Attention: this post is not intended to be a guide to describe any place (I’ll mark them properly when so), but just a post to tell my people about my trip towards Romania (with 4 weeks of delay although I expect to be up to date in the next 2 weeks). In fact, that’s the purpose of this blog, tell my adventures, although I’ll do also guides, as always
From Spain to Romania
Leaving Madrid on Monday morning, a bit late we headed by A1 highway towards Irún. We both Miky and me were driving so the trip was supposed to be nice. We wanted to drive toll-free through France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and finally Romania. The other option was going through Italy and Slovenia, but Italy is full of tolls and the gas is fucking expensive. On the other hand, the distance in kilometers was more or less the same, around 3500 km, so no necessity to pay extra tolls.
We fucked up just after begin because we didn’t use GPS in Spain (c’mon, we know our own country) and near Irún we drove to the highway and… toll. And… more and more tolls in France until Bordeaux where we slept in a motel that looked like the American films ones.
Next day after an early-morning coffee we took the road. Previous day we just drove 700km, so that day we must compensate it. But… again, fail. The GPS was not correctly configured with the free-toll route and we just entered in the one that goes to Paris. After 100 km, almost 10€ (damn it!) and 70 km extra we reach our original route.
After more tan 1200 km we arrive to a German town called Bammental, near Mannheim. We previously had booked a room with Booking.
The hotel didn’t have 24h reception but they had a kind of box where you could put a previously provided PIN by e-mail and it gives you the key. That would be nice if it’s not because I didn’t downloaded the correct e-mail so we had to spend an hour trying to download it with roaming and a poor connection in the middle of nowhere.
Rested and after a good coffee we headed towards Austria through the no-speed-limited German highways ( ). We reached the border quite soon, but just before it the highway became an awesome (and damn slow) secondary road through the beautiful autumn-colored Austrian landscapes along the Danube river. We arrived to Bratislava, in Check Republic a bit late, but we reserved our hostels. That was the first time we spent the night in different place. We are friends, but the just-married couple are fucking posh (love is in the air! ) and I’m a perroflauta (difficult to translate, it’s probably busker, but I’m not musician) who needs to save as much money as possible So for 8 bucks I could sleep really well in a fleabag hostel (don’t worry mum, it was all fine ).
We woke up a bit late to rest after the last 2 days and we stayed almost the whole morning in visiting Bratislava.
At 4pm we were already in Budapest for visiting and staying the night. We were supposed to have more time to Budapest, but sometimes one has to improvise.
Hungarian landscapes surprised us. We expected it quite more green but we found a landscape similar to Spain one however, even with windmills
In Budapest Miky and Bea had to wait for long to get the apartment and park the car (fools ). I book a hostel for 5,5€ very close to them so I just let my stuff and wander around the city. We met again later, have some food and then visit part of Budapest with the remaining daylight. I think the city is quite beautiful, quiet and at the same time with good night life. It’s a quiet nightlife, not a crazy one. They had some abandoned buildings converted in communal bars. Something like occupy buildings and create a cultural environment, but legal and just bars. I would have been there for 3-4 days or even 2 weeks to discover all the charming corners. But we must continue the way!
During the night in the hostel I enjoyed some good conversations with some of my roommates: an Slovenian guy studying in Defense stuff and a couple of American siblings having vacations. And… well, I also went out a bit, just walking around thinking it was 11pm but it was 2am (things what happen when you don’t have correctly synchronized the phone time with the network…). When I was coming back to the hostel I met a couple of drunk men very nice who invited me to a coffee: an Hungarian musician who was playing for a while in Granada and an American ex-marine who was fighting in Cambodia in his youth. He had a daughter in Budapest whom didn’t see for long time and he was quite excited about seeing her again. Nice man Mike.
Last day of trip and we enter in Romania. Although Romania is an UE member, it’s not a Schengen member yet, so we had to wait in the queue of the border, show our passports and buy the vignette. Fortunately we weren’t tracks because they had a really long queue… Just entering in Romania drivers got crazy. It didn’t surprise me since I’ve already driven in some Balkan countries and it was the same, but most of the drivers in Romania don’t have a sense of danger and they don’t appreciate properly their life (and the others’ lives) on the road. Just have a look (although what you’re about to see is just a snack, hitchhiking I could live things quite worse):
Actually in Romania as well as in the Balkans there are not freeways almost (and what they have is still under construction mostly), it’s everything secondary roads commonly mountain roads and for driving 300 km you can drive the whole day, so I understand they finally get crazy like those. In fact, somehow one also get used to drive like that…
Finally, with some frights with Romanian overtakes, the bad weather and the “girl of the curve” (imagine you’re driving a secondary road at night with a 90º curve and just in front of you there is a human shape… shit! A Virgin! It was a Virgin statue in the middle of nowhere!! Romanian are very religious and you’ll frequently find small altars on the roads edges) we reach Bucharest to rest a bit after 5 days of trip.
Although for Miky and for me resting was not an option…
P.S.: In the next post I’ll write about my awesome stay in Romania for more than one week and about some of the amazing places I’ve visited.
P.S. 2: The beginning of the adventure has claimed the first victim: more than 30 cm from one of my most important body parts (don’t worry girls, the part you’re thinking of is still untouched )