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Romania on motorcycle

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Haystacks, buildings with towers and tin roofs
Romania: incredibly beautiful and full of energy

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In august 2006, we rode through Romania on a Yamaha Tricker and a BMW R1100GS. Romania is a country with which we fell in love, and I think every motorcycle rider will feel the same, once having ridden there.
It is incredibly beautiful, with completely preserved Middle-age towns, many beautiful mountaineous regions, and a landscape, formed by farmers, on a small scale, that has a loveliness that you won't find anywhere else.

First impressions

Traffic

We entered Romania at the border near Satu Mare, while the sun was setting.

Before even crossing the border we already spotted cows on what we thought was a highway, and while riding on, we discovered that horse wagons are a common means of transportation in Romania (and they don't carry lights at night).

The road you see here in the picture is in the process of being enhanced: there is no separate part of the road for horse wagons.

Beside almost being dark, it was raining when we entered Romania. Together with the roads full of potholes, with stretches without pavement without any warning, and with car drivers who will do everything to prevent anyone thinking they are a pussy, this ensured that our getting acquaintanced with Romania was like a crash course.

It was an exhilarating ride, and we were very curious as to how Romania would look like in daylight!

More pictures of the the first night in Romania on the Dutch Day 1 nl  .

 

The Maramures

Time warp

The Maramures is a region in the north-west of Romania.

The Maramures form a fast-growing region, in terms of economy. When you ride on the main road through Borsa, you will be on a road full of cars, horse wagons, oxen wagons, cows, goats, etc, and you will notice a bustling activity of houses being build.

But when you take the low road, through the valley of the Isa, it will be as if time stood still for a long time.

 

People

One of the many pleasants aspects of Romania is the fact that, when you ride a motorcycle, everybody will greet you, or ask for a wheelie like this boy in the picture.

I have never seen so many happy faces looking at me as during this vacation in Romania. Not only children greet you and look happy to see you, but adults as well.

 

Orthodox Catholicism

With the fall of communism, religion could openly take the place it already had, more or less secretly. The most common religion is Romania is orthodox catholicism.

Here, in Barsana, we discovered a monastery that has been newly built, in exactly the same style as churches and monasteries in the Maramures have always been built: structures of wood, with many embellishments in the form of woodcarving and painting.

 

Wooden churches

Churches in the Maramures are entirely made of wood. There are a couple of churches that are very old: being built as early as the 14th century or so.

What you see here is the interior of the Biserica de Lemn din Deal in Ieud, one of the oldest if these wooden chirches. As the other churches, its inside has been painted all over, showing scens of the bible in a middle-aged varianr of a cartoon.

It is almost incomprehensible, once inside, that what you see has been painted so long ago.

More pictures of the the Maramures within Romania on the Dutch Day 2 nl  .

 

Moldovia

Prislop Pass

There is a country named Moldovia, and a region within Romania named Moldovia (historically, they belong together). We visited the region Moldovia.

One of the most spectacular ways to enter Moldovia is by choosing the Prislop pass, a pass through the Carpathians.

On top of this pass, you will see this beautifull church with its roofs made out of copper, in a style that you will encounter everywhere in Moldovia.

 

Painted Monasteries

Moldovia is famous because of its mainted monasteries, and rightly so.

Here you see the church of the monastery in Moldovita, which was built and painted on the inside and outside in the 16th century.

There are numerous of these monasteries in Moldovia: not only the famous ones which you will find in every travel guide, but also churches that are never mentioned, and are still in use today.

 

Bucovina, land of fairy tales

In Romania, it's impossible to choose the highlights: there are so many of them.

But if I would have to choose one region, it would be Moldovia, and especially the northernmost part of it, the Bucovina.

This is the region where most painted monasteries are found, were you see the kind of buildings as is shown on the picture, where many people live a life that is the same as it has been for hundreds of years.

I can understand that many people want to live a more modern life, but for the visitor, it feels like riding through a living fairy tale.

More pictures of the the Maramures within Romania on the Dutch Day 2 nl   and
Day 3 nl  .

 

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Romania on motorcycle

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© Copyright Sylvia Stuurman (text) and Ernst Anepool (photo's).
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e-mail adress: sylviastuurman@gmail.com
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