, I don't have any pictures of the road, as it was a long day and I mainly rode and hardly stopped. More on the next day though.
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:09 AM   #6
Rudl OP
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Day 3: Sibiu-Altina-Biertan-Valchid-Sighisoara-Agnita-Sibiu

Downtown Sibiu (Hermannstadt in German) is nicely renovated as it was European capital of culture in 2007. A few Sibiu shots.










Then I rode the area which is known for their Saxon population. During a short break in a village an old guy approached me and told me about his familiy in Germany and him commuting between Germany and Romania, where he has a cow and a few chicken.




The road to Biertan is only paved from one side. If you enter through the back door via Richis you get a few nice kms on gravel, complete with hairpins and horse carts.




Richis (Reichesdorf) seems to have outlived its name, but as always people were extremely friendly with children waving at me and older folk giving a courteous nod.

Biertan (Biertälm) used to be protestant episcopal see for about 300 years and as in many of the villages around, the church doubled as a castle.



A sign said the importance of Biertan derives from the fact that it is situated on cross roads, so I took the road across to Copsa Mare and Valchid. At least 10kms of great gravel to the main road to Sighisoara.



Sighisoara (Schässburg) is also an old Saxon town with a great medevial citadel. Another draw seems to be the fact that it is the hometown of Vlad Tepes, inspiration for the Dracula figure.


Vlad Tepes, complete with "mid-1980's porno moustache" (source: Lonely Planet)


Do they still get out of their graves regularily?


I went back to Sibiu on a nice back road via Agnita. Sibiu seemed the best start off point for the next day: Via the mountains to Bucharest.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:11 AM   #7
Bowes
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Excellent report and pics thanks for taking the time to share Hopefully gonna be seeing a bit of what you saw in Romania in a couple of weeks.
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:24 AM   #8
Rudl OP
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Day 4: Sibiu-Transfagarasan-Curtea de Arges-Pitesti-Bucharest

So this day included one of the highlights of Romanias roads: Transfagarasan mountain road. But I missed the first hairpin and went straight into the woods.


Back on the pass road. Thank you for that incredible road, Romania!






I had a wonderful trout on the seemingly endless road down from the pass with a wonderful view to castle Poienari. Now I was in Wallachia. Curtea de Arges is one of the oldest towns in Wallachia. The church in the namesake court is well renovated and bears an icon of a pregnant Virgin Mary, which the articulate caretaker praised as "shocking" to all non-Orthodox. It's in the top center icon on this photo.


An icon of Jesus, in the centre cupola of the church.


Then a short break in Pitesti and motorway to Bucharest. In Bucharest, I had a rough idea were to go but no details (s. above for my navigation) so after some searching and asking I took a left into Calea Victorei where I shouldn't and a policeman stopped me. F*ck, what now? I turned on a most pitiable face (not too hard after a hot, long day of riding), said many "sorry" and "I'm completely lost" and all I got was a detailed description of the itinerary to the hotel ("5x times right") which proved spot on.

No pictures of Bucharest this evening as I met my girlfriend here and had other things on my mind..
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
Rudl OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowes
Excellent report and pics thanks for taking the time to share Hopefully gonna be seeing a bit of what you saw in Romania in a couple of weeks.
Thanks! And you will enjoy Romania. At least I did.

And I also enjoyed your great Oman RR back in cold Austrian winter.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:01 AM   #10
Bowes
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Rudl, you need to farkle your bike with one of those GPS thingys. They make cities and towns soooo much safer when you don't know where your going. Thanks for the on the Oman RR, enjoying yours equally, great stuff
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:26 AM   #11
neighbor's goat
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Griasde!

Have a nice staying here, and a great ride! You' ve picked some beautiful waypoints on your way until now; keep it up! Tomorrow afternoon I'll be riding home with my GS thumper from Bucharest to Brasov (Kronstadt); if you wanna join, drop me a PM; but something tells me that you (+ girlfriend) already have plans made for the weekend. 'Ne gute Fahrt wuensch' ich dir, das Wetter wird schoen sein!
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:36 AM   #12
LovemaX
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Hey Rudl...
Welcome mate... looks like.. you really enjoyed the roads...
wonderful pics and the POV...
impressive... keep them bringing.... ..

~m~
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:08 PM   #13
Rudl OP
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowes
Rudl, you need to farkle your bike with one of those GPS thingys. They make cities and towns soooo much safer when you don't know where your going.
I know, and I even have a GPS. Maybe a bit outdated, but it still works. However, map coverage of Romania is quite limited, so I didn't bother taking it with me.
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:12 PM   #14
Rudl OP
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Vienna, Austria
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Servas

Quote:
Originally Posted by neighbor's goat
Have a nice staying here, and a great ride! You' ve picked some beautiful waypoints on your way until now; keep it up! Tomorrow afternoon I'll be riding home with my GS thumper from Bucharest to Brasov (Kronstadt); if you wanna join, drop me a PM; but something tells me that you (+ girlfriend) already have plans made for the weekend. 'Ne gute Fahrt wuensch' ich dir, das Wetter wird schoen sein!
Thanks for your offer, but my report is like a post mortem, just that everybody is still alive. I'm already back to Vienna.

My next day's report will be about the Bucharest to Brasov leg, too.
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Old 08-27-2009, 02:15 PM   #15
Robson Jaborá/SC
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Great RR
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