The picturesque port of Geiranger, Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hellesylt, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Welcome to Romania!

Romania is not a new country for us. We were in Romania for the month of November, 2016. We liked it so much at the time, we knew we would return some day. It's unfortunate that we're only going to be here for about two weeks, but that's the way it goes.

We got on the road just before 10:00am and headed for the border crossing bridge. But as we got close to the traffic circle before the bridge, things slowed down and there were police blocking traffic. 

We were directed through a fuel station and things came to a stop. There were trucks blowing horns like crazy, and we realized this was a protest of some kind.

Turn up your volume if you want to hear the truck horns...


Of course we didn't know if this was going to last five minutes, or all day! Not that it really mattered to us... we travel in our home! So we could have sat there all day if we had to... but fortunately things cleared up after about 20 minutes and we were able to get on the bridge.

We had to pay a bridge toll of €6.00 ($8.10 CAD, $6.30 USD) for Max. 

Both Bulgaria and Romania are members of the European Union (EU) but neither are part of the Schengen visa zone. So they each have their own passport control. However, on the Bulgaria side, there was no immigration exit. 

Crossing the international bridge.

The Danube River with Romania on the left (north), and Bulgaria on the right (south).

Into Romania.

We got to passport control on the Romania side. In the lineup, a guy was checking the trunks of people's cars. He got to Max, and asked in perfect English if he could have a look inside. He did a quick peak in, and that was that.

At passport control, they have a window for Bulgaria exit, and a window for Romania entrance right beside each other. Literally, two meters (six feet) apart! There was no mention of Covid or vaccination or tests. Romania is wide open now, operating as normal. 

They asked the typical "where are you coming from?" and "where are you going?" questions, and that was that. Welcome to Romania!

The small city of Giurgiu is located right at the border, so we found a big Kaufland supermarket, parked Max, and walked into the central area so that we could find an ATM to get some local cash, and a Romanian SIM card.

Scenery along the way.

Ha! Too funny!
Non Stop Kill the Chicken Street Food.

Central tower. Now a cafe/bar at the base.

We found an ATM and were surprised that there were no fees at all.

Then we went to a Vodafone store to get a SIM card. We remembered from our 2016 visit that most young people in Romania speak English. And, we remembered that cellular data in Romania is very cheap.

Neither of these things have changed. The girl who served us spoke English, and we bought a 60GB (yes, sixty GB!) data SIM card for... 32 lei ($8.75 CAD, $6.80 USD). Crazy cheap. 

We walked back to the Kaufland store and did some groceries.

Then we got on the road heading west.

Not much to see in this area.

It kinda felt like we were back in Saskatchewan!

Quite a few villages that we drove through though.

And lots of stork nests!

We pulled into Edelweiss Guest House. This little spot gets rave reviews on the park4night app, so we decided it would make for a good overnight stop where we could empty and fill tanks. But now that we're here, we think we'll stay for two or three nights!

50 lei ($13.60 CAD, $10.65 USD) to park in their garden with electric, water, Wi-Fi, nice toilet and shower. They even do meals, so we are having dinner with them today. Really nice young fellow who owns the place.

He welcomed us with some of his local homemade apple brandy.

Max, parked in the garden at GPS 43.742604, 25.240924

Backgammon at happy hour.

There is a refugee Ukrainian family staying in the guest house. Apparently they don't speak any English, and even our host has to communicate with them using google translate because they don't speak Romanian either. It will be interesting if we get to spend some time with them.

A bit of rain this morning, and cooler temperatures with a high of only 17C (63F) . But we had four or five days in a row of great weather, so that was wonderful.

Today is clean up day. Max needs a serious bath. Oh, and it's taxes day as well.... have to send the Canadian government some money. We don't mind though, because they spend it so wisely.

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And in Canada...

6 comments:

  1. I'm sure you've now seen where Russia has halted gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland and I wonder if the protest was related to that? My first thought when I read was thanks that y'all were getting out before the inevitable rise in prices and eventual shortages.

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    1. Yes, we are aware of this but you also have to realize that this is natural gas not fuel used in vehicles, it is used for heating and industrial use. Kevin found out the the protest was a result of higher fuel prices and toll fees that are being levied on the truck drivers by the Bulgarian government.

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  2. I love following your adventures, but especially now that you are in Romania, where I served as a grandma in the Peace Corps until 2009! Can't wait to see more of this country! At least I did manage to go back again in 2018.
    Kristin

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    Replies
    1. I remember that you worked here in the Peace Corps. You sent us your blog of your time here then and we found it very interesting. Glad that you made it back here in 2018 and we are happy to be back ourselves so that we can visit friends and take a little bit of time to see some new to us areas of Romania before heading on towards our ferry departure in Denmark on June 1st.

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  3. The yellow fields and blue skies suddenly dawned on me it looked like the Ukraine flag.

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    Replies
    1. Never thought of it that way but you are correct with the yellow and blue.

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