October 5, 2012 – And now the real adventure begins. We entered a new time zone (GMT+2) and finally arrived in Eastern Europe in a different world. The differences are obvious from the very beginning: there is no ‘Welcome to Romania’ sign after the border, we see the first homeless people within 50m after the border who made from a few bushes their home, there are no longer bike-paths and the villages look very, very poor. Usually only the main street through the village is paved, all other streets not. The local supermarket is also the local bar, people have a lot of animals here, very thin and small chickens, turkeys, goats, geese and sometimes a cow in between. There are also a lot of horse carriages and most locals ride on age-old bikes. We also see a lot of dead animals on or next to the street. First we only see a black spot far ahead, then we smell it and then we see what it is: so far we had a deer, a cat and an unidentified big animal. This is quite disgusting. Romanian is a roman language by the way and sounds a bit like Italian. Here goes a big thank you to my parents, who forced me to take Latin at school which I never liked, but this language skill now comes in very handy.
Not many people really understand why we travel through Romania and we arrive here with a knapsack full of prejudices: there are gypsies, they will all screw you, your belongings will get stolen, unfriendly people, mean dogs, bears etc., etc. Well, we truly hope that Romania proofs that all of this is wrong. We are for sure very excited and are really looking forward to discover the home of Dracula, experience German the way it was spoken 100 years ago, learn a bit more about Romania’s history and discover the beauty of the country. Romania – we can’t wait!