After some days in nature close to Brasov, Philip and me continued our way by bicycle towards Sighishoara. This small city, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, is the birth place of Dracula. With its ancient castle and clock tower and its cobbled stone streets you can easily imagine Dracula coming alive. But in the sunshine it is mostly a relaxed place, which is nice to hang out!
As Philips got an inflammation at his knee we made a 3-days stop there, but in terms of enjoying the city this was actually slightly to long. The city is very beautiful but it is also very small and there isn’t much going on. But at least the knee got better and we could continue riding the bike afterwards.
We were surprised to find out that there was actually a lot of German influence in big parts of Rumania (Transsylvania). Apparently the Saxons were living in this area in the mideavel. A lot of cities also have a German name that is still known very well. Sighishoara for example is also called Schäßburg and Brasov is known as Kronstadt. Ans in Sighishoare there was a small musuem about an old German school and all the ancient textbooks of the pharmacy-exhibition in the castle were written in German.
Generally we found that the architecture of the villages we passed through in Rumania were similar to German ones.
So step by step we can feel how we are coming close to our home country. There are for example German supermarkets everywhere and also the weather and the landscpaes are somehow similar – only that nature in Rumania is still much wilder and untouched. And well, you can’t find a lot of horse carriages in Germany, too. And the condition oft he streets is a lot worse. But we actually found a bicycle lane a few kilometers before the Hungarian border. Yes, we can feel that we are in Europe again!
Everything is a little bit less extreme here. The Carpathians almost don’t feel like mountains to us and the sun is just shining not „burning“. In Turkey we were only able to cycle about 85km a day but here we do easily 120-130km. It’s somehow just easier.
But Hungary teches us, what the meaning of „flat“ is. The highest point on our way from the Rumanian border to Budapest prbably was some bridge crossing some tracks or a highway.
In Budapest we only spent one lunch break. We had explored this city before and this time we wanted to get to know the Slovakian capital: Bratislava.
Going there was horrible though. It was raining non-stop. As everything was completely wet we decided to skip our last night of camping and so we cycled the last 50km in the dark. We were not sure i fit was a good decision, as we had done 130km that day already and we had almost never cycled at night before, but it was fine and we were really, really happy when we arrived in a Hostel where we could take a warm shower and slip into a dry bed.
The next days we explored the city and we really liked it. The Slovaks seem tob e nice and relaxed people who likt to climb and to cook delicous food. Also they semm to have a godd portion of humos and they seem to like unconvential things. Also the old town of Bratislava is very beautiful, as you can imagine, if you know that Bratislava once was the capital of the Austrian-Hungarian empire.
So we spoiled ourselves a little bit in Bratislava before starting the last part of out journey and going home.