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Currently traveling
May - July 2020
Currently traveling
  • Day47

    Too lazy for biking, let's go hiking

    Yesterday in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We had some big plans for today: Climb a lot, see a waterfall, cycle some more... But then, things changed. We climbed a bit and looked for a place to lock the bikes while hiking to the waterfall. While considering if the place was safe enough, we decided, we may as well book a guesthouse, leave the bikes there and go for a longer hike.
    We found a nice one right behind us and went for a hike. First, we walked to the waterfall which is the biggest in Romania with 90m. From here, we climbed higher to have a nice view over the valley and the Capartian mountains. At the top, we saw lots of horses. Maybe that's why the waterfall is called "Horses Waterfall"?!
    We hiked back into the valley, stopped at a café, went grocery shopping, did a short yoga session outdoors and cooked a nice potato dish for dinner which we enjoyed on the swing with mountain view.
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  • Day46

    A cheerful cemetery

    July 14 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Our first attraction today was a visit of the "Cheerful Cemetery". It's basically a cemetery, but a little bit different than others. Every dead person receives a wooden gravestone picturing the reason for the death. There's also a very short funny story under each picture. But as it was in Romanian, we couldn't understand it.
    Afterwards, we first cycled some kilometres on a busy main road passing some communist monuments before we could turn into a smaller valley road. The valley itself was very nice. Beautiful landscape and uncountable churches and monasteries. We stopped at Barsana Monastery, a real gem that reminded us of the monasteries in Nepal. We also had our lunchstop here and tried some Romanian fast food which tasted good.
    Today's ride itself was really slow. We had to go continuously uphill, were confronted with a slight headwind and the road conditions were bad. Overall, no good conditions for a fast day. In the end, Herbert even got a flat rear tyre again (the first on the European part of our trip). The quick fix at the side of the road wasn't too stable, so we had to stop every 20 minutes to pump it up again. However, we made it to another backyard campsite where Herbert could properly repair it.
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  • Day45

    A look over the Ukrainian border

    July 13 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    When we got up, it was sunny again. Sweet! First, we cycled to Baia Mare and enjoyed a coffee in the historic center of the town. Then we headed towards the Ukrainian border while struggling with some nasty headwinds. The road was quite busy, so cycling in general wasn't that much fun.
    The villages in Northern Romania are interesting. We expected old little Romanian style houses. Instead, most of the properties were huge, like mansions. The region in general was nice, some mountains, lots of forest and vineyards.
    We reached the river Theiß which forms the border between Romania and Ukraine. As Ukraine is still closed for tourists due to Corona, we won't be able to pass, but we could at least look over to the other side.
    Many people in this region offer there backyards for tourists to camp for a small amount of money. So that's where we are camping tonight.
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  • Day44

    It sometimes rains in Transilvania

    July 12 in Romania ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    What a temperature drop! After over 35°C yesterday, we woke up with about 15°C. And it didn't take long until we had to put on our rain gear in front of a typical coffee shop/bar. In order to warm up, we had a coffee when the shop opened at 9:30am. The locals, however, were eagerly waiting to get their first beer... Unfortunately, it didn't stop raining all day, so our lunch stop was in a bus stop, as it had a bench under a roof.
    The landscape looked pretty grey in general today, so it wasn't picturesque at all. We passed uncountable churches, so very bright, so you could see them in a distance, some of an old wooden architecture.
    There's also lots of stray dogs in Romania, similar to Central America. A couple of them chased us. One overestimated himself and jumped straight into Herbert's rear panniers when going for his leg. When I passed shortly after he was totally scared of the bicycle and didn't even dare to bark 😂
    We found a really cute campground for the night. Our neighbour seems to be a good guitar player, so we can relax and listen to some music.
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  • Day43

    Transilvanian gravel roads

    July 11 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    We left the "wild campspot" early to escape the masses. Our ride today was exhausting, but really beautiful. It was a mix of asphalt and gravel on very remote roads. We only passed some tiny villages and were happy to find a store that sells the nonalcoholic Radler that we drink most of the days to fill up on calories in the heat.
    We were going to stay at a little campground tonight, but they had a private event this weekend and were therefore closed to the public. Instead, we got a room in a nearby guesthouse, but are already missing the outdoors.
    Overall, we really enjoy biking in Romania. The landscape is great, we find a good mix of adventurous trails and remote paved roads and people are amazingly friendly. Many start chatting to us on the road and the majority of them speaks at least a little English, some even German. Even the shepherds talk to us, although this is mainly sign languages due to our still missing Romanian language skills.
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  • Day42

    Wild camping in Romania

    July 10 in Romania ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Jo prepared a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, salad and homemade bread for us before we left. The first part was easy as we cycled through a bigger valley and passed some villages. After 31km, we had a short stop to fill up some calories as we knew we now had to climb 850m in on 18km. The road, however, was stunning. We rode next to a river and through a canyon before the real serpentines started.
    Once we got to the top, we turned onto a gravel road to reach our campspot. We were a bit overwhelmed what Romanians understand of the term "wild camping". There were hundreds of people, cars, caravans and even some shops. We bought some food, went for a little walk to a nearby valley and waited for Alin, Jo and their friends to arrived. They only got here quite late when we were already tired, so we only had a short talk. While they are going to go hiking tomorrow, we will continue our journey North to search for a place with less people!
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  • Day41

    Romanian farm experience

    July 9 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Alin and Jo told us about Glavoi, a nice campsite in the mountains, so that's where we are heading to now. And lucky us, Jo comes from a village half way, so we can stay at her mum's. And as her mum doesn't speak any English, Jo decided to stay a night in her family home :)
    So our destination today was Feneriş. On the way, komoot sent us along some interesting "paved" roads and through remote villages. Sometimes, we felt like being in Latin America again, as we passed people on horse carts, people with their herds of sheep, laundry hung up on the garden fence and people sitting around watching what's happening on the street.
    At Jo's mum, we were given a warm welcome with a yummy traditional meal out of products from the farm. We also played with the cats, watched the baby chickens, baby ducks and the baby cow and learned about the hard farm life. Jo took us for a walk to a nearby lake where we passed the vegetable garden, the orchard, and corn and wheat fields. From their backyard, we also had a beautiful view of the mountains that we are going to climb tomorrow.
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  • Day41

    Leaving Schengen into Romania

    July 9 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    After another traditional Ukrainian meal for breakfast, we left Gabriel's and Elena's place. We cycled through the Southeast of Hungary which is completely flat. For the first 40km, we were faced by headwinds. Afterwards, we got more lucky and the winds pushed from behind.
    In this region, there's small rivers and lakes and lots of plains for birdwatching. We saw uncountable storks, some young ones tried their first steps or even flying.
    Before leaving Hungary, we wanted to eat some Gulasch. But as we couldn't find a Hungarian restaurant, we ate pizza instead.
    Then we crossed into Romania. Our first country outside of the Schengen area on this trip, but everything went smoothly. We cycled into Oradea where we can stay with our hosts Alin and Jo. We went for a walk around in the city which is quite beautiful. Obviously, the mayor is keen on having all the old impressive buildings renovated.
    Alin and Jo gave us many recommendations about what to see in Romania. It's gonna be a challenge fitting everything into our route 😉
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  • Day39

    A tailwind day

    July 7 in Hungary ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    After over 35°C yesterday, it rained all night and temperature dropped by about 15°C. So once it had stopped raining, it was actually nice weather for cycling.
    Last night, we had planned a nice route off the main roads. However, when we turned onto the gravel roads, we found out that the gravel was disgustingly sticky mud after a night of heavy rain. After only about 500m, my tyres blocked completely and I had to push/pull my bike further. Shortly after, we had to cross a river which allowed us to wash the bikes so we could continue riding.
    Unfortunately, this forced us to take paved roads for the rest of the day which are relatively busy in this part of Hungary. However, we could still enjoy riding on a bike path along Lake Tisza where we saw lots of other bikers as well as fishermen. We also passed heaps of sunflower fields which looked nice in today's light.
    A flat region and tailwinds all day got us quickly to Elena and Gabriel, our warmshowers hosts in Kisújszállás. We enjoyed a Ukrainian dish, local wine and a home made Palinka over an interesting exchange about different cultures.
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  • Day38

    Relaxing at a seniors club bath

    July 6 in Hungary ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Before leaving the campground, we talked to our tent neighbour. He was interested in our trip as he organises long distance bike trips in Europe (such as St. Petersburg to Gibraltar) as a business. He can't work at the moment because of existing travel restrictions, so instead he is taking his wife and 2 little kids for camping and hiking trips.
    Our bike day started with a beautiful hilly road through the forest. It had uncountable turns and almost no cars, so we really enjoyed it, especially the final downhill into Eger. The city centre of Eger is very picturesque, a castle, some nice churches, old buildings, small streets and lots of restaurants and cafés.
    The Hungarians we had talked to so far, all recommended "Egri bikavér" (which translates into bull blood), a red wine very famous for the region. So we went to a place called "Valley of the beautiful woman". It's a park in Eger with 50 wine cellars. We sat down at one and tried the bikavér and its white equivalent.
    Here, we also decided to have an easy day. We booked a guesthouse nearby and used the afternoon for laundry and bike maintenance. Furthermore, we went to a mineral bath, as the region here is very famous for it. Not much to do here but sit and relax in the hot sulphur pools, but good for our legs for sure. We ended the day with a yoga session in our room, so we are totally ready to sleep now 😉
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