23 de abril de 2011

Romania. From Sofia to Bucharest. Day 70

Day 70:

We had met at 10 in the morning, but as it was predictable, nobody had woken up at that time. So was necessary to wait a bit more until all the people were stand up, including myself (usually the leader of the Lazy…). Continuing with our SICKLY PLANIFICATION of the trip, we did our bags and bought some food as we went along. While I was going to take a rented car (a shitty long Renault Clio, in Sara Rent) for the newcomers with Iva and Miera, Pacas was offering an AMAZING TOUR EXPRESS around Sofia city-centre (Cathedral, Russian Church, touristic market…) to Moly and Viga. Nearly ready, we had lunch before depart, and did a BOTCH reparation in the VW Golf motor (only with my hands, teethes and some rubber...McGyver is a newbie). Yeah, we were finally ready to drive!

Ooouachh.... Good weather this morning in Sofia!


Having in mind that we had booked night in Bucharest, and it was 14.00 on the clock when we started the cars to move on… ok, we wouldn’t have so many stops that day… Fortunately, a hot sun was rising above us, and the first kilometers were over one of the few highway stretches in all the country (from Sofia to Varna). It relaxed the driving at the beginning, while crossing through Stara Planina mountains (a loooong range from west Bulgaria to east Bulgaria). There we could enjoy some nice views and the snow in the road verge. The traffic was quite heavy, and from time to time, a crazy Bulgarian driver passed us with violence. Usually, a big black 4x4 BMW or Mercedes. Mafia? Yeahhh...

Once out of the highway, we found the authentic Bulgarian roads, with its lovely BIG holes. That pavement was much more older than my car, but anyway, we enjoyed the long west-to-east northern lands crossing. That is an area that we rarely would have the opportunity to visit again. It was interesting to see this forgotten Bulgaria, with isolated villages and industrial cities in the middle of nowhere (Pleven). A bus which was driving in “beast-mode” entertained us for a while. It passed us like a crazy devil, and was doing the same with the rest of the cars. Overtaking from the right side or from the left one, no matter at all!. In a straight or in a curve, who cares? We tried to follow it as hard as we could, seeing its madness. But some passing was impossible to replicate… it disappeared in the horizon… crazy fucking bus!! The newcomers were very surprised after seeing that, but I think it was because they were exactly that… newcomers!

North Bulgaria, a few km from Pleven

We arrived to the city of Ruse at night. Danube river it’s there, marking a big natural frontier with Romania. We paid 6 € to cross the long bridge, and 3 € in Romanian taxes. Not so expensive. In Romania the roads surprised us: perfect pavement, wide, clean and signposted. Why is SO BIG this difference between Bulgaria and Romania??? Maybe are true all those rumors which say that the European funds are controlled (or strongly influenced... as you want) by the Mafia in Bulgaria, and they use them to their own benefit. I can’t know exactly what the reason is, but it’s really strange.

One hour later we entered to Bucharest. We simply followed the road until we were in the middle of the city. Once there, we stopped and asked for the street of our Hostel: “It’s just there”, said a young man, pointing the other side of the street. “It’s impossible to be so lucky… there are 2 million people in this place, it’s impossible…”, I thought. But yes, we had stopped just in front of our Hostel, less than 100 meters. We, lucky bastards!!

Bucharest at night:

Good morning with Kamenitza!
We left our things in the Hostel and went to the old city centre, surprisingly beautiful at night. We had been recommended to go to a specific restaurant: Caru Cu Bere! Opened in 1879, it’s a marvelous building with impressive furniture and decoration. Classic and luxurious. But we weren’t lucky this time: it was absolutely full. Finally, we found another place were we could taste local food (mainly meat) and beer (Ciuc, Silva…). Around 10 € per person, more expensive than Bulgaria, but still far cheaper than Spain, considering we are just in the center. After the feast, we had some drinks in downtown local pubs (3 € per “Cubalibre”, aprox.). Viga and some other rebel tried to extend the night as long as our money could last, but the fact is that we returned to the Hostel around 2.30 AM. Wise decision, because it would have been a trench warfare with unknown consequences!