from km 10`156 to km 11`369 total 1213 km
After the brief episode in Bulgaria, we reached Romania via the big, new bridge.
The people of the town of Calafat were very friendly and always greeted withe a laugh in their faces. The walk to the ATM was already routine and afterwards some food was purchased. As already mentioned in the blog over Serbia, there is no cyclepath and you ride often far away from the Danube river along the main road through impoverished villages where the church is most often the dominant building.
In rural Romania there are virtualy no camping sites and when we were together with Astrid with her motor home we had great difficulty to find a place over night. But the Romanians are very friendly and by asking a young men about a possibility to sleep, he invited us to his newly purchased home. We could park our camper van in their garden between many chickens,and young goslings. The house was in a desperat stage and the family lived only in one room. Kitchen and squat toilet were outside the house. Most houses did`t have running water, but always e deep well instead.
The route along the Danube on the Romanian side is flat and with almost no hills. The countryside is often used extensively and only rarely does one encounter more intensive agriculture.
After a vew days Astrid left us and we cycled alone through this quiet province. Overnight we stayed in hotels or when they were missing or already occupied, we searched for a nice place along the road or we found a place in the garden from a nice family.
Short breaks took place here almost always at the village shop where we bought drinks and then sat down to the few chairs witch mostly were in front of the shops. We often joined some men who were already there and drank the bought. These men were naturally inquisitive and asked us where and why we are on the road. Those were the standard questions and most often these men deepened into the map material or simply gave coments to our way of living.
Along our route we fond always wide, natural rivers which later flowed into the Danube. Sand walls with colonies of bee-eaters and European Rollers alternated again with more intense fields. The landscape was never boring on this trip and you could always discover new things.
In the town of Giurgiu I visited my first Romanian Rotary Club. As we passed there last "hands-on" project on our way we made a short stop. Such wells really seem to meet a need, the cars were driving practically in the minute stroke, and the people filled their water bottles they brought along.
On our journey we came to Calarasi from where we crossed the river with a ferry to the Bulgarian bank. But we still stayed on the Romanian side of the border since the border no longer followed the course of the Danube. The river bends here in a northerly direction and then flows into the Black Sea in Northeast-Romania. We instead rode still further east in direction of the city of Constanta.
On oure way we also passed the famous monastery Dervent (one can also stay here over night). A very nice and quiet area which was really worth a short stop.
For the last three days, we rode every day more than 70km. On the road we often overtook many curious but often used vehicles. Finally we crossed the canal from the Danube to the port of Constanta and after that an interessting old wooden church which was left to decay since she sadly stood in the new Motorway crossing. And shortly after crossing the motorway we reached the Black Sea. I got a warm feeling about the ride along the danube river. Thumbs up!
In Constanta we met again with Astrid, who had meanwhile picked up Barbara in Bucharest airport. Unfortunately, we had only two days left before the two girls left us with their camper van to drive back to Switzerland.
Three days later Frank and me cycled north to the delta of the Danube. This area is characterized by broad flat hillsides, colorful villages, striking churches and other beauties just along the embankment.
And finally the famous delta. In the north of Romania, the Danub ends in a huge delta. Hundreds of square kilometers just reed and water. The edge of the water is most often covered bei willow trees. The delta is a kind of jungle which one can only explore by boat preferably with a fisherman as your guide. At the little town of Murigiol we set up our tent in a nice campsite. Most of the buildings in the delta are simple and mainly made from building materials the people find in the delta.
The delta is a marvelous place for ornithologists, but I would like to show to all naturalists some impressions of this gem.
A journey along the Danube has to end at the true mouth of the river, that means by kilometer 0. To reach this point we had to take the ferry for a three-hour trip. It was hard work to put all luggage and bicycle in to the ferry. Everything was a little complicated but at the end we arrived well in Sfantu Gheorghe and from there it was a short stroll to the mouth of the river.
The animal world of this sandy and still watery area was very interessting.
After three days at this beautiful and quiet place we took the ferry back to Mahmudia and then cycled on a more direct route over Babadag and the beach of Corbu back to Constanta.
Here our paths separated. Frank was picked up by his father and I was cycling south along the coast. Previously, however, I visited the RC Yachting Constanta. Along beautiful beaches and through quiet resorts very unlike the noisy Mamaia. After three days I reached the border post to Bulgaria and I left the exciting Romania.