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Author Topic: Romania - The Real Take?  (Read 1578 times)

On Two Wheels

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Romania - The Real Take?
« on: May 16, 2010, 04:57:28 AM »
OK, so what is the real take on touring Romania, or into Romania by bike?

In France, when I mentioned I was going inot Romania, they told me it was unsafe.

The same for Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and now Hungary. All the people I have spoken with and shared my travels (so far) with have admired the effort and distances covered, both planned and forthcoming. But every single one of them have told me to steer clear of Romania.

Do we have any first hand experiances of Romania? I have searched the net but can find very little direct bad experiances, only many references to the bad roads and the pickpockets and stray dogs.

What is the real take on Romania?


Forgot to mention - all being well I should be entering Romania in 10 days time.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 05:01:39 AM by On Two Wheels »
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tony

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Re: Romania - The Real Take?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 08:52:14 PM »
Bicycle touring in Romania was one of my best experience in Europe and I biked through most european countries. People were so friendly, I really had a blast. I spent every single night sleeping at locals' houses and I never had to ask for anything as I was always invited, I always left my host with bags full of goodies (homemade sausages, eggs, bread and so on).

Romanian have very little but want to give you everything - and of course you can't refuse. I was warned countries ahead about how dangerous it was going to be but it was far from being the case. Romania has bad reputation, especially in western Europe because of the gipsies immigrating thoughout Europe and are often involve in criminal activities (mostly stealing). But not all romanian are gypsies (in fact only a small percentage are) and not all gypsies are thieves. Although I would not camp on my own nearby a gypsies' settlement.

As you probably know people bad mouth about countries because they are scarred, and the fear is usually unfunded (not from personal experience but rather from the media or from what they heard). People who actually have traveled in Romania will definitely have a different opinion from what you heard.

It is like people saying how muslim countries are dangerous and unsafe but they have never been there, all they see is the few crazy extremists on the TV news and think that every Muslims are just waiting for you to go there to murder you.

Believe me, go there you will have a wonderful time, Of course take the standard precautions especialy in touristy areas,
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 04:59:41 PM by Stephane »

Stephane

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Re: Romania - The Real Take?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 05:07:02 PM »
I agree 100%. People in Romania are very friendly and it is a wonderful country for bicycle touring. If you want to stay away from tourists and really see the countryside, bike along the Danube River along the Bulgarian border. It is flat, a bit boring as far as landscape goes, but people are truly wonderful. It is also one of my best bicycle-touring experiences.

The Delta of the Danube River is also really nice to explore (you won't bike much, though, as roads are almost non-existent and everything goes by boat). If you're looking for breathtaking landscapes and up for some good climbs, then Transylvania is the place for you, but you'll run into some touristic towns.

Don't listen people who have no idea of what they are talking about, and go for it! Albania also has a terrible reputation (especially in Central and Eastern Europe) and as you bike towards this country through Europe, people keep telling you how dangerous it is, and yet every single person I met who traveled there told me Albania was the highlight of their journey.

Here is the link to an article we wrote with our pictures for Jet Airways magazine about bicycle touring along the Danube River (starts page 30): http://xrl.us/bfji98
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 02:19:48 PM by Stephane »
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On Two Wheels

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Re: Romania - The Real Take?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2010, 12:55:42 PM »
Thanks for your replies guys.

As with all things when touring I like to make my own decisions, but as this will be my first time into Romania then I thought I would ask for first hand experiences.

Today I left Serbia, entered Bulgaria and then cycled across the 38 kms of Bulgaria to Vidin, on the Bulgaria/Romania crossing. Tomorrow I will be crossing the Danube and going for Gold into Romania.

May I at this point recommend a hotel to anyone that is going to Vidin? I hope this is the right place to do it. I try to stay in a guest house or hotel at least every 10 days so that I can get internet connection and check emails etc, etc.

Hotel Bononia - Vidin, Bulgaria. Excellent value for money. Single room for one night 17 euros / 33 lev. Large spacious rooms, private shower / WC. Comfy bed, and the staff speak good engish, and several other languages too.
You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one.
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Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world...

Crystal

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Re: Romania - The Real Take?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 01:20:00 PM »
How nice is that! You're on the road but you still find time to give us some good tips! Thank you very much!

petervanglabbeek

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Re: Romania - The Real Take?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2010, 04:24:04 PM »
Also just positive experiences from my side.
Wonderful touring country. Nice people.
Try some of the high passes in the Carpatians, they beat the alps in some ways.
much less developed, fantastic wild rivers and pine forests.
The only bad story I know from the area was about maffia at the black sea coast in Bulgaria.
As always you will find the best experiences away from the tourist places.
Peter
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On Two Wheels

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Re: Romania - The Real Take?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 12:08:18 AM »
Pah, I guess I had been reading the totally wrong web sites in the past to find out about Romania.

I'm here now. What a great place, and like has been said in a previous post - the people really are friendly.

i've had no bother from anyone.

Yes, there are gypsies, but they leave you alone. They to have a life to live and they just get on with it.

My first experiance of Romania was a total contrast to what had been mentioned in other sites (this one not counted.)

I had only done 20 miles when a storm arrived. When first coming into Romania you could smell rain in the air, and it was getting cooler, but it mattered not. I was by this time totally melted from the heat in Bulgaria - I don't do heat too well. Hahaha, how will I manage when I get to Turkey. LOL.

As the storm got closer I decided it was time to find somewhere to camp up for the storm/night. I passed an open gateway / farm, did a quick U turn and headed in. Knocked on the door of the farm. Made the usual gestures of resting my head on my hands and pointed to a patch of grass. Indicating my request to camp and sleep there for the night.  Nodding of head - OK, OK, no problem. And so it was. My first night in Romania was arranged.

I had just finished putting up the tent, when the farmer arrived, bearing gifts of frood and drink. So not only did I have somewhere to sleep, I also had some good decent food. Many words were spoken, very little understood, but much information was passed and gained. Then the storm arrived. The farmer left me and went into his house, leaving me to cope - for what it was - with the weather.

The storm passed through the night. As I was packing up early next morning the farmer arrived again, and again bearing gifts - food, coffee, and a beer. LOL, a beer at 6am. Not wanting to offend I took all and drank a beer with the guy before making onward tracks.

Thanks all for the proper advice given. Romania, for me has been a good experiance (so far) and I expect it to remain so.

Laters!
You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, And we can cycle the world as one.

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.
No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man.
Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world...