to Sibiu, Romania
Into Romania from Serbia, onwards to Transylvania. Our first day of some serious 'twisties' and the Trans Alpina doesn't disappoint. 380+ miles of winding roads takes us back to our Nordkapp Adventure of 2017!..the mileage wasn’t planned!
The hotel in Belgrade was lovely and proved welcome protection from the most amazing of thunder storms... the benefit of which, is a reduction of temperatures to the high twenties...a welcome break from the heat of the past four days.
A great breakfast, our rendezvous at 06h30 meant we were on the road for around 07h15. Heading out of the city, we quickly found the flat countryside of the day before. As we made the 60 or so miles to the Romanian border, the landscape became more interesting; fields giving way to hills. Eastern Serbia is altogether nicer than the central areas.
Border checks were hassle free, the smart Romanian customs officer simply smiled and asked if we had any class A drugs to declare? :-). Then the twists began!!
Aside from a forty-five minute stretch, the whole of the rest of the day has been twisting mountain roads and passes; most more challenging and tighter than the Alps, occasionally due to poor roads.
Some surfaces, specifically the Trans Alpina, are great; others potholed and ferocious - a real challenge. Increased, as the planned campsite has closed, so we’ve journeyed on an extra 80+ miles. Just past Sibiu, to Ananas Camp; a lovely, clean and we’ll appointed site with great facilities.
11 hours in the saddle is enough! I’d originally planned for us to stay here and visit Sibiu, though fitting in the Trans Alpina didn’t work distance wise...as it turns out, we’ve been forced the extra miles and we’ve decided to opt for a slightly shorter day tomorrow, looking around Sibiu (in favour of Sighisoara), before jumping on the Transfagarasan.
Romania has real character, in contrast to Serbia...whilst the latter has some modern vehicles, in every other respect, Serbia has simply failed to develop. Romania, on the other hand, seems to have chosen to retain some of its heritage.
Certainly there’s not much ‘money’ in the countryside, though it’s tidy and properties are well maintained; combining an amazing landscape with a pace of life that still uses horses and carts, pear shaped hay stacks, old style twigged brooms, kids on bicycles steering cattle...real charm.
Whilst those Romanians we’ve met don’t smile much...the locals stare and the shop attendants nod...they’re very courteous drivers!! The many stray dogs are well fed and very friendly!