The journey

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Wrexham, Wales, United Kingdom
For the past 5 years, me and my best friend Nathan have talked about the possibility of travelling around the world by land and sea, and so finally we have a route, savings and time to set off around the world. What we are doing is living out a dream, a dream we share with many people worldwide, a dream of travelling this vast, diverse, beautiful and interesting planet, but unlike the many others who keep it as a dream, we have the tenacity to make this dream a reality.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Days 7 & 8: Hungary & Romania

Day 7

After clearing the snow from the Landrover we started our journey out of east out of Budapest and towards Romania. The roads were becoming more treacherous for our suspension, and once across the border into the flatlands of western Romania, we were faced with small winding roads through linear roadside villages, the visual landscape had completely changed and we now felt as though we were in Eastern Europe as we lost count of the number of times we had overtaken a horse and cart.

We made our way out of the flatlands and up into the Carpathian Mountain range as the striking colourful villages that consisted of arrays of brick shacks following the main road flew past our windscreen like a vivid dream.

We arrived late in Sighisoara, but had made brilliant progress right through the heart of Transylvania, through some strange and fascinating places that formed an introduction to Romania that I will never forget.

Day 8

The fog lingered over Transylvania to obscure our route out of Sighisoara towards Brasov, but once we had completed our crossing of the Carpathians, and somehow navigated our route with little help from any road signs, we were heading down into the Bran Valley to visit the Bran castle, otherwise known as Dracula’s castle.

The link to Dracula is tenuous, and I won’t go into it here, but the castle stood on top of a hill guarding the valley entrance to the region, and luckily the fog had cleared for us to get a good view from the outside, and then walk up to tour the inside.

Bucharest was our next destination, the biggest city we had visited, and possibly the most decrepit as well. The pavements in the city centre could only compare to mud tracks, the road signs didn’t exist and stray dogs roamed the streets like rats. [Nathan: You wouldn’t want to be a cat in Bucharest]

The architecture was fascinating. At first glance you would think you were in Paris, as the Boulevards linking circular plazas were lined with a mix of Beaux-Arts and Baroque, but mixed in with a seasoning of large round Russian Orthodox churches and the tall Communist style concrete housing blocks that were crumbling to expose the rusting reinforcements below.

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