Friday, July 5, 2013

Bulgaria is a beautiful country, which is perfect to cycle

Starting from Vidin towards Kozloduy I was astonished from the amount of different drivers on the freeway: so beside me, trucks and cars were as well donkey carts, wild horses and from time to time cyclists on it. I have to say, that the official cycle route of Euro Velo 6 was for some kms on that freeway.

You saw quite often shut down huge factories. This one an old power plant build in the middle of a small town and next to a church was still producing energy.

This is the pedestrian street of Lom, which attracted me somehow ;-) Anyway in Lom I meet a french couple in my age (Johan and Marie) who want to travel between six and twelve month on the bike. We did the rest of approx. 40 km together towards Kozloduy. So it was really nice after cycling very long alone to meet up with some people.

This picture was also taken in Kozloduy, where you can see, that even the infrastructure of the Danub is on somehow a high level it is not really in use - you can hardly see ships on the river, which is very romantic but not too good for the economy in Bulgaria.

I was very happy that I choose to cycle instead on the Romanian shore on the Bulgarian one, cause on the hills I had a magnificent view down to Romania and the Danube river. Except the fact that the climbs on the road were especially of the heavy weight of the trailer a bit exhausting.

The people in Bulgaria were extremely friendly. Most of the time they were very happy to see people cycling.

Very often you could still see monuments from old communism times... so compared to other countries they kept this monuments of their history in the city centres.

On one of the hills was this nice building, which is the headquarter of a Bulgarian winery.

As already mentioned especially the kids were very happy to see me most of the time, I took mostly my time and tried to get somehow in a small conversation with them.

This herb is here really growing everywhere, it's really remarkable, that EU did not decree a low to burn all this plants down... A very nice leave you can see here.

On the top of a really steep climb four Gypsy kids were waiting for me and they were quite proud to pose for a picture. One comment, I never give them money, cause I don't want them to motivate to beg. Sometimes I buy them some food, but not for these ones, they were in a real good condition and so friendly!

This was how the track in between Kozloduy and Nikopol looked like. Amazing scenery with a lot of beautiful flowers and views down to the river. The day itself was quite hard, cause of the long distance, the heat and the big amount of steep climbs.

That day I didn't do any breaks, was just eating on the bike - so unfortunately I was able to reach the destination very glad at 6pm.

This place some kms before Nikopol seemed to promise more that it actually did...

In Nikopol I stayed with Stefan, and Bulgarian who works quite often in Germany. It was really great to stay with him, cause he offered me a lot of information about the country:
  • Bulgarians mean Yes, when they are shaking their had
  • Most of the people living close to the Danube in Bulgaria are able to speak Turkish
  • All people except the major, the policemen and people working in bars, restaurants, and shops and the border are unemployed
  • Bulgarians Köfte is made out of pork meat and very delicious
  • Even Bulgaria and Romania are in the EU and therefore accepted Schengen, they have an border like in Israel
I really enjoyed that evening to stay with locals!

Sunset in Nikopol...

Industries on the other side of the Danube in Romania

Nikopol is maybe one of the future spots for rock climbing. So far no bolts are in this wonderful lime stone cliff.

In the evening John and Rolf from Norway arrived in the same hotel in Nikopol I stayed. They are on a three week lasting cycle trip from Budapest to the Black Sea in Bulgaria. We had two beer in the evening an decided to cycle the next day together to Svishtov.

During a small break, caused by heavy rains => a movie is attached, I was almost eaten by flies, they especially loved my injury at the left knee - but make them going a way was senseless - cause they came back immediately. So just a small example of acceptance during this great trip.

In this picture you can see Rolf, John and some locals, who were also on the escape of the heavy rain. People are really great there and so far not even one complain about dogs who attacked me - one tried, but afterwards I was chasing him...

Here is the video of the thunderstorm:

And last but not least I want to finalize with an other great song of Steven Wilson called "Holy Drinker"

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