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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by muf722, Aug 27, 2019.
great report thanks for posting
I never planned to go to Bucharest. But my route is so off the beaten track, that no hotels can be found on route. So I sneak inside the outer ring road of Bucharest to find accommodation. My GPS is telling me, the hotel is on the right, and I search a few alleys before I find it.
Ah. On the left. The only 5 star hotel on this trip. The name "Reve Mariage" (dream wedding) gives it away. Breakfast begins at 9 am. I guess nobody wants early breakfast after a wedding, so I negotiate to 0830. At 52€ (58$) still good value.
Heading east out of Bucharest on a motorway, I get passed by a Romanian motorcycle club. I'm not on the motorway for speed and keep my normal cruising pace.
Soon I'm on the minor roads, where I'm the fastest.
Road with many horse drawn carts.
Its my first trip to Romania, so I have to try the most famous route. The Transfăgărășan. It crosses the Caparthian Mountains and I approach from the south. The fast paced motorcycle club from the motorway needs a break, and I catch up.
And it begins.
The southern part is the most beautiful. Later the road becomes more rider rewarding.
Passing the dam
Somebody peeled the road. I'm sure a rider or two had a surprise coming round a fast corner. Not marked and after 2 miles the road is fine again.
Lake and dam on The Transfăgărășan.
I find a nice restaurant for lunch overlooking the lake further up the road.
Riding up to the pass to 2000m (6600ft)
Flashing low temp warning. It is even colder on the other side of the top tunnel. 0.5C (33F) and this is midday and sunny. This time of year and the pass can close due snow!
Top of the pass
Down the northern side.
Looking up the pass.
At the end of the day, I check in Hotel EKA. Strangely placed in a residential area, I wonder who else chooses a location like this to rest. The Hotel is well aware of its natural stopping point after a day on the bike. And the route straight south from EKA is another well known route. The Transalpina.
So bikers end up here.
Cold morning with 5C (41F) and when todays route go up in elevation, then its near freezing. Skyclear day.
Really happy with todays route. From Alba Lulia to Campeni and then through the national parks.
Sun in the back, no traffic and roads from biker heaven.
Not that I need to refuel, but I need hot coffee. Very cold morning.
Stopped at a viewpoint in a national park.
Drone is up
From video flyby.
Apuseni Park. Better route is hard to find. And newly cleaned. 100 people are working on this Saturday to remove plastic and scrap from the roadside. Much needed I'm afraid.
Exit Romania close to Oradea.
Entry Hungary. I stopped and looked at these two gentlemen waiting for them to take some initiative. I had to ask what they wanted. Passport. Well. A passport control should not be mandatory between two EU countries. I would expect just to roll across.
Fuel stop on the right. Hotel Outlet in the middle. And the outlet mall on the left. I went to buy shoes and came back with new jeans.
I'm spoiled with the fine weather. Another perfect day. No so cold anymore.
Every country has its own traffic culture and I learn from the locals. Riding behind the red car, I notice he is exactly on the 50 km/t (31mph) limit in towns and then much faster outside. So I stay behind and see a lot of police patrolling and handing out tickets on this Sunday morning.
Same story with these guys. Slow in town. Fast outside. I follow them into The Slovak Republic. The 10th country on the route.
I'm out of detail maps, but follow the route I planned from home. Again I'm lucky with the road selection. I think I only see two intersections with traffic lights in all of Slovakia.
Brand new tarmac and beautiful mountain roads.
Some roadwork ahead. It's 5 minutes not seconds to go. Time enough to take a leak at the side of the road.
Finally green and I ride down the road that should now be clear. Surprised when meeting several cars coming up the road. The traffic light on the other end is not in order!
Next mountain range to cross. Its the border to Poland.
Sunday drivers in the mountains. Many others out enjoying the super weather. I pass hundreds of cars crawling up the road.
I want to find a lunch place in Slovakia, but then suddenly I'm in Poland
The place I find in Poland is on the mountain near the ski resorts. All the decor is handmade and as if taken from the movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". The toilet in the restroom is all metal and the reservoir above display a show of moving parts when flushing
The door lock is worthy as a submarine hatch.
Very hard to filter when drivers do not stay to the right. I hit a few of the road work markers with the side mirror.
On page 1, my route through eastern Europe have only two red markers. 1. is The Transfăgărășan. 2. is Auschwitz. I have never travelled eastern Europe on a roadtrip before and knew I only would have time to visit a few places underway.
Entrance to Auschwitz I "Arbeit Macht Frei" Gate
Auschwitz was build to house Soviet prisoners of war. Of 10.000 held only 600 survived the first year. The survivors were transferred to the newly build Auschwitz II- Birkenau and the camps transformed to Concentration Camps and Death Camps.
Double electrified and barbed wire fences. Camp blocks on the right.
Former ammunition bunker made into Gas Chamber/Crematory.
Furnace in Crematory.
The two Auschwitz Camps are close. Birkenau is the larger and purpose built as a death camp
Many exhibitions in the Blocks. This one is particularly scary. A room full of hair cut from the women in the Camps.
And another is used cans with Zyklon B
The Execution wall serves as a memorial.
Today monday morning I visit Auschwitz II- Birkenau. The main gate with the train line in.
1.100.000 were killed in the two Camps during the war.
Both Gas Chambers/Crematories flanking the train line were dynamited near the end of the war by the SS, in an effort to hide the crimes.
End of the line.
this camp was NOT for war prisoners.
Certainly not. I'm just surprised to learn that POWs also were in both these Camps in 40-41. Its common knowledge who died in the Camps.
Todays post is mostly about why I normally never travel by motorway. The route is to Potsdam south of Berlin 600km (375miles). Since there's a motorway going straight for Berlin I'll make an exemption and expect an easy travel day.
Traffic jam from the start near Katowice.
Bridge work is the cause.
Next a long wait due to a road accident involving several vehicles.
Waiting in line to pick up toll ticket.
Its narrow, but there's two temporary lanes here. Most trucks use both. In my frustration is use the horn.
Waiting to pay tolls. Motorcycles do not go free.
After 200km waiting for my exit, I miss it and go for a detour.
Potsdam center is jammed to a standstill. On green only 4-6 cars make it across intersections. Not a rewarding day. And I'm hot. I'm geared up for a cool day, but its 25C (77F).
Finally I can calm down at the Templiner See. I stay at a lakefront hotel. The last stop. Tomorrow I go home.
Great Blog, I wish we could meet when you were in Turkey. Maybe next time. Keep on traveling dude. Cheers..Murat
Great RR and pics! Looks like an amazing trip!
Have really enjoyed your RR
Looks like a nice ride - thank you for taking us along.
I have left myself an easy 3 hour ride up to Rostock where I'll ferry back to Sweden at 1510. I check the weather forecast and it should be cloudy and dry.
And its drizzle and light rain the whole way. I'm happy with no time or distance pressure today and stay at 90-100 km/h. 16C (60F) is perfect with all the gear I'm wearing.
I find a gas station for the last refuel and can stay under the roof while on lunch stop.
The 5th and final ferry. 6 hour transfer up to south Sweden and then a 35 minute dash to home. I park the bike at 2215. Flawless performance by the BMW.
Total distance traveled is 11.200km (7.000miles). Take away the 5 ferries and its 9.800km on two wheels. My bike asks for a service in 200km with the 10.000km oil service life. How about that for planning.
I have run Mitas E07s on Africa and South America tours . This year the rear is the new E07+ without the center band. They were fitted start of season and have rolled 13.000km so far. They still look great and is my preferred tyre. I had to add a little air a few times but no punctures. I carry two pumps now after a previous pump failure.
The front equally fine. The yellow stripe indicates the Dakar version with reinforced sidewalls.
End of RR. Thanks for following. I'm off to Miami in a few days. For work. Hard work.. Happy trails!
Fantastic. Thank you very much.
Great report on a part of the world I really want to visit!
Awesome Fleming! Thanks for taking me on your ride with you. Marianne told me about this adventure and I've enjoyed every post.
Ian - Sydney.
Happy that you did. And thanks to you. I did ride many of the roads you recommended on my 8300km Australian adventure earlier this year.