I guess our long break disrupted our routines a bit. Today we didn’t start to cycle until 11.30. Some of the delay has to be blamed on the hotel that had so lousy beds that we felt every spring in the mattress and had to use our own air mattresses on top and they take time to pack and unpack (not more than 3 minutes though 😉 )
It had rained during the night and the street outside was all wet in the morning. The sky was completely grey and it looked like it was going to be a gloomy day. We rolled the 2 km to the border where we intended to spend our last Romanian money at a gas station. We had 4.20 Romanian Lei (approx. 1 €) and got a bag of snacks similar to cheese doodles which concluded the culinary part of our Romanian adventure.
When approaching the bridge across the Danube we understood that there was a fee to cross it. We then regretted buying those cheese doodles, but once at the ticket both we were waved through. The fee was only for motorized vehicles 🙂
All other countries we have entered have had fancy signs welcoming us to their country and we have stopped to take our photographs in front of each of them. Bulgaria had no fancy sign, only two simple signs – one with cyrillic letters and one with latin ones – with the name “Bulgaria” printed on them. Despite the signs not being fancy, we still had to take a picture of ourselves in front of the them.
We love gas stations and our first encounter with Bulgaria was a gas station at the end of the bridge. We bought a map and asked for directions into town. The weather improved by the time our wheels rolled on Bulgarian asphalt. We took off our jackets and rode through the suburbs into town.
When standing at an intersection with our map unfolded a young lady approached us and said:
– “I used to travel like that too, but now I have sold my bike.”
She then told us about her cycling trips from Denmark to Spain and from Spain back to Bulgaria. It is always interesting to meet someone who has the same interests as yourself.
Everytime we enter a new country we have the same routine. First get some local money, then a map and then try to find out the price for food and accomodation.
With fresh money in hand we went to a restaurant at the main square. It looked fancy and we invented a good motivation for eating there. The motivation was ”let’s eat there so we now what the maximum price for food is”. Wej had a bulgarian fresh vegetable salad and I had a traditional bulgarian dish of fried rice with chicken. Although having the same name as a dish in Thailand it was not quite the same, but I really enjoyed it. It was actually the best food I have eaten for many days on this tour.
The sunshine was strong and we were getting lazy. When we left the restaurant we saw a sign pointing at the tourist information. We went there to try to get some valuable information and we surely did…. The guy working there was a true professional and told us everthing we needed to know about the town and its vicinity. The tourist information in Russe is just as good as the Tourist Information in Stara Lubovna is lousy…
It was already late in the afternoon and we discussed if we should stop right away or if we should continue to a village with some interesting attractions some 20 km away. The laziness, the sunshine and the desire to walk around town wearing only a T-shirt got the upper hand and we went to a guesthouse and checked in.
This was a tough decision to make. After not having cycled for two weeks we feel a strong urge to move forward, but today we were smart….. We do this trip to discover what’s between Sweden and Thailand and why should we then hurry past an area or town that seems to be interesting? We also wanted to enjoy the sunshine after having fought with snowstorms and freezing temperatures for quite a while.
Giurgiu on the Romanian side of the border is a lot smaller and more dull town. The reason we stopped there yesterday was that we had just enough Romanian money left for a night at a motel and a dinner and rather than exchange it for Bulgarian money we prefered to use it in Romania for another night. If we had known then how nice Russe was, then we would easily have continued for 45 more minutes to get here already yesterday.