Romania








25/7 Brasov, Romania
Lat N 45° 36,32', Long E 25° 39,27'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
25 Jul 2005
9948 km

We are now in Brasov in Transylvania, which is charming town and an excellent spot for daytrips. We took the bus in to town, to have a look around and took the cabin lift up to the hill top overlooking the town.

The currency is kind of confusing. The bills have had a lot of zeroes for many years and right now they are changing for new bills without any zeroes or less zeroes. The prices are sometimes in the old currency, sometimes in the new currency and sometimes in both of them. This means a lot of counting back and forth for us… It also feels a bit strange to go from paying 1.60 for a beer in the Ukraine to pay 38 000 for a beer in Rumania.














26/7 Brasov, Romania
Lat N 45° 36,32', Long E 25° 39,27'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
26 Jul 2005
9948 km

Today we have had unlimited supply of electricity. Catharina took the opportunity to translate the diaries for Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Now everything is in phase.

After that we took the car to Brasov Castle, the one you se on all postcards and posters from Romania. Brasov Castle was built in 1378 and has been used as summer residence by Queen Marie in 1920. The castle has 57 tiny and charming rooms. Then we went to take a look at Rasnov Castle . Transylvania is a very beautiful place and has quite a few amazing castles.














27/7 Brasov, Romania
Lat N 45° 36,32', Long E 25° 39,27'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
27 Jul 2005
9948 km

Today we went to Poina Brasov to go horseback riding. The horse paths where amazing by the hills and mountains. It was only us and the guide in the group.

After that we went to Peles Castle in Sinaia. That is really a magnificent castle! Gold, glass, mirrors and completely furnished as from when it was built. Electricity, central heating and vacuum cleaner were installed in the late 1800. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos from inside the castle, but we really recommend a visit!

In the middle of nowhere we found a super nice family-owned Duch campsite. We were greeted with a welcoming drink when we arrived. Great place to stay!














28/7Camping de oude wilg, Romania
Lat N 45° 47,04', Long E 24° 03,99'
Today: 77 °F ( +25 °C)
28 Jul 2005
10291 km

We took the incredibly beautiful Trans-Fagarsan Highway, a winding road that climbs a high mountain pass. Bert skipped the shower this morning but decided that was a bad idea, so he took one along the road instead. We took a coffee break by a mountain stream to admire the scenery for a while. In the mountains we also met a Frenchman who was on the way to Istanbul by mountain bike. He had the most fantastic tent that it only took two seconds to pitch.

After all that we went to visit Anca and her family, which Bert and Bertil met on their trip by motorbike from India. It was a fond reunion and we got equally well looked after and cared for this time. We parked our car in their yard and had to firmly tell them that there was absolutely no problem at all for us to sleep in our car.

In the evening we helped bring down 68 cows from the beet field in hills down to the village. After that we where invited for an excellent meal with the family. Everything that we ate was from the farm, sheep’s cheese, smetana, polenta porridge, meat, tomatoes, pickled cucumber, bread, cherry juice and Palinka (plum brandy). We really felt as guests of honors when they opened a bottle of 10 year old vintage wine that they only drink on very special occasions.

During the afternoon the rumors had spread that Anca had Swedish guests. A lot of the young villagers where curious of us, and while we had dinner several of them where at the gate asking when we where coming to the bonfire. They played guitar and sang the few song in English that they new just for us. One of the few that actually dared to talk to us was a nice guy from Constanta, who spoke very good English.

The people we have met this far in Romania has been very friendly and has showed a great hospitality.












29/7 Curtea de Arges, Romania
Lat N 45° 12,63', Long E 24° 39,36'
Today: 104 °F ( +40 °C)
29 Jul 2005
10426 km

Ancas family is self-supporting with food from the farm to the half of their needs. They have pigs, turkeys, chickens, a cow and sheep’s that gives them dairy products as butter, milk, smetana and cheese. They also grow and persevere fruit and vegetables in all shapes and colors. It is a luxury to have the opportunity to eat food from the own farm, healthy, nutritious food that taste really good!

Bert took the opportunity to modify the pillow cases to fit our pillows with the sewing machine . When we was leaving for Bucharest, Anca went out in the garden to gather some food for our journey. We also got a bottle of Palinka.

On our way to Bucharest we did really missed air-conditioning in the car. The temperature was +40°C and the sun was sizzling hot! We were all in a sweat but Catharina found a good way to keep cool .












30/7 Bucharest, Romania
Lat N 44° 31,05', Long E 26° 05,57'
Today: 98.6 °F ( +37 °C)
30 Jul 2005
10606 km

A big town is not the best place to be in heat and sizzling sun, but since we are here we can just as well take a look at the Bucharest. We strolled around the central parts of the town without being able to find an actual town center. It feels like Bucharest is a bunch of soul less streets.

We checked out the Palace of Parliament which is the second largest building in the world, after the Pentagon. We also noticed that it sometimes can be difficult to mix the old with the modern in a tasteful way.

Finally we made a quick visit to the Hotel Continental, where Ancas friend Oana works at the reception. Bert wanted to give her some photoes from three yeras ago and say hi.












31/7 Bucharest, Romania
Lat N 44° 31,05', Long E 26° 05,57'
Today: 98.6 °F ( +37 °C)
31 Jul 2005
10606 km

We drove the 230 kilometers to the coast. Mamaia was the place that we had choosen for our first stop. Mamaia is the biggest and most well known resort along the Romanian Black Sea coast, and a far better place to be in the heat. In the new highway between Bucharest and the coast we where very, very close to run out of petrol. There were no exits or petrol stations for more than a hounded kilometer from Bucharest!

As soon as we arrived in Mamaia we throw off our clothes and ran out of in the water, but +29°C doesn’t do much to cool you off… We managed to squeeze our car in to the overcrowded campsite. It is Sunday and the people from Bucharest have not gone home yet.

At the beach we observed five brand new Hobie Cats (small catamarans). We asked if we could rent one, but that was impossible because it was a Volvo event only for invited guests, and today they also had a photo shoot. But the woman in charge happened to pass by and she said that we could go sailing with Anna if we wanted to. We had a great time with Anna and stayed out for several hours, while they took photos with a monster lens from the beach.














1/8 Mamaia, Romania
Lat N 44° 15,90', Long E 28° 37,13'
Today: 98.6 °F ( +37 °C)
01 Aug 2005
10867 km

The grater part of the day Catharina was writing the diary, but we also managed to get a moment of rest in the hammock. We were in a bit of a hurry to do the writing because Annas boyfriend Gabbi who is a network administrator at school would let us do the uppload at his work this afternoon.

In the evening Anna and Gabbi guided us in Constansa, which has the biggest harbor in the Black Sea. We were also in the old parts of town which are falling apart and are now inhabited by gypsy’s. The old parts, sea front and the casino used to be the nicest parts in town.














2/8 Mamaia, Romania
Lat N 44° 15,90', Long E 28° 37,13'
Today: 98.6 °F ( +37 °C)
02 Aug 2005
10867 km

Another day at the beach, it is so hot that it is impossible to be in the sun for more than a short while. To get some shadow we rented sun chairs and a parasol. We go crazy in this heat!

In the evening we went to the central parts of the five kilometer strip of Mamaia. The sea front was crowded with shops, restaurants and bars, just as any other tourist resort in the world. Since tree years they charge a fee of 10$ to bring the car to the Mamaia strip. The money are used for developing the area and keep it clean. That is a good thing we think, a dirty beach is no fun to be at.












3/8 Mamaia, Romainia
Lat N 44° 15,90', Long E 28° 37,13'
Today: 98.6 °F ( +37 °C)
03 Aug 2005
10867 km

A hot day at the beach, again. The Romanians keep bringing their cars in to the beach and they all get stuck! Up to a few years ago they had problems in Mamaia with gypsies steeling and robbing tourists. To prevent this Mamaia from getting a bad reputation by this the authorities have worked hard on this matter. But still we get warned about the gypsies all the time and by different people. Today a lady saved our towelsb and blankets that we left at our sun chairs from being stolen by the gypsies.

In the evening we went to an open-air cinema. The movie we watched was ”A million dollar baby” with Clint Eastwood. The chairs were hard as steel and in fact made of steel without any cushioning at all. It was a great movie!








4/8 Mamaia, Romania
Lat N 44° 16,46', Long E 28° 37,16'
Today: 93.2 °F ( +34 °C)
04 Aug 2005
10888 km

We have now switched camping site. The last one was so crowded that we were not able to put up our sunroof. The new camp site is much nicer, cleaner and more spacious. As soon as we got our sunroof up we took a nap in the shade.








5/8 Mamaia, Romania
Lat N 44° 16,46', Long E 28° 37,16'
Today: 93.2 °F ( +34 °C)
05 Aug 2005
10888 km

This night was the warmest this far +26 degrees Celsius. We thought about getting up in the middle of the night to take a shower. At this temperature is really to hot to sleep

When we awoke up we discovered that a lot of new people arrived during the night. It is weekend again and it was the people from Bucharest that had arrived. Our new neighbors put up their tent under our clothes line and parked their car almost under our sunroof. It gets crowded in weekends. Something worth mentioning is that there are no people at the beach trying to sell you things in Romania. That is really pleasant!












6/8 Mamaia, Romania
Lat N 44° 15,90', Long E 28° 37,13'
Today: 93.2 °F ( +34 °C)
06 Aug 2005
10867 km

Catharina thinks it is just as well to try the local wine when there is one, because we will drink a lot of beer along this trip anyway… Something that the Romaninans never seem to get tired of is barbeque. Everyone has a grill and they use it all the time. There is a heavy fog all over the place every night and it smells wounderful.

In this place everything is at ones reach. It is an easy life compared to in the Ukraine, where everything is a hassle. A restaurant is serving cheep and tasty food. For less than 13$/person a day you get served breakfast, lunch and dinner, beer and vine. To stay at the camp site, right at the beach costs 12$. This is a place to have a simple and nice life at a very low cost.










7/8 Mamaia, Romania
Lat N 44° 15,90', Long E 28° 37,13'
Today: 75.2 °F ( +24 °C)
07 Aug 2005
10867 km

Cool, cloudy and rainy is nice for a change; because it has been extremely hot both day and night lately. Today we traveled along the coast towards the Bulgarian border. We stayed the night in Venus, 10 kilometers north of Mangalia. The coast is crowded with resorts, but this part of the cost line is not as nice as Mamaia. The beaches are not as good, ugly breakwaters forms tiny inlets full of green slimy seaweed, makes you not want to go in to the water at all. But of course it is possible to find good spots here as well.

We got an SMS today from Berts parents. There was a leek in the roof of our house that had to be fixed immediately. We are lucky to have Berts parents Kerstin, Arndt and nice friends as Sverker to give us a hand with thing like that.










8/8 Mangalia, Romania
Lat N 43° 51,56', Long E 28° 36,00'
Today: 80.6 °F ( +27 °C)
08 Aug 2005
10972 km

Today we crossed the border to Bulgaria. The crossing was swift and easy. According to Motormännens guide to Europe 2003 we are not supposed to pay road tax in Romania or Bulgary, but still they demand us to pay. It is only 5$ but we still feel a bit doubtful about this. Furthermore we have to pay 4$ for some kind of ecology tax on entering and exiting the country. It is good to have $US in cash for occasions like this.

Our first impression of Bulgaria was that we where back in an eastern country again, Cyrillic letters at the road signs, the poor houses and buildings and empty streets.