Addicted to travelling. Openminded. Adventurous. Curious. Sportive. Different cultures and countries. Love the mountains. Exploring the world.
  • Day70

    Canyon ride

    August 7 in Romania ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    The people of the guesthouse thought we were crazy when we left at 6:30am. But we wanted to get out of the city early to avoid the worst traffic. We left Targu Jiu to the West. The further we got away from the city, the fewer cars were on the road and the more mountains we saw.
    After 20km, we had our breakfast break at a gas station which had some tables outside. The guy behind the counter was nice, so we chatted a bit in sign language about our trip.
    Afterwards, we climbed up to 900m of elevation and passed some remote villages. The descend was spectacular. The road led through a canyon next to a river and we were surrounded by high walls. The area is a National Park called Domogled Valea Cernei and is stunning. Towards the end of the canyon, the mineral spas of Baile Herculane are based where we planned to stay. We didn't go to the spa though as it was too touristy and busy. The campgrounds were a bit crowded, too, but people were nice. So we pitched our tent and had a couple of Radler with our dinner.
    We also could have done wild camping easily. But campgrounds in this area cost about 2-3€ and we prefer having a clean camping area with a toilet instead of the popular wild camp spots that are usually full of rubbish.
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  • Day69

    Transalpina

    August 6 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    It was very cold when we got on the bikes only 6°C. Our goal was to cycle Transalpina, the second famous panoramic mountain road in Romania. Our strategy was to start early and beat the traffic, so we were on the road by 7am.
    We had to climb from 1300m to 2100m. And the climb at Transalpina was definitely harder than the one at Transfaragashan, steeper with an average of 7% elevation gain plus really nasty headwinds coming from the top of the mountains. However, on the way up we had the road pretty much to ourselves.
    At the top, we stopped for a coffee. A German speaking gentleman saw us and offered us a Palinka to warm up. We had a nice chat about our biketour. The lady who sold the coffee also brought me a blanket when she saw the goosebumps on my legs - it was damn cold and windy up there...
    But the views were stunning. Compared to the Transfaragashan, the Transalpina was less spectacular as you couldn't see all the turns from above. But we liked it a lot because it seems more natural.
    On the way down, we were happy to have started early, because many many cars came driving up the road. The downhill was relatively steep and fast and the winds made it challenging. Within less than 30km, we were back at 500m where we followed a rolling, slightly descending road for the last 45km to Targu Jiu. As it was now over 35°C, it was quite exhausting. In the city, we treated ourselves to a guesthouse, did some laundry and visited the city. Apart from 3 sculptures, the Kissing Gate, the Table of Silence and the Infinity Column, it wasn't too intersting, so we went back to the guesthouse, cooked dinner and went to bed early.
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  • Day68

    Bees and lakes

    August 5 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    After some complications regarding the navigation yesterday, today was easy: At our campsite, we took the valley road and followed it until the end where we found another campsite.
    On the way, we passed two nice lakes and countless bee trucks parked next to the road. We also had to climb from 300m to 1600m before descending to our sleeping altitude of about 1300m. As camping was really cheap, we decided to spend the money in a restaurant instead of cooking ourselves. Unfortunately, dishes feel very small after an exhausting day on the bikes, so we had to get more food from a nearby food stall.
    Before going to bed, we chilled out at the river next to our campspot and did some much needed stretching.
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  • Day67

    The bear foot trail

    August 4 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    When we woke up today, we decided to have breakfast at the next minimarket as it was really windy and cold at the campground and there was no corner to hide from the wind. At the market, we had a coffee and wanted to eat our bread, but it was moldy. The market didn't have bread, so we had to continue to the next one. Here, we were lucky as the bread delivery van had just arrived.
    Afterwards, we took a trail through the forest. On the map, it looked like a hiking trail, but we don't mind a bit of pushing and definitely prefer 8km on a quiet forest trail compared to 40km on the busy main road. The first part of the trail was ok. We had to push a couple of steep sections, but could cycle most of it. We had to pass a pasture through a gate, but like in the Alps, this is not a big deal. When we met the cowherd, he explained to us how to get to the village on the other side of the hill. But as he spoke Romanian, we didn't understand much and trusted on our GPS.
    Then, the "fun" part started. Our GPS showed a trail, that didn't exist in reality. We followed some traces that looked like a trail, but didn't exist on the map. We also just pushed and cycled between the trees to kind of match the GPS trail. At some stage, we arrived at a path we could cycle for 1 or 2km, so that's what we did. But it got worse and worse with more and more sections to push or even carry the bikes. We saw lots of signs for bears like footprints and bear poo, but no sign of civilisation. The trail ended at a meadow with a deserted hut and really high grass. We looked for a way out, but no chance. So we had to go back the terrible way we came. Once back at a known intersection, we tried a different turn. This time, we were more lucky. Not a good trail, but after some more pushing and carrying the bikes we got back on our trail in civilisation. Instead of 8km, we spent 20km in the forest and about 4 hours! We were totally exhausted and hungry.
    However, even though there were houses, we couldn't find a store to buy food. So we continued on our route. We had to climb 250m on gravel first, but were then rewarded by a really long downhill through some remote villages and a beautiful valley. Afterwards, we had a 10km section on a main road. The scenery was spectacular, but the road was way to busy to be able to enjoy it. When we could finally turn onto a smaller road, we were happy to find a supermarket where we had our "lunch" at 4pm. As we were tired, we started looking for a place to stay for the night and found a camping sign just at the end of the village. It was actually a festival ground on the weekend, but the manager let us camp there and use the facilities.
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  • Day66

    The legendary Transfăgărășan

    August 3 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Our strategy to leave early to avoid the traffic worked out nicely! At 5:45am, we were on the road and for the first 2 hours, we saw almost no car. It was still cold though, but as we had to climb continuously, we got warm soon. After half of the climb, we stopped for a coffee and our second breakfast before cycling the most interesting and mountainous part of the famous Transfăgărășan: 15 turns of 180 degrees winding up to an elevation of 2000m. As we started at about 500m, we had an elevation gain of 1500m which we managed in under 4 hours, mainly with strong headwinds.
    It was really cold at the top and very touristy, too. By now, the car drivers had woken up as well, so we had to share the place with quite some people when we had our third breakfast at the lake.
    Our plan was to stay at a hostel and go hiking tomorrow. However, when we ask for a room, they told us they were closed because of current "conditions". That's actually the first time on this trip, that we are affected by the Corona measures.
    We could have stayed at a hotel or one of the campspots further down, but as it was too touristy and as we are spoilt by hiking options in the Alps, we decided to descend. The 30km downhill was very scenic and we enjoyed it a lot. The only downside was the rising amount of cars, but at least the vast majority was still coming uphill at this time.
    We arrived at a lake where we could turn into a nice and quiet dirt road. Good to be away from the traffic again! The lake ends with an enormous dam, looking down was impressive. From here, we only had to cycle another 5km in order to get to a campground. Not that nice, but it had a (cold) shower and an electric fence to keep the bears outside.
    We also passed some milestones. Since starting our trip in September last year, we've cycled 20.000km and climbed 200km 💪
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  • Day65

    Energy gaining day

    August 2 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Tomorrow, we want to cycle the famous Transfaragasan to cross the mountains. That's why we had another quiet day today. After only 35km, we found a campground at the foot of the mountains, pitched our tent and took it easy to gain some energy for the big climb. We did our laundry, cooked some food and prepared breakfast and lunch for tomorrow already. In order to fill up gas for our stove, we had to go to a petrol station that was at the start of the Transfaragasan. It was extremely busy and it was no fun cycling, so we decided to have a very early start to beat the traffic and don't loose time with food preparations before hitting the road.
    All day, we could see the mountains and we are really looking forward to the views. Crossing fingers the weather is stable 🤞
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  • Day64

    Chill out

    August 1 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    In the morning, we were very motivated to go and visit Sibiu. So instead of a planned rest day, we left Andreas' house and headed towards the city. However, the wind wasn't in our favour and our legs felt tired. So after 35km, we changed plans and looked for a place to stay. We found a farm some 12km away where you could also camp. So that's where we went and spent the day resting.Read more

  • Day63

    40 km trail heavily loaded

    July 31 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Time for some bike fun! Radu had recommended to take a mountain bike trail from Viscri to Sigishoara. And as there were some exit options, we decided to try what our bikes are capable of. The trail was absolutely wonderful! Even with our fully loaded bikes, we very much enjoyed riding the narrow trail through the forest and passed meadows. So we ignored all of the exit options and rode all the 40km until we got back to civilisation and arrived in Sigishoara.
    The city has a picturesque historic center with its famous clock tower. Houses are colorful and well maintained and you can do a lot of exploring by wandering along the small streets. There's also a restaurant in a house where Lord Dracula live for some years, but it's quite pricey. We are lucky we got to this place in Corona times as we can only imagine how packed with tourists it is in a normal year.
    After having spent the afternoon in Sigishoara, we continued to Saez where we could stay with Andreas. We spent the evening with him and a couple of his neighbors listening to some stories about communist times, fishing, the flight to West Germany and the relationship between Romanians and Germans.
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  • Day62

    Transilvanian village tour

    July 30 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    It was going to be hot again today, so we wanted to be on the road early. Unfortunately, we didn't plan with the guesthouse owners. They had closed and locked the electric gate and were deep asleep when we wanted to leave. So we had our breakfast at the hotel instead of later on the road. When they weren't awake by 7:30am yet, we knocked on the door and woke them up.
    We had to cycle on a busy road for the first 25km. Although the landscape was nice, it wasn't much fun with all the cars. In the next town, we stopped for a coffee before finally being able to cycle on backroads again. We came across many Transilvanian villages with fortified churches again. The architecture in these villages is unique and houses look very similar to each other. Every now and then, some Sowjet style building makes the appearance of the village a bit "different".
    In Rupea, we had a longer stop in the shade of the park and cooked some lunch. Afterwards, we visited the citadel before continuing to Viscri. Here, we luckily found a water source to wash of our sweat. Viscri is UNESCO World Heritage site because of the traditional village structure and its fortified church.
    When the sun started to set, we took off to find a campspot for the night. And the whole washing process was useless... We went on a mountainbike trail and had to climb a little in the forest. It didn't take long and we were all wet again. Only 2km into the trail, we found a beautiful meadow to camp. Luckily, we carried enough water to have a full body wash. We get pretty good at it, 350ml per person are sufficient 😊
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  • Day61

    Fortified churches

    July 29 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Radu recommended us to cycle some secondary roads in Transylvania to visit some remote villages and see some of the fortified churches that are famous in this region. So instead of South we headed North from Brasov.
    After we got out of the city, the roads became quiet and we had a day of easy and nice cycling, passing remote villages and fortified churches as predicted. In the end, we had to climb a bit, but nothing too serious. We wanted to do some backyard camping, but the guesthouse that offered it didn't provide shared showers which wasn't an option today 😉 So we took a room, did some laundry and cooked some rice for dinner.
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