Latvia - Romania

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Grants, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Grants

    Grants Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Latvia
    So, in the summer of 2011, together with my girlfriend decision was made to travel with my bike from Latvia to Romania. I have to admit that I have heard about Romania only few facts, like "in Romania they are manufacturing Dacia Logan", "that there are a lot of mountains and mountain roads etc". So, I was ready to visit this country and explore mountain roads, famous Transfagarasan route (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfăgărășan ) and just have some fun.
    To get to Romania I have to go trough places like - Lithuania - Poland - Slovakia - Hungary, in total 4 000km. for whole trip I had 9 days, so according to my calculations it should be enough.

    1. The Bike - 2005` R1200GS recently serviced, so there shouldn't be any technical issues or whatsoever
    [​IMG]

    2. Navigation - it was clear for me that using a "paper map" would be a total disaster for me, so I decided to use car Garmin navigation. It worked fine even though there was some issues with power cable, fitting on the bike etc. so I had to use some skills learned from famous "McGiver"; besides that it would be impossible to use navigation in the rain, because it isn't waterproof so I was hoping that there will be no rainy days in the trip
    [​IMG]

    3. My Co - Pilot somewhere in the Slovakia;
    [​IMG]

    4. In the day 1st I managed to cover 800km travelling from Latvia, Sigulda till the Poland, Lublin. We staid in the camping place in the middle of the city. It was the longest distance which was covered in one day on bike, so I was kinda happy and proud about my achievement.

    5. Russian fighter plane or bomber near the border of Slovakia, if I'm correct this is IL-2, I was a bit surprised by the dimensions of this plane, I thought they are a bit smaller;
    [​IMG]

    6. I was in such a rush that I have managed to cause a tank accident :) involving Russian T-34 and German Panther tank;
    [​IMG]

    7. any way, in the very end of 2nd day we managed to reach Romania's city Satu - Mare. I was expecting that we will reach this city in the middle of the day, but due to some navigation problems we reached the city almost in the middle of night. We couldn't find any hotels or place where to set up a camp, but after a good while we managed to found one of the local hotels Aurora, with very fancy soviet style wooden panels on walls :)
    [​IMG]

    8. Yes - it`s a DACIA :) one of the kind :D
    [​IMG]

    9. Decision was made to travel from Satu Mare to Cluj Napoca and further to one of the best camping places I have visited so far, located not far away from Sibiu. The plan was to go from Sibiu to magic road of 7C and than head to Brasov;
    [​IMG]

    enjoying deserved cold bear in Cluj Napoca;
    [​IMG]

    10. Masterpiece of local architecture. No seriously, WTF?
    [​IMG]

    11. We managed to reach our camping place located in Doua Lumi (GPS coordinates just in case: N 46.21146 - E 24.3242) It was really nice place with swimming pool and a shop with cold bear just across the street; It really was something unbelievable, and owner of the place even managed to rise a flag of Latvia;
    [​IMG]

    Enjoying the swiming pool, cold bear, sun etc;
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Yes, I`m proud:
    [​IMG]

    12. Sibiu - really nice city, with nice / old architecture and old town:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    13. after the Sibiu we planned to go to famous mountain road 7C, I was really excited
    [​IMG]

    14. And YES Finally :) One Picture will tell 1000 words
    [​IMG]

    one interesting thing which is worth to mention - as you can see for this road there are "working ours", in the night and winter it is closed. Locals told me that starting from September the road is closed because of snow and ice on the road.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    enjoying the fantastic view
    [​IMG]

    Bikers from other countries:
    [​IMG]

    Co Pilot enjoying the view also :D
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    15. I have to admit that this road is really fantastic and worth seeing, spectacular views combined with curvy mountain roads is a good combination. Even though there where road construction works, so we had to reduce our speed to 15km/h and that wasn't fun at all.
    [​IMG]

    16. After Sibiu we went to Brasov, our plan was to stay in the camping place near the city, but we didn't managed to find this place, so we have decided to sleep in the tent, even though I was a bit concerned about the bears which are living in the local forests;
    searching for the place where to set up a camp.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    in the next morning I have noticed that we managed to find an ultimate camping place with stunning view to the mountains and countryside:
    [​IMG]

    Brasov definitely is worth visiting, just to enjoy old city, architecture etc:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    17. famous Bran AKA Dracula Castle. It really was a nice place and old town but I was a bit concerned about bike security because of local gipsies / beggars who where walking around;
    [​IMG]

    local inhabitants
    [​IMG]

    18. Sports wear shop near the road :)
    [​IMG]

    19. It was already 1st of September and our trip was coming to an end, so we continued our trip back to Latvia. Unfortunately I have decided to go through Ukraine, and that was a complete disaster. It all started in the boarder where we had to wait for 3h just to get through. Afterwards we had some problems with traffic police because of violation of traffic rules, but 40 minutes and 10.00 EUR later every thing was ok with them... Anyway, I was more than happy when saw Ukraine in my mirror, I don't think I would like to go there again.

    1st of September in Ukraine:
    [​IMG]

    20. One of the last stops in Poland in bad camping, but we where so tired and exhausted that we really didn't care any more.
    [​IMG]

    we reached Latvia in night, it was dark and pouring rain, and my tinted helmet visor didn't helped me much :) but I was happy that we managed to go to this trip. I have to say that Romania is definitely worth visiting, there are good roads, stunning views, friendly people. Maybe next time we will visit some other city's of Romania.
    lets see...
    #1
  2. Tripletreat

    Tripletreat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    601
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Very nice report. There are some inviting roads and beautiful scenery there. Thanks for sharing this with us. Oh yes, your co-pilot is very pretty too! :clap
    #2
  3. salvador81

    salvador81 tomek

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    I remember this house. It's "incredible" Gypsy palace behind Cluj Napoca, on the road to south. I see, that we made this year very similiar route through Romania :)
    #3
  4. Pickup man

    Pickup man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    295
    Location:
    People's Socialist Republic of Ontario, Toronto
    Enjoyed your ride report, Romania has some stunning scenery and spectacular roads!
    #4
  5. chazz

    chazz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    London UK
    :clapExcellent thanks:clap
    #5
  6. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

    Joined:
    May 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,456
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Great report, hope to ride Romania one day too :D
    #6
  7. Sorin

    Sorin n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Bucharest, Romania
    I am glad that you liked our country! This year we invite you to see Transalpina road and some other mountains which surrounds it :-) .It is at this moment the highest road in Romania and it was repaired 100% in 2011, perfect ride in the mountains!

    Attached Files:

    #7
  8. Ropey

    Ropey Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25
    Great RR... I have Romania planned for this Summer, any idea will Transfag or TransAlpina be open mid May?
    #8
  9. Jawer

    Jawer Adventurist

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    Latvia
    Nice report man.

    P.S. nu smuks mocītis ;)
    #9
  10. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,085
    Location:
    Yellowknife, NWT
    Nice report! I went to Romania in 1990, two weeks after the revolution ended. Crazy trip, but I was on 4 wheels....would love to go back again on just 2!

    Thanks!
    #10
  11. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,298
    Location:
    Behind the Redwood Curtain
    Great trip...
    #11
  12. Grants

    Grants Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Latvia

    Yes, this could be a good option.
    Maybe in the summer I will visit Constanta, Bucaresti, and of course, Transalpina.
    #12
  13. Grants

    Grants Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    Latvia

    Heijā, Paldies!
    #13
  14. Sorin

    Sorin n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Bucharest, Romania
    Both Transfagarasan & Transalpina are opened started with June.
    I would recommend " Best of Carpathian Mountains Tour" - 8 days of riding which includes, besides these 2 famous roads, mountain connections such as Cheia & Praid Passes and some others. It costs 870 euro and includes a BMW F650GS with navigation, 3&4 * hotel accommodation with breakfast & airport transfers.
    #14
  15. blind rider

    blind rider n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1
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mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> I’m interested in such a trip as well.

    Var&#275;tu s&#257;kt no Siguldas:rofl
    #15
  16. jesperd

    jesperd Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Malmo, Sweden
    I'm going there beginning of June. I have been told that Transfagarasan officially opens June 1st depending on weather. There's a gate at the summit that is simply shut. Transalpina is open all year if you can beat the snow. That's what I have been told, haven't been there myself - yet. Even if it is closed when you get to the top, I'm sure the ride is nice - even going back :-)

    Also, I understand that traffic is bad in the weekends on Transfagarasan. Some says Transalpina is better.

    Postpone your trip a couple of weeks, I'll meet you at Lake Balea :-)
    #16
  17. squawk77

    squawk77 Dreamer

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Classified
    Thanks for this report, I enjoyed it!

    This is on the top of my list while I'm living in Germany. I can probably manage 2 or 3 week trips at a time and I'm about about 1800kms from the Transf&#259;g&#259;r&#259;&#537;an. So many things to see along the way in E Europe it's hard to decide which route to take!
    #17
  18. Ropey

    Ropey Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    25
    Love to mate but ferries already booked 27th April leave Ireland and sail back 18th may.... This is all driven by work, I need to be in the USA first week in June...

    I'll chance the Tranfag and keep you posted.... I may just be lucky!!!

    Ropey
    #18
  19. bob66

    bob66 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    151
    Location:
    Bucharest, Romania
    Hi guys, glad you enjoy Romania roads.

    Indeed, (especially) Transfagarasan and Transalpina can be very crowded in the weekends. But this is usually in the full season, not in the beginning (ie June).
    We have holidays (days-off) on 9 June and 15 August.

    If you need more information let us know. I think there are some Romanians on this forum.

    Regards,
    Cristian
    #19
  20. ERU

    ERU Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Bucharest
    Hello guys.
    Exactly as Bob sad Transfagarasan and Transalpina are overcrowded only in full summer season.
    Transalpina as stated before is open whole year if you can beat the snow.
    Transfagarasan has a tunnel in the highest point, and the tunnel has gates that are closed in the winter season, but in the gates there are some doors for pedestrian use. If you have anything else but a big boxer you should be able to slip through the doors, but again if you can beat the snow.
    #20