Loop of Romania in summer of 2018

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jadvst, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Introduction
    After our last trip to Albania in 2017 (Ride report can be found here), my girlfriend and I decided to ride to, and do a loop of, Romania the following year. So in the summer of 2018 we rode our Transalps to Romania and back from our home in the Netherlands. The trip was 18 days. We rode to Romania via mostly highways, did a loop through Romania on paved and unpaved roads and rode back home via mostly highways again. We rode from The Netherlands through Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary into Romania. From Romania we rode back through Hungary, Austria and Germany to The Netherlands. I put a rough overview of our GPS tracks in the map below. In total we rode over 7000 km's (about 4300 miles).
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    We did not have a set plan, but merely the goal to ride through Romania, experience the country and see some sites. We did collect some roads and routes we wanted to ride and some sights we wanted to see before heading off to use as a general guideline, but mostly we just like to see where the journey takes us and what we're up for when we wake up in the morning. We camped all nights on the trip.

    This year we ditched the top-boxes and got two dry bags with backpack straps instead. This way we had the weight further to the front and it had less turbulence on higher speeds, but the main reason was to be able to ride faster on unpaved roads when fully packed.
    #1
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  2. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 1
    From home, Enschede, The Netherlands
    To Camping Oase, Prague, Czech Republic
    765 KM (about 475 miles)


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    At about 09:30 in the morning we departed from our home in Enschede (which is in the eastern part of The Netherlands) with the goal to ride as far as possible in the direction of Romania, the goal of our trip.
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    Still riding in The Netherlands.
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    Refuelling the bike and the body. We had some nice curry sausage with fries on a rest stop alongside the Autobahn in Germany.
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    Luck was not on our side in Germany, there was a lot of traffic, traffic jams and road construction slowing us down. Somehow I didn't take any pictures of this, the only one I got is of a stop-light in some German town.
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    About 220 km's later we needed to refuel again...
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    The weather was just perfect for highway riding: dry and not too hot.
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    Another fuel-stop, we were approached by some fellow riders and had a nice chat.
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    As we rode on the traffic got a lot better and the scenery started to improve as well.
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    Yet another fuel-stop, this time in the Czech Republic if I am not mistaking. Yes highway riding can be boring.
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    As the day started coming to an end we decided to camp somewhere around Prague in the Czech Republic.
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    We found a camp-site online, but our GPS navigation put us on the wrong side of the town. After a bit of a search we found it. It was dark by the time we got there.
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    The moon was out, which gave some nice mood lighting.
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    We pitched the tent, made some diner and went to sleep.
    #2
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  3. Comrade Art

    Comrade Art Working stiff

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    789
    Location:
    Oregon
    Romania is a beautiful country. Looking forward to the rest of your trip.
    #3
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  4. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 2
    From Camping Oase, Prague, Czech Republic
    To Camping Tulipán, Eger, Hungary
    680 KM (about 423 miles)


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    In the morning my girlfriend was up early, I was not.
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    When she came back with fresh bread I quickly decided to get up and eat some breakfast.
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    Before long our stuff was packed, the camp site paid and we headed out to take a look around the area.
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    Soon after we took to the highways again. As always we stopped every 200 km or so to get fuel for the bikes and some food and rest for ourselves.
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    We rode out of the Czech Republic through Slovakia into Hungary. To be able to ride the highways in Hungary we needed vignettes for the bikes.
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    Around Budapest we got into a lot of heavy traffic and road works. Although we were lane-splitting most of the time, it cost us a lot of progress. Eventually when we got past Budapest, we were tired and hungry so we decided to take a little break and have dinner. After dinner we searched online for a camp site on our route onwards toward Romania. We found one not too far from the highway and decided to stay the night there.
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    We arrived after dark. The night guard let us in and we quickly pitched the tent and went to sleep.
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    #4
  5. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 3
    From Camping Tulipán, Eger, Hungary
    To Camping OffRoadventure, Borșa, Romania
    412 KM (about 256 miles)


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    The camp site was in the backyard of a villa, which is currently used as a hotel.
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    The facilities were minimal but fine.
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    We looked around for a bit, paid, packed up and headed out to find fuel.
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    Due to the route we took, the road to the border into Romania was not a highway, but consisted of smaller paved roads through some villages. It was fun riding.
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    When we reached the border we had to wait for a bit. It got hot, but it was manageable with the vents in our suits.
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    The first village we rode through in Romania. Notice the European Union association on the sign. During our trip we were surprised to see how many villages and communities are supported and/or connected to European Union programs.
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    Later on we reached the village of Sighetu Marmatei, were the so-called "Merry Cemetery" is located. This is a cemetery around a church with sapanta-blue painted tombstones. The tradition of painting the tombstones blue dates back to 1936 (the cemetery itself is much older). A sculptor by the name of Stan Ioan Patras started this and did so until he died in 1977. By then he had made more than 700 of these colorful tombstones. After his death others have continued this tradition.
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    The tombstones describe the deceased person as he/she was in life. This is done with a painted picture as well as a short poem on the tombstone.
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    We rode on towards a camp site for offroad enthusiasts through the beautiful Romanian region of Maramures.
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    The gravel road we had to ride up towards the camp site was too much for my girlfriend after the long riding days we had behind us on her fully loaded adventure bike. She got about halfway up, but kept dropping the bike and it was getting dark. I rode my bike up the rest of the way, got a ride from one of the guys from the camp site back down and then rode her bike up as well.
    #5
  6. selkins

    selkins Gotta light?

    Joined:
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    I love eastern European ride reports - really gets me motivated to pay a visit. Thanks for the post and keep it coming!
    #6
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  7. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    Me too! Thanks jadvst!
    #7
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  8. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Location:
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    I can't see any of the photos! :beccastupid computers...
    #8
  9. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
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    Great report and photos. More please!
    #9
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  10. Pongo

    Pongo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
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    422
    Location:
    Victoria, BC Canada
    Very curios about riding in this area, keep it coming!
    #10
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  11. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

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    Glad you guys like it, more to come soon.
    #11
  12. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Thanks! Working on the next installment.
    #12
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  13. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Any (concrete) plans for riding Romania yet?
    #13
  14. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Great start to this ride report! Looking forward to more of the story!
    #14
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  15. nortoneye

    nortoneye n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2019
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    2
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Looking forward to your trip report-planning to tour Romania in September
    #15
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  16. severely

    severely almost a noob

    Joined:
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    Location:
    odessa MO/donna TX
    Very nice RR so far, keep it coming please.
    #16
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  17. malmon

    malmon Unknown Noobody

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
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    Thank you for sharing,
    what year is the Transalp?
    #17
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  18. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
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    Location:
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    Thanks for the kind words, next installment coming soon!
    #18
  19. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    You are quite welcome.

    My bike is a XL600V PD10 from 1999 (the silver 50th anniversary edition of Honda), the bike of my girlfriend is a XL600V PD06 from 1991 (the black one).
    #19
  20. jadvst

    jadvst Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Day 4
    From Camping OffRoadventure, Borșa, Romania
    To Camping Babou Maramures, Breb, Romania
    166 KM (about 103 miles)


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    The night before after pitching the tent, we had a nice shot of local liquor "Pálinka", which is made from plums. It was just what we needed after the ride up. While talking he asked us whether we wanted to have some breakfast in the morning. We liked the sound of that and the next morning we where spoiled with a feast of a breakfast including fresh milk and home-made jam.
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    From the table we had breakfast on, we had a nice view.
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    After breakfast we walked back to where we pitched the tent and packed up.
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    The ride down in daylight showed off the beautiful surroundings better than the ride up in the dark the night before.
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    We rode around the town and got some supplies at the local supermarket and some info at the tourist office.
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    After fuelling up, we took the old main road. This led us through a lot of different towns and continuously changing surroundings.
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    In the village of Bogdan Voda (which is named after Bogdan I who is the first ruler of independent Moldavia in 1360) there is a statue of him.
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    Opposite the statue, the old and the new, two churches next to each other.
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    All over Maramures we encountered wooden gates in front of houses (and churches). The gates traditionally represent the people who live beyond the gate and are intended to keep out the hectic outside world and welcome people to come in. Different carvings in the wood stand for different things. For instance, a snake represents the guardian of the household and the sun stands for life. These carvings can get quite intricate.
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    We also encountered a lot of traditional wooden churches. We visited the church of Rozavlea (see below). It was build from 1717 and is dedicated to the archangels Michael and Gabriel.
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    The way the wooden shingles are placed on each other and the slope of the roof is typical for these wooden churches and sheds rainwater and heavy snow very good.
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    Around the church, a cemetery is located.
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    We got the chance to enter the church and were allowed to take pictures (without flash). Interestingly, the interior was not painted until 1823.
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    After visiting the church of Rozavlea, we also wanted to visit the church in Surdesti. My parents had visited this church back in 1980 and we wanted to take a look at it in present day.
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    It turned out to be very hard to find, both our navigation unit and Google did not provide the correct route.
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    After a while of driving around we found it! The church in Surdesti called The Church of the Holy Archangels was built in 1721, it is the highest wooden church in world from this era at 72 meters (236 feet) high. This church is dedicated to the holy archangels. The entire church is made of wood, not even nails were used to construct it. At this church we were not allowed to take pictures inside.
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    As the sun was descending, we rode onwards toward our camp site for the evening through the beautiful region of Maramures.
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    When we reached the camp site there was not much light left.
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    #20
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