Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Day 7 – Through the Carpathian mountains and Bulgaria at last

We all awake in good spirits knowing no matter how long the day is we will be in Bulgaria by bedtime. We pack up and set of for the Carpathian mountains and the most stunning scenery we have yet encountered. Tree filled mountains are all around us and rivers and lakes stream through these and create the most beautiful sights we have ever seen.
We stop in a small café for cold drinks in a tiny villiage and get chatting to a Romanian who had worked in England as a Taxi driver and spoke brilliant English – we pulled up the bongos next to a horse and cart and had a well earned rest in the shade.
Near Tea time we hit Bucharest – the capital of Romania and the worst driving experience of the trip bar none. The traffic is horrendous and whereas there appear to be two or three lanes of traffic everyone ignores these and just drives at high speed where ever they want. Driving in the inside lane is impossible because every few hundred metres people just stop their cars with no warning to have a chat to someone they know. The signs are terrible and we are soon going in the wrong direction. However we have now had such good practice at being lost that we realise sooner rather than later and pull over to as directions. We stop by a Romanian lady who speaks English and we cannot believe our luck – once we have undertaken a rather hairy u turn we are on the right track and at last leave Bucharest and the worst two hours driving experience of the trip.
All is the more simple as we head to the Bulgarian border and excitement builds as our goal is at last in sight – forgotten now is the endless stops to ask for directions, the boiling heat, the traffic jams and the long drives – as we pass over the bridge to Ruse in Bulgaria a huge cheer goes up and we issue a collective sigh of relief knowing that it has all been worth while !!!!!
Two hours later and we arrive in Vishingrad – it is now about 1am and the kids go straight to bed whereas we adults spend a couple of hours drinking tea and relishing the electric kettle, indoor toilets and the prospect of sleeping in a proper bed for the first time in a week. We go to bed when someone spots that it is 3.30am and we fall asleep with huge grins on our faces knowing we have a few weeks rest before we have to do it all again!!

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