Romania: Who knew it would be this amazing?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by eatpasta, Jun 12, 2018.

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  1. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    First things first - all I can say is: GO. Now. Drop whatever you're doing and go. Now. Its so beautiful, the people are fantastic and the riding is incredible. It's also relatively cheap. For a whole pizza and a Guinness in a pub in Cluj I think I paid $37 ron which is less than $10.

    So, I was recently sent to Cluj, Romania for work and like any good ADV rider I immediately set to researching what riding I could do out there. My eyes got real big real fast. So I hired a guide, rented and bike and did 22 hours of riding in two days.

    Ive only been off the plane for about 12 hours and trying to get caught back up at work, but I wanted to start this thread and get a couple pics up as I kind of pick away at my ride report. I hate to do it this way but I just dont have big blocks of time to work on this.

    So I'll leave this here...

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    #1
  2. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    My work gave me the chance to travel to Cluj, Romania.

    I had only been in the company a few months and didn’t want to seem like I wasn’t up for the challenge. So I gave them a half-enthusiastic yes and made travel plans not knowing anything about the country.

    I’m no stranger to travel having spent two months in Vietnam for honeymoon, a month in Baja on a GS with my wife as well as numerous shoter trips.

    Once I started doing research, I quickly got excited about the prospect of riding there but finding a bike to rent would be tricky and finding a guide would be harder. I did finally find both, and both of them were perfect for my visit.


    The Airbus A380 was about as comfortable as you can be on a 12 hour flight. The smaller plane to Cluj was significantly less comfortable.


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    Cluj is charming even from the air

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    Off the plane and into the hotel – the view reveals the mash up of two very different time periods. This house looks like it’s been built around for the past 100 years


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    As soon as I could I was on the street looking for dinner. First impressions of Cluj is that it’s beautiful.

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    There is lots of street art and tagging all over the city which visually exposes a frustrated younger generation

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    There are tons of cafes so I sat down at O’Peters…. And had a Guinness and a steak pie



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    I spent 4 days in the office getting to know our teams in Cluj and they were all great people. The view from the office isn’t bad either

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    There were some things around that were comically huge. For instance 2.5 liter beers!



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    Or perhaps a wafer the size of a floor tile?



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    Monster has Rossi drink out there. I guess the idea is that it makes you rider better….?


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    I went out and found a typical Romanian Tshirt


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    #2
  3. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    sounds like you capitalized on a good opportunity with work and fun
    #3
  4. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    oh you know it. When is the next time I'm going to be able to go ride in eastern Europe?

    I'm hoping my office decides to keep sending me once or twice a year!
    #4
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  5. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Frickin' awesome man, how cool to get an opportunity like that - nothing like work paying for your travel over there :thumb I hope you're able to get out and explore as much as possible; having watched the Romaniacs race for many years now, I've dreamed about getting a chance to ride there (though not to the hard enduro level...lol).

    The pics of the town you're staying in are cool; how long did you stay (or are you staying)? I saw the comment about 4 days in the office, was it a week long gig?

    Good on you for figuring out the bike rental and guide; think you'd head back with your wife and do a moto-vacation?

    Enjoyed the pics...post more from the riding :nod:nod
    #5
  6. goldtooth

    goldtooth Adventurer

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    I spent some time in Oradea, Romania for work. Sadly did not get to rent a bike and ride.....
    #6
  7. Merfman

    Merfman Cape truster... Supporter

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    Same as goldtooth only I was in Caracal... looks slightly different... also, no bike rent for me either, hardly worth the effort in S Romania... thanks for sharing, someday I'd like to return.
    #7
  8. JoeFab

    JoeFab Been here awhile

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    Great pics !...j.f.
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  9. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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  10. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Awesome! I haven't been to Romania since 1989. I need to go back, obviously...and on two wheels this time!

    :lurk
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  11. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    Riding in Europe, let alone Eastern Europe I would imagine, is a bucket list ride for nearly any ADV’er.

    Certainly for me, I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to ride this far east ever in my life now that I have young kids so this for me was absolutely bucket list material.

    I brought with me, my hiking boots because it rains quite a lot up there. I brought some summer gloves just in case I got a rental but needed a jacket and a helmet.

    Mihai had a jacket I could borrow but had to get a helmet from a friend and it was the only thing he could get.

    The helmet was like a torture device. If worn correctly, it pinched my ears like binder clips. It was one size too small as well so the hard shell on the top of my head was painful.

    The only way the helmet was tolerable was slightly sideways and sometimes, really sideways.

    This lead to many ‘hilarious’ pictures like this one:

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    But How could I really complain? I was about to strike out into the Romanian wilderness



    Checking tire pressure and getting fuel



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    While getting gas I noticed a pair of side-by-sides – street legal - were getting ready to head out. How much fun would that be?!



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    Within minutes the city melted away and we were half way to the countryside



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    10 minutes outside Cluj and we are already in the countryside





    #11
  12. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Great update @eatpasta! That dark lager in an earlier post looks fantastic; huge fan of those, brown ales, and the like.

    Fantastic scenery in the 2nd video; looks like a wonderful place to ride and explore. And the helmet shots - :lol3:lol3. Nothing like an ill-fitting lid; way to make it work.

    Wonder how much it'd be to rent one of those side-by-sides, not that I'd prefer that over 2-wheeled transport; but I'm in a similar boat and have a couple of young kids. Be sweet to do a family adventure in one of those packed with camping gear and supplies then head out with a guide. How soon is retirement again...lol.

    Thanks for the pics and write-up, most excellent :nod:nod
    #12
  13. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    :thumb

    you got it. still lots more to come!
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  14. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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  15. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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  16. egret

    egret noob

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    Cluj is Romania's IT Hubb, guess that is your areea of expertise. (Office pic gave you away too). If the occasion arises try sarmale and tripe soup, they are delicious, well like any food really. If fat doesn't scare you, ask for slanina (small slices of pigs fat) which is usually an aperitiff along with onion and cheese. Aaa, local rocket fuel is called tzuika, must try that one too.
    All the best and enjoy my backyard, well I'm half way around the world now but roots are still in Cluj.
    -zie egret.
    #16
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  17. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    you're absolutely correct.

    I did try a bunch of local dished including an awesome polenta but my favorite was a kind of beef stew that came with something like gnocchi - not sure what it was called but it was awesome.

    Cluj is awesome! I can see how it would be hard to leave!
    #17
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Is Anyone Here a Marine Biologist! Supporter

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    Great update @eatpasta - seriously dig the tracks you can see running off in the distance through the hills. And the not-so-visible tracks are sweet too, imagine it was incredible to ride through that country/terrain and experience the solitude.

    Could you get down to that citadel and look around, or was it tucked down too far without access? Talk about some kick-ass history, and passing by the place where a battle was fought during WWII must have been neat (if solemn).

    Looking forward to the next installment!
    #18
  19. MrVvrroomm

    MrVvrroomm Been here awhile

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    Beautiful!

    We are leaving next week for an 8 day road tour in Romania.
    #19
  20. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    You can get down there and we just didnt have the time. As it was, Saturday was 12+ hours and there was SO much I wanted to stop and drink in!


    Awesome!! You're going to have a blast. Make sure that when you post up some picture to tag me in there so I can see where you were
    #20