Romania (02 August – 04 August)

We started our day in Romania looking for the Tunnel of Love. This was a rather strange process.. Firstly, we arrived in a small town with people keeping their horses, goats, and cows right in front of their house next to a main road. Dogs were just randomly running around and just stopping right in the middle of the road… So soon the Google maps showed that we need to turn onto a dirt road. This was literally someone’s farming land, there was a shepherd greeting us with his lambs. Soon the road was so bad that we could not drive further, otherwise we would have been stuck in horse s***t. So we decided that although we had quite a way to walk, we will still try to find what we were looking for. So we walked a couple of hundred meters on the dirt road until we encountered an old railway. We continued to walk along the railway – it was obviously not in use anymore. It was quite difficult to walk because wild raspberries were scratching the legs. After walking about 2 km, we at least thought that we did find the right place. There was a small bridge over a small river. It was nice and romantic, but unfortunately nothing like on the pictures in web 🙂 You can see also below the comparative picture below.

This is what we were going to look for…..

This is what we found ..

We were a little bit disappointed about the scratched legs. Jaanus even had to put some plasters on his toes due to bleeding. Nevertheless, we still took many photos and enjoyed a long early morning walk. On our way back, we almost lost the bottom of our car because the dirt road was full of big stones. Luckily the Passat stayed in one piece.

Our next goal in Romania was to reach the Transfăgărășan. Kaija had made some research and read that it is one of the highest paved road in Romania and was built during Soviet times for a strategic purpose. More specifically, it was built in response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. Romania wanted to ensure quick military access across the mountains in case of Soviet invasion. Indeed, this road definitely would have ensured that you see your opponent coming. We again fell in love with the mountains. There just are some places that do not translate into pictures… and can not be explained in words. We definitely did also enjoy the mountains cold air, it was 16 degrees Celsius. So far we have been sitting in the car with no AC and 30 degrees Celsius.

We were glad to see that the road was also not as touristy as we expected. Only at the top point of the road, there was a market and a little traffic jam, because of difficulties to find parking. But we decided not to stop there. Soon we found a much nicer place for a picnic in quiet and no one around. We were amazed by our Passat AGAIN, because we saw a lot of cars with overheated engines, brake failure or some other technical problem. But our Passat most certainly behaved very well.

There were a lot of people in the mountains camping. We were almost a little sad that we had not prepared to stay there overnight. It would have been a perfect place for camping and hiking. Also, it seems that cyclist and motorbikers love this road.

In total, Romania did impress us with relatively low prices, unique houses, quite good roads and impressive mountains. 

This is still commonly used as a means of transport in Romania, especially in villages.

The same evening we drove til sunset and spent the night in a parking lot of Romanian Bulgarian border area. We decided we will cross the border the next morning. The border crossing is a bridge over Danube river and we read from the internet that there is a bridge tax and sometimes officers charge ridiculous amount as high as 20 euros. Official amount to be paid should be 3 euros. We were charged 4 euros in the end. We didn’t want to make an argument over 1 euro, but if you happen to go there, be careful.

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