Tuesday 23rd September                                                          A catching up day                                                       0 miles

The rain continued into the night, and the morning dawned grey. It had been very quiet, despite being in the centre of the town. All we had was church bells at 6.00am.
My elbow was giving concern, as it wasn't healing. I started taking some antibiotics we had with us.
Adrian wanted to spend a day catching up, particularly to get on with the website, which takes a great deal of time, and needs an internet connection.
We spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon working on it. I enjoyed seeing the birds outside - wagtails, sparrows and collared doves. We haven't seen very many birds.
I made 'gypsy toast' for lunch - eggy bread with cheese.. Adrian did the emptying, then we set off for a walk - the sun had come out now, but it was chillier than it has been.
We ended up walking right around the outside of the citadel, stopping to buy a large loaf from a little bakers, where the lady was pleased to speak some English. It was a long way around - we had asked in a small tourist information if they had a map. The young chap showed us a 'freebie 'type map of the town for 1 euro, which we declined! The back of the 'hill' was a steep park area with trees. Adrian was amused at a 'no parking for horses & carts' sign.
Along by the river and over the bridge
Past the church
And back to our campsite
Wednesday 24th September                            Saxon villages and  lunch outside Charlie's house!                               92 miles

It was cool, but the sky was blue. We were amused and amazed to see 8 young people emerge from the motorhome which had come in noisily late last night and walk off with their back packs.
We didn't leave until 10.20, having a great view of the citadel as we dove across the bridge.
We drove towards Brasov, through pleasant country scattered with ancient villages.
We pulled in by the crumbling church at Saschiz, not realising that this was one of the Saxon villages. We had our coffee, waiting for the coach party to leave, and looking up to the fortified castle on the hill. We then walked across to the little tourist information, where we got a leaflet on the village, and also on the birds and the flowers of the region. The young girl seemed more interested in arranging the pots of home made jam!
We then set off on a walk around this film set village, walking across a very unsafe looking bridge, with a waterwheel attached to it. A lady shovelling outside her home said hello, and indicated that she thought it was cold! Wonderfully atmospheric houses lined the unsurfaced road. We kept going, hoping that the road would join up with the main road, which luckily it did!



Back in the van, we continued to Bunesti, where we turned off to the village of Viscri, a World Heritage site. The road was partly surfaced, but was really rough, with huge pot holes. We rumbled on for 7 km until we came to the village, where the road was not surfaced. We pulled in to have lunch. I had just got the minestrone soup ready when a chap knocked on the van and tried to sell us an embroidered cloth. I attempted to ignore him, and when we had looks from another couple, I ignored them too. Adrian thought that they wanted to talk to us, so opened the door. It turned out that she lived in London, and was staying in Brasov, and had come to see this village with a friend. They saw our GB numberplate and just wanted to say hello!
We knew that Prince Charles had an interest in preserving the forests and architecture of Romania, and had bought a house in this village. The lady told us that she thought that we were parked outside it! It was powder blue as his house was reputed to be, and we later found out that it was in fact this house.

Some images of Saschiz
Prince Charles’ house in Viscri, with us parked outside for lunch
We continued towards Brasov on an unsurfaced road, which was in fact much smoother than the 'surfaced' road we had come on. We drove through green hills scattered with trees and with autumn crocuses growing. We saw a lad rounding up a large flock of sheep on his own, with no dog.

Impressions of photogenic Viscri
At Dascia we reached a surfaced road. An Austrian couple in a motorhome coming the other way, asked about our road. They had been at last night's campsite.
The road we were on now was very potted. We passed horses and cows in the fields. At Rupea, where we joined the main road to Brasov, there was a wonderful castle on the hill.


On the road to Dascia
The road was now good. We realised that it was too late to visit Brasov today, and decided to drive on to a place to stay at Bran, where we wanted to visit the castle (of Dracula fame). We were amused on the outskirts of Brasov to see a sign saying 'Zone Industriel', and pointing towards an empty field!
We negotiated around Brasov. At the long strewn out village of Cristian, we had a view to snow topped mountains!

Rupea castle

We got back at 5 o'clock, and Adrian did the 'filling'.
After supper we sent the email and the website and then read through our diary. We were pleased to get hold of Tom, and had a chat to him on skype.
Thursday 25th September                                                              Bran and Brasov                                                 100 miles
The night was cold - there was frost on the cars! As we put on our Ipod, the tune playing was ‘September morn'! The dogs had been a real nuisance, one in particular barking loudly and incessantly. We did enjoy seeing chickens wandering around though. The sun had reached us by the time we left at 9.15.
We drove back to Bran Castle. We wanted to arrive early to miss most of the crowds. We knew that parking might be a problem - it cost 7 lei (£1.50) an hour, but we managed to find a space on a side street. There were no signs, and we had trouble finding our way into the castle, which we could see above us. When we did, we were pleased that we could have 'oldies' rate at 25 lei (£5) each. Adrian didn't bother with paying for a camera (20 lei) but did surreptitiously take in his phone.
Bran really is a fabulous castle in a beautiful setting. Although early, it was already busy. We couldn't envisage what it must be like with several coach parties. There are many narrow, steep and winding staircases of wood or stone, some almost dark. Sometimes we would have to wait for people to descend. There were hardly any handrails, and no signs telling you where to go.  The castle has a great history, being associated with Vlad the Impala and the Dracula stories. The Romanian Royal family lived here, and there were many artefacts. I liked the blue and green chests. There were great views out over the hilly countryside, and attractive courtyards.  We didn't get involved too much in its history, we just enjoyed the feel of it all.

Aspects of Bran Castle
Bran Castle
We pulled in to have lunch sitting on a little wall with views down to Brasov far below before driving town to the town. Again we knew that parking would be difficult, but we were able to find a spot in a car park (3 lei for 2 hours) right by the town. We had a really good wander around the busy, bustling town. We loved the main square, which had stalls selling all sorts - crafts and food. We bought a long fried sugary 'loaf' - made in a spiral, a bit like a cylindrical cream horn. It was hot, and delicious. I had forgotten to take my bottle of water, so we had to hunt around before finding a little supermarket where we could buy some.


Looking down to Brasov
We wandered on some more, all the time seeing the Hollywood style letters of Brasov set high in the hills, where a cable car could carry you up. We stopped to eat some more of the 'bread' in a little square near the Shei Gate, seeing some strange tiny red and black beetles on the wall.


Brasov’s main square
Next to the square was the so-called 'black church'. This didn't impress us so much. We had to pay 8 lei each to go in. It was apparently a Gothic gem, but to us was only like so many churches that we know, and rather a plain one at that! You couldn’t even take photos!
The Black Church
Strange red and black beetles
The Shei Gate
We hoped that we were going the right way, and were pleased when we saw the large black and white church which is by the campsite.
Friday 26th September                                          A dull day, but a spark of steam for Adrian!                                   47 miles
What I really liked were the windows in the red tiled roofs of the houses - they looked like eyes with eyelids!
We bought a cheese 'pastry' from a bakers. I handed over 2 lei, as I had pointed to the 'plain' pastry. She gave me the pastry, and asked for another lei. When I said - '2' she said 'don't have', so had given me a cheese one, which was 3 lei!
We walked back past the brick town wall to the van to have lunch. We turned on the computer and received an email from Matt, saying that he and Marion's wedding will be in the Lake District next June.

Sibiu
The Bridge of Lies
Eyelid windows
Anyone for bacon fat?
Just some of the engines we saw at Sibiu - railway buffs contact Adrian if you want to see more!!
We had scant information on a railway 'museum' in Sibiu, so Adrian tried to find the way there. It was very hard to find, but with perseverance we made it! It was off a small dirt track on the southern side of the town, with nothing to show that it was there. It wasn't really a museum - more a collection of 20 or so steam engines at the roundhouse beside the railway works! Adrian was in his element as he wandered around all these engines, just standing there! It was if a museum was once intended, but the engines were just left where they stood. One or two workers walked by, but nobody bothered us. It made Adrian think of Barry (Wales) in the past.
Saturday 27th September                                                         The world's best road                                                 62 miles
Around Romania
Soon afterwards we began ascending the mountains. Mostly we were in thick cloud, but just occasionally it cleared a bit. It was probably better that I couldn't see, as the road winds on hairpins continually, often very close to the edge, which isn't good for me with my fear of heights! It did mean though that we weren't able to see the fantastic views which you apparently have from the road.

Potato pickers
Before long we reached snow beside the road and wondered whether we would make it to the top. We wound on up on continually circuitous roads with many, many hairpin bends to the summit at 2042m, where we were amazed to come to car parks with men collecting money! There were stalls with sausages hanging from them, all in the cold and the snow!

Ascending the Fagaras Mountians
Then we immediately went through a tunnel (did nothing for my claustrophobia!), but when we came to the other side, there was sunshine! It was short lived at first, but then, as we descended to the tree line, passing cascading waterfalls, the sun stayed.  We had now left Transylvania and were in Wallachia.

The Fagaras summit
We pulled in for lunch at 4,200 ft. Now we could relax - we had made it across the mountains! The trees were tinged with yellow. It was sunny but cool. We walked down to a little rocky stream passing several wildflowers including Siberian bellflower.

A little bit of the descent
We then wound down and down the southern side of the mountains, coming to long Lake Vidraru. Occasionally we could glimpse the lake through the trees, as we drove on constant hairpin bends. The sat nav often lost where we were going! We managed to pull in for a cup of tea, looking across to the steeply forested slopes opposite.


Out of the snow!
Soon afterwards we came to the dam. There were stalls selling local cheese, jam and sweetcorn. Two horses with carts full of logs passed us The dam was incredibly high (165m). We looked down the steep sides to the bottom of the valley far below. We then went through several low tunnels (4 m) - we wondered what we would have done if we hadn't been able to get through them! High above us was Poiemari Castle, reputed to be Dracula's 'real' castle. It is where Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) had lived and ruled from.
By Lake Vidraru dam

At 4.50 we came to a picnic site which Adrian thought that we could stay at. It was deep down by the river, with picnic tables on either side of the stream. There were 4 'toilets' - wooden shacks with a hole in the ground!
We pulled in and walked all around the area. High above us we could see the castle. People had had fires in various different spots. We tried to gather up any scraps of firewood, but it was hard going! The sun went down behind the high mountains, so we tried to get a fire going. Adrian used the little saw I had given him for his birthday. We planned to cook on the fire, but it didn't go well! Adrian couldn't find any barbecue lighting fuel - it must have got left behind. He tried lighting an 'instant barbecue' we had been carrying around for ages. Nothing would light! We tried finding any bits of paper we had - even using bits of my notebook! In the end, we did get the fire going, but we cooked the food inside! We ate our meal sitting by the fire, watched by a mangy little dog all the while - we threw our scraps to him afterwards. A memorably beautiful ending to a challenging day!


Poiemari Castle, Vlad Tepes’ (the Impaler) ‘real’ castle
This is what it’s all about!
Sunday 28th September                                          Out of the mountains and on to Bucharest                                  128 miles

We were deep in the valley, so although there was a partly blue sky, it was cool. No sitting out for our fried breakfast! I gave a couple of crusts to another mournful dog before we left at 9.30.
We followed down the valley of the River Arges, turning off onto a surfaced road which Adrian thought might lead up to 'Dracula's castle'. It didn't, but it was interesting to see the activities of Sunday morning as we drove past lots of well maintained houses. Several people were just walking - twice we saw men leading their cow along - it made us think of Jack and the beanstalk! A few men were sitting at a bar. After several miles, the road ran out, so we returned to the main road.
We then passed many villages. The first was Corbeni, where the houses were strung out before merging with the next village. People were sitting by rough stalls with mostly apples on them. Other people were just walking along the road. We saw far less horses and carts, and the hay rick supports were often empty. This area appeared more affluent to us than further north.
We came to the large town of Curtea, which was unattractive on the outskirts, with a lot of industry. We persevered, and finally found the Cathedral complex which we were looking for. We parked for 2 lei (40p) right by the cathedral, having our coffee sitting on a grassy slope in the warm sun before entering the grounds. A lot of people were wandering around the pleasant grassy area, dotted with tall trees. In the centre was a superb white building, with rounded tops to the towers, and looking very Eastern. It had been built with marble from Constantinople in 1512. There  were old carts and wheelbarrows full of flowers and chanting was coming from the loudspeakers, making it very atmospheric. Inside the church the walls were completely covered by gold and brightly coloured frescoes. There was the tomb of Queen Marie, who had been born in England, and had lived at Bran Castle.
Nearby was a church with a spire, which was obviously a haven for catholics, who were thronging there - lighting candles, writing messages and fervently praying to the images.


We walked out, past all the stalls selling fruit, icons and general 'tat'.
We set off again across the flattish country with houses lining the road once again. At Merisani we could see a vast number of people gathered, so turned off to investigate.  Cars were parked, and people of all ages were walking along the road. Many of the ladies wore long flowing skirts. The younger people were in western dress. We were aware of being stared at. Many of the people were very swarthy looking. There were loudspeakers with chanting. As we neared the house where all the activity was, a man spoke to me. He said it was 'a lady'. He indicated that she had died. 'kaputt' he said. Adrian went to photograph the ladies beside him, but they turned away. As we walked back, some men sitting at a table started talking. They spoke minimal English, but wanted to know where we were from. When we said 'England, London', they got us to exchange phone numbers (when someone found a pen) so that they could visit and stay (we hope not). They were happy to have photos taken. All the adults had gold teeth.
The Cathedral complex at Curtea
Other men were sitting at another table playing backgammon. Adrian had asked why there were a lot of Bulgarian number plates, and was told that cars were expensive in Romania, so people bought and registered them elsewhere. The man added that there were a lot of gypsies about, indicating to be careful.
We continued on our way for a while, stopping for lunch with a distant view to a lake, with houses lining the other side of the valley. It was hot when we left at 2 o'clock, heading for Pitesti.
When we reached the town, we struggled through the unattractive outskirts, but never got to the centre, as we were now trying to find the way to Bucharest, and had real trouble in finding the (rare) stretch of motorway.
We were now travelling across very flat land. At 4 o'clock we reached the end of the motorway and the beginning of outer Bucharest. Then it was a long trail like driving along the busy Western Avenue or North Circular (but with tram lines in the centre). We turned north on a road which became quieter and more pleasant and at 4.40 reached the campsite we were heading for.
The campsite was in a nice situation, with a lot of tall trees, but motorhomes were crammed in. We  discovered that these were from a large group of Germans, who soon returned by coach and had their 'briefing', like us in Central America. Without them, the site would be almost empty. Little cabins from Communist days surrounded the paved area - you could rent one for the price of camping!
We had a wander around. The site owner had tried to be very helpful. He had also given me a nice little wooden bracelet. Outside the site were the ruins of a past 'brasserie'.
In the evening we listened to our recording of our time in the Marqueses in 1998 and looked at the photos - what an amazing trip that was!


Locals gathered to remember an old lady, Merisani
Monday 29th September                                                        A sunny day in Bucharest                                           0 miles in van

We were in shade from the tall trees as we watched the German group get ready and leave.
At 9.40 we walked over to the campsite entrance - and there was a taxi! In we got, and were driven the 7 miles down to the centre of Bucharest. A wonderful £4's worth! Our driver was quiet for a long time, but he did speak good English, which he said he learnt at school and from television. He loved Top Gear and also Jamie Oliver. The way we went, the buildings all looked smart, with large displays of begonias, but our driver assured us that not all of Bucharest is like that! The traffic was very busy - he said that it always was. We passed the 'Arc de Triomphe' - a copy of the one in Paris - under wraps for reconstruction. We had seen several small churches  squashed in between large buildings - a bit like in London.
We were dropped at University Square. One of the first things we saw was a poster for a concert with The Troggs, The Yardbirds and The Animals and another one for the Bucharest Fringe!
We were surprised at how much was written in English - e g 'push' on a door.
We looked inside the orthodox Church of St Nicholas, which was very ornate.
Adrian was quite lost, as we hadn't got a good map of the city, and couldn't find a tourist information to get one. We followed the inadequate maps which we had, and came to the Old Princely Court, with its recently nicely restored church.
Look what we saw at University Square, Bucharest
I'd been looking out for somewhere to have coffee, but all the cafes seemed to be beer places, and were in the shade. In the end, we got a coffee from a Tschiba 'hole in the wall', and we bought some  little cinnamon whirls. They were 2 lei for 100 gms, but Adrian thought 2 lei each, so ended up with 200 gms - 6 small buns! We enjoyed (some) of these sitting on a seat in the hot sun, in the quiet square, opposite a roof with 'eyebrow' windows.
We wandered around some more - the lovely day made it pleasurable, but the buildings didn't really excite us. The city had been bombed in the war, and 2 earthquakes since then had destroyed very many buildings.
When it got to lunchtime, we found a nice Greek restaurant where we both had a lovely mixed fish meal, with a dark beer. A sunshade kept off the sun until the end of the meal. We were able to get email messages on the phone (not possible at the campsite) and received messages from Emma, Paul and Simon, with photos of the children. We had been the only people eating for most of the time, but it had been really relaxing .

Old Princely Court
We walked on to the 'Rebirth Memorial' to the 1989 revolution. It was a strange spire with what is referred to as a 'doughnut' near the top. Near here was a tourist information, and we were able to get a map - now Adrian was happy! While we were sitting looking at it, outside the  Kretulescu Church, a pleasant young lad came up on a bicycle and asked if we wanted help. He was at high school, and had applied to Universities in England - Durham and London - to study anthropology. We wished him luck.


The Rebirth Memorial
We found our way into the Cismogiu gardens, which were like a mini Hyde Park - very pleasant and shady, but a place where too many people brought their dogs! It was very peaceful, away from the frenetic traffic. There was a pond with black swans, and many birds including peacocks.

Kretulescu Church

Cismogiu gardens
Tuesday 30th September                                                   From Bucharest to the Danube                                         144 miles

It was a lovely morning. Adrian did the 'emptying and filling'. It was very different having just one other camper here.
We had decided that we ought to drive back into Bucharest to see the 'Palace of Parliament', which  is apparently the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. We had been close to it yesterday, but not actually seen it. (Adrian blamed it on not having a proper map at the time!)
Hence we set off and braved the frenetic traffic.
We reached the building, and all I could say is that it is big, but not much else - not exciting. It was started in 1984 and was another of Ceausescus' mad projects - 12 storeys high and 3,100 rooms, and is still not finished. Amazingly we were able to park for free in a car park opposite to have our coffee and take photos.


The Palace of Parliament, Bucharest - second largest building in the world
We thought that we'd try out the restaurant - the lady had given us the menu. It was amazingly smart inside, all done up as if for a wedding, with the chairs all covered in peach covered wraps.
We were the only diners.Adrian ordered zander fish, with rice & mushrooms, and I had a seafood salad. The lady didn't speak much English. When we'd asked for 'dark' beer, she brought 2 lagers - they hadn't any dark beer. The food was alright, but when the bill came, it was more than we'd expected - the portions seemed to be charged by weight, so not what it said on the menu. Where else have we ever been to a restaurant where you don’t know the price of the meal until after it comes! It didn't cost a lot, but Adrian felt that we had been conned, so wasn't very happy about it! They didn't get a tip!
We had been able to get an internet connection in the restaurant (but not in the campsite behind until we had the password!).


Campsite at Varsatura
Wednesday 1st October                                                           To the Danube Estuary                                                        91 miles

It was a lovely morning, but did cloud over a bit later. We left at 9.20 and soon came into the large town of Braila. The roads were tree lined, with uniform concrete 'sinks' of red salvias. There were ugly communist blocks and the whole place had an austere atmosphere. On the way out , we passed a woman sweeping the street with a besom broom.
We drove on through a desolate area, and wondered if we were going the right way to the ferry across the Danube. Yes, we were! We came down to the Danube (which certainly wasn't blue!) A man pointed us to the left, and we saw a boat ahead of us, with vehicles driving on. We waited our turn, paid our 40 Lei (£8) and drove on. More cars loaded on, and then a huge cargo truck. It was certainly busy! We wondered if it was the right ferry, as there were no signs. Everything was very casual - definitely no Health and Safety - not even a hand rail! It felt a bit precarious.



Adrian enjoyed the whole experience. It was pleasantly warm and still on deck. Once on the other side, people were in a hurry to get off, but we took it slowly. (Adrian laughed when the boat arrived at the unloading pontoon and there was a 9in step up, so they backed up the big lorry until it was nearly falling off the other side. By now the boat was level with the pontoon and they unloaded cars on that side until the step became too high above the pontoon, so that when the lorry pulled across for its turn, it was now level!)  We stopped by the shore to have coffee on a seat where most of the planks were missing. Beside us was a large worn out map of the area.
We left this place, Smardan, and headed into the different world of the Danube Delta - flat and wet! The level of the water seemed to be high. Tree stumps were sticking out of it. Fisherman were sitting with their bikes at the edge of the water.



Ferry cross the Danube

Fishermen by the swollen Danube
Barges on the Danube
Adrian sorted out with the site owner for us to have a trip on the estuary in the morning - starting at 8 o'clock!


Danube backwater at the end of our campsite
Thursday 2nd October                                                        Delights of the Danube Delta                                        62 miles

We had set the alarm for 6.30, but were up just before that. It was a lovely morning, with the sun just peeping through the trees, looking like African Sunrise.
We were ready for our 8 o'clock ride to the other side of Murighiol with the husband from the campsite. He was to be our 'captain' for the trip. We had been warned to wear warm clothes, as it would be breezy in the open boat. It certainly was!
We were pleased to see that the seats had padded cushions, and a back rest. With our life jackets too, it was comfortable. We had taken our overtrousers, but not put them on - I spent the time with mine held over my knees - like that I was just about warm enough. We were certainly glad of our woolly hats and gloves!
After the first anxious moment, when the engine had a bit of trouble starting, we set off along the maze of rivers and lakes that form this part of the delta. Without an expert guide, you would be completely lost. Our man knew what he was doing, and where he was going, traversing the lakes and channels which were often covered by yellow and sometimes white water lilies.  He told us that the water level was 2 metres higher than normal.
And so started a wonderful 3 hour adventure. We didn't see flocks of migrating birds, but we did see plenty.  Cormorants and coots by the hundred, egrets, herons, and whooper swans. Then there were a few 'specials' - pretty little squacco herons, a sea eagle, and a white pelican. We have seen these in America, but this is their limit in Europe. Occasionally a little 'plop' signified a frog, and sometimes there were fish jumping.

The only unpleasant part was when we 'bumped' on the waves sometimes made by other boats as we sped across the lakes (although I suspect our grandchildren would have loved it!).
We were brought safely back to our landing place and then driven back to the campsite, where we warmed ourselves with a hot drink while we prepared to leave.
At 12 o'clock we set off in the van, driving to the nearby village of Dunavatu de Jos. Like other villages, there were lots of magenta coloured Michaelmas daises outside the houses. The road just ended by the water - it didn't go on around as our map showed so we had to return to Murighiol.  We were now at the eastern extremity of this trip. From now it's all 'downhill'! At Dunavatu a man had tried to sell us a trip on the delta, despite us telling him that we had just been on one! He was in fact from a neighbouring campsite.
The road we now took had potholes worse than ever! We needed to stop, as Adrian had become drowsy after all the fresh air. As always, it was difficult to find anywhere,  but we did find a bit of track by Laku Razui, a lagoon behind the Black Sea. We had our lunch here. In the distance were an egret, a grey heron and cormorants.
We drove on along small roads passing numerous villages, often with houses with thatched roofs. At Sarinasuf peasant women were collecting up sweet corn from a huge pile and stripping off the husks, while a group of ducks waddled nearby.
Sea Eagle
White pelican
Squacco heron
Ready for a trip on the Danube Delta
Views from the boat
At Iazurile there was a very colourful children's playground amidst brightly coloured flowers. There was also one storks nest - we wondered if each village had one, to bring the babies!
At Sarichioi the road almost reached the lagoon, so we pulled in and walked down an extremely bumpy road, which actually had signs to a campsite! When we reached the lagoon, there were a lots of little fishing boats. There was a horse and a cart, and several people around. We looked back to an ornate blue church with a gold cupola.




Anyone for sweetcorn?
We stopped at Enisala near to a castle on top of a hill. The day had now become overcast, so everything was lacking in colour. As we drove on, there was an enormous flock of small birds.
At Salciora we passed a cart loaded up even more than any we've seen! There was another stork's nest here.


Fishing boats at Sarichioi
Just after Ceamurila de Jos, as we turned on a cut off road to Baia at 4.30, we found a place to pull off for the night. Rural images surrounded us - a flock of sheep, and herd of cows and a group of free range chickens.
How much more loaded can you get?
We heard the sound of bells, and looked out to see a large group of goats passing, as the red sun rose into the sky before turning to orange. Sadly it disappeared soon after that, and the day was mostly overcast with a cool wind.
After the goats came a flock of sheep, and then 3 separate lots of cows. We enjoyed the rural atmosphere and left at 9 o'clock.
We followed through flattish land southwards, not far from the shore. Holes in the road had been roughly filled in, but then we came to the part where the machine had gouged out the deep holes, and they were waiting to be filled. You needed great concentration to avoid them! We felt that there was very little tourism in this area by the looks and the waves which we got.





Friday 3rd October                                                             The Romanian Black Sea coast                                        95 miles






The pretty church at Sacele
We returned to the main road, and after the place named 23 August(!) we turned down to the purpose made resorts with names like Neptune, Jupiter and Venus. Everything was shut up here too. We did have a look at Jupiter, which had a nice beach, but was just apartment blocks - not our sort of place at all! The windy weather didn't add to the attraction!
We came to the town of Mangalia, which had been signposted for hundreds of miles. There were huge shipyards here, just before a place called 2 Mai!
We were almost at the border with Bulgaria now, but stopped at the last town - Vama Veche, where you could stay on the beach. Almost everything here was shut up too. We pulled in on the beach, between summertime cafes and shacks.
The winter Black Sea beach at Constinesti
Route Map Corbeni to Vama Veche
It was an 'alternative' place, and very scruffy, reminding us of southern Italy, when we visited in 2000. We had a little walk around, but the cool wind didn't show it at its best light! Adrian became concerned when a car pulled up beside the 'Folk stage' next to us, thinking that they may have been opening up tonight, but the man had come to take down the signs!



Stashed up on the beach at Vama Veche
Looked nicer when the sun came out!
Route Map Sighisoara to  Bucharest
Route Map Corbeni to Vama Veche