Really? Really! Love it, love it, love it, love it! Especially the Romanian long distance road works. This time we could benefit from works between Sibiu and Medias which is more than 50km. The works slow down the traffic tremendously, shorten our cycling time and make us really happy since we for once arrive on time, at around 3pm. We still don’t like the works taking place in EVERY village that has more than 50 houses and EVERY little town or city. To look at it from a positive side: they are renovating and modernizing the villages with constructions we consider basics, which is necessary and good.
We understand that some of you are really tracking our route so here is a short summary of how we’ve traveled so far through Romania. By now we cycled through half of Romania in terms of width of the country – from West to East and our route is cutting through the middle. Our first big city we passed when entering Romania was Arad and from there we rode East along the river Mures via Alba Iulia to Sibiu. Then we chose to go North to see the first of the seven Transylvanian cities – Medias (more about this in my next posts). From there we took a detour via Agnita and Apold to Sighisoara and now we are in Brasov. Most of the routes we take are secondary or tertiary routes (the white and yellow ones on the map) nobody usually considers to take unless they need to. These roads are unpaved, pot-holed roads and they must be inaccessible for cars if it is raining. But these are the scenic routes and the best ones to fully explore the country and to discover all its good and bad sides.
I also don’t want to leave you without a food update, because we are really enjoying the Romanian kitchen. We now usually ask at the places we stay for a nice Romanian restaurant and always get great recommendations. Food is cheap and of good quality. It is again very meaty (as in Hungary) and vegetarian dishes are almost impossible to get. Restaurants are also offering freshwater fish, which we both don’t like so much. And I have to admit that we are very difficult with fish and usually don’t trust it if it is so cheap, nothing worse than a fish poisoning. Hilarious are the menus translated into English or German. The best we’ve seen so far are ‘cabbage wires’ or ‘Kohldraht’ while they meant ‘Cabbage roulade (most likely my translation is as bad as the Romanian :))/Kohlrouladen’ or ‘Sweet peeps’ for ‘Sweet peppers’.
We also have to get used to smoking in restaurants. There are only a few exceptions where there is a separate room for non smokers, but those rooms are usually not very cosy, in the corner or in the dark. This is the world upside down, we are in a country where smokers clearly have priority. And this is a big thumbs down because we don’t have a lot of clothes with us and we don’t get the smoky smell out overnight (especially since we have to wear our jackets in the morning now as well).
Worth a few words are the car and truck drivers, we mentioned them before. There are only two kinds of drivers. Those who take any risk and don’t care at all, not for themselves and even less for others or the overly cautious drivers. There is nothing in between. The first kind or the machos as we like to call them don’t move a centimeter to the left on the roads, they pass with a felt speed of 200 km/h, they don’t bother if the street is pot-holed, which means they don’t even care about their own cars or trucks (maybe they think they can fly over the holes!), they overtake even though they don’t see anything and they all think they are F1 pilots and on a race track. On top, they are always on the phone with just one hand on the steering wheel. This is a very scary human species and we think they must be afraid of losing face if they brake. The other ones are kind of irritating, because they continue driving behind you while they could easily overtake. This makes us constantly looking back checking what’s going on behind us, even waving doesn’t help. Maybe they are just curious, they are for sure the kind we like more than the first one.
And last a few thoughts about dogs. We are indeed getting a bit more relaxed about the attacks, most dogs don’t come closer than one meter we realized and the attacks get fewer these days. Maybe the dogs are better educated in the middle of Romania!? Most of the times only dogs who want to protect their homes are attacking us. So far the stray dogs stay away and we even start feeling sorry for them because they really look miserable, ravenous and all they do all day long is looking for food and looking pitiful at us.
So much for today, I am already working on the next blog post for which I have to do some research since I would like to give a bit of insights into the history of Transylvania and facts we find interesting and our readers hopefully as well.