Category Archives: Interesting

Uzbekistan, the sunset over Bukhara, jewel of the east.

Entering Uzbekistan seemed way easier than exiting Turkmenistan, even though I made it across just barely before the border closed. And just after the border crossing, in the warm light of the sunset I saw the first time a street sign with Bishkek written on it. After more than 5000 kilometers into the journey seeing a sign with the destination was indeed something, even if it was 1246 kilometers away and even if the distance would be more than double with the Pamir detour. But time flies quickly and I need to find a camping spot, and after riding through the twilight I find a good spot, between the road and a nearby channel which takes water from the Amu Darya River, the same river which once filled the Aral Sea but which is now diverted to the cotton crops of Uzbekistan.

The following morning I finally have a short day ahead, only 80 kilometers until Bukhara, the first Timur jewel along the Silk road. And after riding 160 kilometers yesterday trying to reach the border before the border closed the short day ahead is more than welcome. Even though it was the second border crossing in just 5 days I can’t say the difference difference seems way smaller than when I left Iran. The people of Uzbekistan are a mixture of Uzbek, Tadjik and Kyrgyz people with the more recent addition of some Russians. The problem is that if you take appart the hats to the untrained eye uzbek people and kyrgyz people look a lot like turmen people so the change you can’t really see the change on the people faces.

One visible change is that the roads seem to be considerably worse than in Turkmenistan and that there seem to be way more villages along the way. Centuries of irrigation have transformed what was once a desert in green cultivated land. You also see signs using the Latin alphabet, a welcome change after Turkmenistan where it’s hard to find any signs at all.

After 5 days in the desert I’m in dire need of a shower so I search for a cheap hotel around one of the main square, and after a bit of searching and asking I find a pretty decent room for 20 dollars a night. Next it’s time to stroll through the city. And what a city Bukhara is. I have to say that after also visiting Samarkand and Shahrizabz is still consider that Bukhara is something different. It’s less like a sanitized museum and more like a an actual city which still lives and which has continued living since the since the times of Timur. Even though it is a bit touristic and it will become even more so if you wander through the 700 year old bazars and medresses you can get a feel of how this place looked like in the past. Regarding Timur even though the guy historically can be seen like an Adolf Hitler of the middle ages and while his conquests led to the death of millions of people he had at least good taste, bringing back besides the usual spoils of war also countless artisans which helped build Bukhara and Samarkand.

The sunset catches me on the old fortress, looking over the skyline of the city while the sun briefly shines between a break in the clouds after a summer rain. A single white pigeon lands on the fortress walls and I have someone to share the moment with in an otherwise empty place. The streets are still wet from the afternoon rain the the air is cool and it smells once again of spring, a season which I met so many time across my trip through Central Asia.

Un teanc de bani ce valoreaza 20 de dolari.

Un teanc de bani ce valoreaza 20 de dolari.

Just a bit more until Bishkek, even though the detour through the Pamir adds at least 1000 kilometers.

Just a bit more until Bishkek, even though the detour through the Pamir adds at least 1000 kilometers.

The camping spot for tonight.

The camping spot for tonight.

Once again no traffic.

Once again no traffic.

The Medreses of Buchara.

The Medreses of Buchara.

Finding shelter from the rain.

Finding shelter from the rain.

After the storm.

After the storm.



Above the city.

Above the city.

Fresh air.

Fresh air.


Cycling 2000 kilometers through Iran and some practical considerations

As I ride through the green wheat fields around Fand I can hear the familiar sound of crickets typical of a summer night. Soon I enter the village itself and I stroll through the mud bricked house in search of my host for tonight, Hashem and somehow I find it hard to believe that less than one week ago I was cycling in subfreezing temperatures in the Iranian plateau near Miyaneh. Looking only at today the first part of the morning which I’ve spent in the traffic of Teheran trying to find my way eastwards through the network of expressways which runs through the city. Probably if I were to sum up my experience in Iran in couple of words it would be exactly like this day has been, great people but a lot of traffic.

After a quick search and a phone call I’m able to finally find Hashem’s house and what follows is an evening filled with the incredible hospitality the Iranian people are known for. Dinner with the family and with the neighboring relatives, with traditional dishes and with the crusty rice which I haven’t encountered before or after Iran, and most of all with genuine curiosity about how life is in other countries and in other parts of the world.

Before travelling through Iran I read stories about the Iranian hospitality and after almost a month of travelling through Iran I can only confirm it. The Iranians are also over polite between themselves, and it’s customary to refuse something 3 times just to be sure that an offer is genuine, but somehow when foreigners are involved this is combined with a genuine curiosity and with trying to somehow mend the bad image Iran has at a personal level. I have been asked countless times by locals what I think about Iran and about Iranians after travelling through the country and just as many times I’ve answered that I think that the Iranians are more or less incredible. There have been countless situations when complete strangers spent time and/or money to help with whatever problems I was facing. This of course doesn’t mean that everything is rose and perfect but the percentage of people doing seems to be way higher than in other countries.

La masa cu Hasheen si cu familia lui.

Having dinner with Hashem and his family

On the down side considering my route of crossing Iran from west to east through relatively populated and industrialized areas I can’t really say that I’ve actually enjoyed the actual cycling. The main problem is that for my taste there is an immense amount of traffic in Iran. Gasoline is cheap (something like 0.2 dollars) and it seems that almost everyone has a car. And the cars aren’t necessarily the ones you would expect to see passing you, from 40 year old Paykans and Peugeot 405 which is apparently still produced over there to huge and incredibly loud and inefficient trucks. Either way I can say that in 2200 kilometers there have been really few moments when I was riding without a car in site. Perhaps in the southern part of the country things are a bit different but both the route along the Caspian sea and the actual silk road route suffer from pretty bad traffic.

Regarding traffic on the other hand I can say that after getting used to it traffic through Teheran did seem a bit less dangerous than in Istanbul. I’ve spent a couple of days in both cities sorting out visa issues and I used the bicycle in the process so I can compare them a bit. Even though in Teheran there seem to be countless scooters humming away and the traffic rules seem to be non-existant everything seems to be happening at a slower speed than in Istanbul and you don’t have cars passing very close you you at 70-80 kilometers per hour.

Temperature wise in April in really changed a lot and there was a cold spell which brought temperatures way bellow freezing in the area around Tabriz only to encounter summer like temperatures in the the desert after Teheran. On the other hand I would wouldn’t chose another time do cross it as I’m not a big fan of the 40 degree temperatures which define the summer in Iran.

And now for some more practical informations

1. Visas (Iran and onward travel)

Probably the easiest place to obtain the Iranian Visa is Trabzon in Turkey, but for more information the caravanistan section is also very helpful. From Iran I picked up visas for Uzbekistan and for Turkmenistan (in that order). The Uzbek visa took 1 day with a letter of invitation and for the Turkem visa I applied for it in Teheran and I picked it up one week later in Mashad.

2. Money (what the hell is a tumen?)

Iran can be a confusing country and the subject of money is no exception. The first thing you become when you enter Iran is a millionaire as in 2014 the exchange rate was around one dollar to 30000 Rial. The best place to exchange money I think is at exchange booths at bazars, banks will exchange at the official rate which is considerably lower. But then when you start spending it you discover that almost everthing is handled in tumens, 1 tumen beeing equal to 10 Rial. It takes a bit to get used to it especially when you add in consideration the fact that all the prices are written using Arabic characters.

3. Prices.

When comming from Turkey Iran is a pretty cheap country and when you get over the fact that paper notes just keep flying away (keep in mind that they still have a 500 Rial note which is worth around 0.016 dollars) and when you consider that you do get invited a lot Iran has been quite cheap to travel through. Food seemed to be almost half of what it was in Turkey, with restaurand meals starting at 2-3 dollars and alternatively buying food for one day from a shop for a bit more than that. On the other hand there isn’t much diversity regarding things you buy in small shops. A night in a cheap guesthouse / hotel was a bit less than 10 dollars.

4. People.

 As I’ve said before the people are incredibly warm, curios and welcoming and they would be the main reason why I would visit this country once again. Just as an example, after being stopped by the police for a checkup after leaving Hashem’s house he came to the police station with me and tried to help as a translator, spending quite a bit of time in the process. Somehow the Iranians didn’t seem to be as conservative as the Turkish people (at least in the eastern part of Turkey), and even though religion is important there is quite a bit of difference between the laws and what the people think about them.

5. Mobile and Internet.

Yes there is internet, yes all social media is officially banned but everyone still has access to them using vpn’s. While in Iran I bough a cheapish sim card for my phone from Hamrah-e-Avvall, after trying an Irancell sim card which didn’t work and which seemed to be restricted for phones manufactured for Iran. I haven’t tried internet cafes but when I had access to an internet connection is was generally pretty slow.

5. Places.

Iran’s culture and history is amazing and my only regret is that I didn’t have enough time to take a detour in the southern and central part of the country. But from the places which I did see one there were a couple of places and moments which became stuck in my mind. Riding my bicycle through the narrow alleyways of the Tabriz bazar after all the shops were closed was one of them, and the entire place seemed to be taken from the tales of the “One thousand and one nights”. The huge dome of Soltanyeh on a crisp spring day was another one, together with the old caravan-sarais from the barren desert east of Teheran.

And now in short, 2200 kilometers in photos.

Heading towards the stormy border of Iran.

Heading towards the stormy border of Iran.

The first morning in Iran.

The first morning in Iran.

Morning invitation for breakfast, during the Nowruz.

Morning invitation for breakfast, during the Nowruz.

Pedaling on the bazar alleways

Pedaling on the bazar alleways

I think it was boiled sugar beat, a sweet treat popular in the Azerbajdjan Province.

I think it was boiled sugar beat, a sweet treat popular in the Azerbajdjan Province.

Winter on the iranian plateau

Winter on the iranian plateau

Improvised dinner in the spare room above a car-was.

Improvised dinner in the spare room above a car-was



Facing Soltanieh.

Facing Soltanieh.



Iranian style.

Iranian style.

Down with the USA!

Down with the USA!

Hashem and his mother.

Hashem and his mother.

Endless wheat fields in the middle of the desert.

Endless wheat fields in the middle of the desert.

One of the emergency (somewhat religious) rooms from a hotel.

One of the emergency (somewhat religious) rooms from a hotel.

After 230 kilometers through the desert with almost no villages in between.

After 230 kilometers through the desert with almost no villages in between.

One of the restored caravan-serais.

One of the restored caravan-serais.

Semna ale primaveri.

Semna ale primaveri.

The pilgrimage complex from Mashad.

The pilgrimage complex from Mashad.

The suspended village of Kang.

The suspended village of Kang.

One of the first camping places with grass, in Khorasan before the Turkmenistan border.

One of the first camping places with grass, in Khorasan before the Turkmenistan border.


Turkey, an introduction in Asia

It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve entered Turkey and up until now I didn’t have the time to write a decent blog post in English and somehow it seems that writing in my native tongue will always be more tempting, hence the Romanian version of the blog is almost up to date.

It seems that since I’ve left Romania I’ve switching a lot of times between spring and winter, and while I think it’s normal for March the weather changes I’ve encountered have range from snow to a lot of rain to only a couple of days of real spring in Istanbul. All in all in the first 20 days I’ve had less than 3 days of sunshine which does seem a bit low.

But now back to Turkey, I think that coming from Bulgaria and with the experience of other European countries Turkey was a bit of a cultural change. Edirne, the first city I’ve stayed in was a world away from the empty and almost desolate towns of Bulgaria. So full of life, so full of people and so full of sounds (it seems that in Turkey the elections are coming and the way the political parties are campaigning is at least loud).

Edirne was a stunning city and a good introduction to Turkey, at least in comparison to Istanbul which can be a bit too much as a first experience. And now the compulsory lines about the traffic from Istanbul. After two days of pedaling against the wind I finally entered Istanbul from the east on the infamous D100 motorway. Nasty as it was I managed to survive it and after 60 kilometers of travelling to the city I managed to reach my warmshowers host, Yucel.

Istanbul is incredibly big and the entire city seems to be planned towards cars and public transport and the cyclist are almost missing. The traffic was a bit of a shock in the beginning, even though I’m pretty used to the traffic in Bucharest and while I was riding on the D100 there where moments when I felt like a gold-fish flushed down the drain with all the cars. But after 3 days spent in the city and after almost 100 extra kilometers it didn’t seem to bad in the end and it was only a question of getting used to it.

The good news was that I did get the Tajikistan visa really fast and that I managed to solve quite a few problems in Istanbul while also discovering a bit of the city and it’s history. The time spent at Yucel together with Maja and Jan, a german couple which is bike touring through Europe was also really nice, as was the fact that I managed to wash all my clothes thanks to Yucel.

The days after Istanbul were rough and really wet though and the 450 kilometers to Safranbolu took a bit of willpower with long and wet days averaging at around 110 kilometes with around 1200 meters of climbing and downclimbing. At the same time as it was so wet I did practice my negotiation skills quite a bit in search of Turkish guest houses (pansyon) at the end of wet days when I wanted to dry the sleeping bag and the tent. A fair price seems to be around 40 Turkish Lira (or around 13 euros) with breakfast include, so it’s not so bad especially when the next days are just as rainy.

Semne ale primaverii.

Signs of spring.

Moscheea Selmye,vizibila de departe.

The Selmye Mosque, visible from far away.



Caligrafie - 2.

Caligraphy – 2.

Caligrafie turca.

Caligraphy – 3.

Din categoria iola.

In front of one of the most impressive mosques I’ve seen until now.



Renault Taurus e inca la putere in Tucia.

Renault Taurus still is a very popular car in Turkey.

Ascultand Imamul.

Listening to the Imamul.

Moscheea albastra

The blue mosque.

Privind catre un alt continent.

Looking towards another continent.

Hagia Sofia.

Hagia Sofia.

Bine am venit in Asia.

Not a sign you see too often..

Ploaia de dimineata.

The morning rain.

Prin ploaie puterica, coafura si Polartec rezista.

Still dry through the rain and the wind thanks to the Polartec clothing.

Drum liber si cu multe suisuri si coborasuri.

Empty roads, but with a lot of ups and downs.

Singur pe drum.

An empty main road on a wet Sunday morning.



Prognoza pentru urmatoarele 3 zile.

The weather forecast for the next 3 days.

Prima intalnire cu muntii, pe un fel de Valea Cernei in varianta Turceasca.

The first meeting with the moutains after an entire day of rain.

Before and after photos

In Romania there aren’t a lot of people who haven’t heard of Mihai Barbu and of his trip to Mongolia. Before him other travelers did long adventurous journeys but probably he was the first who told a really good story of the trip, and by doing that he managed to inspire a lot of other people to start on intereting journeys. And in a way I hope to do the same with my journey.

At least in my case the travel journals I have been reading the past years played an important role in deciding that I actually want to do this. Now getting back to the photos I’m really glad that Mihai spared some time for a couple of shots, and I cannot help but wonder if I would take the same photos after 9 months how changed would be the person standing in the photo. I’m pretty sure that the clothes and the bike won’t be as new.

I could write a lot of things on the subject but with two days until the departure time is short and the posts will be even shorter.






The first visa – Kyrgystan

Probably one of the most daunting problem when trying to plan a trip through Central Asia is the visa problem. And besides the bureaucracy and the costs which pretty high the main issue is that the rules change rather dramatically from one year to the other, and not necessarily for the better. Probably the best example is last year when during the elections in Iran it became a bit more difficult to get the Iranian visa. Perhaps sometimes it’s necessary to to bump into these problems just learn to appreciate the advantages an EU citizen has while travelling through Europe. It’s easy to get accustomed to this fact and to forget that 90% of the world doesn’t have this freedom of movement.

The first and only visa which I got before leaving is exactly the visa of the destination country, Kyrgyzstan. At first I planned to get them along the way but after finding out that the Kazakhstan embassy in Romania also issues Kyrgyzstan visas on a relatively short notice, and that they are considerably cheaper than in other embassies I thought it was worth the effort.

And thus after a couple of visa papers which I managed to fill incorrectly a number of times, after 35 euroes and after 3 days I got my first visa. The consul, a young Kazakh with Asian facial features fortunately spoke some English in order to clear up some details of the Kyrgyz visa (for example you can use it in an interval of 3 months). On the other hand if I would scale things and if this is the English which is spoken by a consul in an European country I think I’d better start learning some Russian, or at least the basic things which are needed for filling up visa forms.

Regarding visas probably the best resource for Central Asia is Caravanistan but also the information provided by Ionut and Ana from Into the World were very useful. The plan with the other visas would be to get the Iran visa in Trabzon or in Erzrum (it’s easier and you don’t need a letter of invitation), then the Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan si Tadjikistan in Iran, filling the papers in Teheran and trying to get the visas in Mashad. The biggest problem will probably be Turkmenistan which only issues a transit visa which is only 5 days long and has fixed dates and thus it’s hard to specify the exact dates until I will get close to the border. The return visas for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia I’ll get either in Almaty or in Bishkek, but that’s at least 6 months away so I can start worrying about them a bit later on.

Ca pe roate

In front of the microphone

In a January month which was incredibly full and in which I split my time between spending time in the mountains and between organizing the trip, I also tried to make the project known to the Romanian media. In the end the only thing which I can offer in return is a story, a story which may seem interesting and which may inspire in turn, a story which I will write for me but which can also be read by others.

And so from the benevolence of several persons which resonated to the idea of a long trip to a mountain at the end of the world in ended up twice in front of a Radio microphone, once at the national Romanian Radio Station (Radio Romania Actualitati) at the “Like on wheels” Radio show and once at Radio France International at an interview with Andreea Orosz. The first one was live during a weekend show while during the second one we had more time to talk about the project in detail.

And now regarding the experience of talking on the Radio, as it was the first time for me, it’s interesting because you don’t realize that there are people listening on the other end and things are more relaxed. At the same time it’s a bit weird when you use the headphones and when you hear yourself and realize that you don’t sound like your normal self. And when time is limited it’s really hard to try to reduce everything to the essential parts, and I feel like given enough time I could go on for hours regarding the adventure which is in front of me.

Unfortunately all the recordings are in Romanian, as the main audience is in Romania.

The live condensed version from Radio Romania Actualitati.

And the long version from Radio France International and a short article can be found over here.


The Polartec Challenge

First of all maybe I should start a bit by explaining what is the Polartec Challenge. Each year the guys from Polartec decide to support a number of daring projects around the world, with the aim of encouraging exploration challenges around all the corners of the world. When I first found out about it, and when I scrolled the list of adventurers which have been nominated in the past years it was hard not to feel intimidated, with adventures spanning from ascents nominated for the Piolet d’Or to explorations of the most remote places on this planet. And it’s incredible that the Polartec Challenge has been going on for the past 20 years, and quite a number of big names have benefited from them.

As intimidating as it seemed, I also thought that it was worth a try, and from the moment when I decided that I will go on this trip the thought was somewhere in the back of my mind. And even though my expedition surely seems challenging to me(which basically means hard but doable at the same time) I had no idea if others also see it the same way, especially because it combines at the same time a bike touring expedition with alpinism, and taken separately each part isn’t something special in itself. The length of the expedition, the style and the combination is something a bit different though, and it’s not every day that you start a 15.000 kilometre journey on a bike from your doorstep with the goal of reaching a distant 7000 meter peak half way around the world.

The news came right after trying to raise some sponsorship for the expedition (without success up until now) and after trying to obtain some media partnerships (still ongoing and partially successful). And after hearing no for so many times it’s hard not to start doubting the entire adventure, or at least to doubt that it also seems interesting for other people (after working through the organisational details in the past weeks it seems even more interesting and challenging to me). And I still find it hard to believe, but it surely did come like a breath of fresh air in the maze of getting all the needed equipment and I was starting to cut of the list the things which I could do without for the journey.

And so I have one extra reason to write everything also in English besides Romanian, and to tell a good story through photography and through writing. A big thanks once again to Polartec.

As a side-note I find it very interesting that in Romania (just as in other post communist countries) is that lot of pieces of equipment are named after the first large name which became known in those countries. For example every burner is called primus, every running shoe is called adidas and last but not least every fleece jacket is called Polar.

The full press release can be found here.

Valea Alba

Trying out once again the plastic boots

The first pair of winter shoewear which I’ve bought was a pair of plastic boots, nearly 6 years ago when I was begging to venture out in the mountains in the winter time. Unfortunately as plastic boots are a bit to much for the romanian winters eventually they got replaced by a pair of normal winter boots, and they have been laying around unused.

And as I’m going to need them for Khan Tengri, and as I’ve forgotten in the meantime how it is to wear plastic boots (not completely, some ski boots feel similar or even worse) I though that the weekend would be a good opportunity to bring back those memories. Unfortunately snow has been really scarce this winter in Romania and we headed for the only place where it can still be found, the shady valleys of the Bucegi mountains.

As training we decided to carry the bivy gear and to sleep somewhere on the plateau, so the backpacks were a heavier than usual. This, combined with the fact that the valea Alba wasn’t in the best condition made the ascent a bit longer. Basically even if it’s late January in a normal year there should be more snow here in November, but the weather and the climate is changing and somehow to a certain extend we all share the responsibility for the change.

We’ve spent the evening and the night at the refuge from the Omu peak with Mihaela and Cosmin, two friends which ascended via the Bucsoiului ridge, and after a long sleep and a foggy morning we decided to descend on the Morarului valley in hopes of finding enough snow for an easy descend. In the end we found enough snow but at the same time we’ve had a small incident with a crampon breaking at the wrong moment, but after a quick improvisation (without duct tape) we managed to make it once again usable until we got down.

And regarding the plastic boots in the end they were quite ok, unexpectedly I would say. The only issue is that in warm weather they have to be dried every evening in the tent or in the refuge. In these moments the advantage that no water can come in turns in a bit of a disadvantage as at the same time no perspiration can get out, and you basically get wet from the inside…

Undeva intre toamna si primavara, dar iarna nu e sigur..

Somewhere between autumn and spring, but it certainly isn’t winter

Plasticii de testat.

My not so shiny plastic boots.

Ajunsi la verdeata.

Getting to a place called “La Verdeata”, literally meaning at the green place.

Cam greu cu rucsacul mare in spate.

It’s not so easy as it seems with a heavy backpack.

Moment de pauza.

Taking a break.

Inca putin pana sus.

Jut a bit more until the top.

Ora albastra.

Ora albastra.

Alungati de vant, si noi si norii.

The wind blows fog over the Omu peak, and we follow it to the valley.

Cosmin si soarele.

Cosmin and the sun.

Cer de ianuarie, nu si zapada de ianuarie.

January sky without the january snow.

Si totusi mai sunt si portiuni cu ceva zapada.

On one of the snowier sections of the valley.

Trei crai de la rasarit.

Three friends.

Bent Wheel

The bad hour and the bent wheel

Some things are not meant to last. And amongst those things I can also count my front wheel which last week has fallen victim to a traffic incident in Bucharest. Just when I thought that my bike is ready and that I could start off in any moment if I wanted to, the incident happened. Me riding on the side walk, a large car parked in such a manner that it blocked an angle, a car exiting a parking lot a bit to fast and bam, my wheel ended up being dragged for about a meter by the front of the car.

It all happened at a really small speed and the only damage was my front wheel, which I’ve just rebuilt less than one month ago for the journey through Central Asia. As the guild was probably shared we both walked away with our own damage and it was up to me to try and temporarily fix the wheel so that I could use it for the following weeks until the replacement rim arrives.

The main problem with 28 inch rims is that the demand in Romania is way smaller than the demand for 26 inch wheels (everybody seems to be riding a mountain bike), and the rim which I ewant is almost impossible to find on a short notice. And so I have to order it from Germany, and hopefully it will arrive in a couple of weeks in time for my departure in mid February.

The temporary fix was a bit easier, and after two bike shops which said that it cannot be done I ended up at one of the most romanian bike shops in Bucharest. The shop itself seems to be frozen somewhere in the communist 80s, in the attic of an old house, with old bike parts scattered around in an apparent chaos, with bikes waiting repairs hanged on the walls, everything in the filtered light of a large window. Beer is almost always on the table, and in the background one can hear a radio playing romanian folk songs sometimes interrupted by news bulletins.

The bike mechanic is also a very interesting character, probably a good example of a romanian trying to make his way through the fall of the comunism and the beginning of the market economy, still a bit nostalgic of the times past. And in this case he tries to do what seemed impossible in other places, to temporarily fix my wheel, on the spot. And with a glass of beer, with a hammer with some time and with a lot of talking about different things the wheel starts once again to turn into an actual wheel.

And somehow everything is on the opposite end on how things would happen in German, and it’s a completely different way of doing things a way in which to some extend the Romanian society works. Much can be said about Romanians but one thing should be granted to them: they can adapt really quickly and they can improvise. One the other hand this also usually means that you’re not going to get the best end result, but it will generally do the job.

This was also the case for my front wheel which is once again in working condition, but with which I wouldn’t start a long journey. And at the same time I’m not sure that when I’m going to have the new wheel built from scratch that I’m going to do it in the same place.

And about the incident even though it’s a pity I should be grateful that it wasn’t more serious and that I came out without a scratch, and that it happened before the journey while I still have time to fix the issue. At the same time it was a reminder that the civilized traffic of western Europe is gone, and I should pay more attention as the most of the drivers certainly don’t.

I unfortunately didn’t have the camera with me when it happened so I took the picture from Yngve Thoresen. My version of the bent wheel was a bit worse though.


Once again home in the Cozia mountains.

After two days and a half on the road, and after meeting my parents in Slatina we manage to break away for one day for one short tour in the Cozia mountains. If we come to think of it, it has been at least 6 months since we’ve been to real mountains, and our past months in Berlin were filled up with bike touring weekends and with preparations for the bike touring expedition from 2014.

At the same time since leaving Berlin we’ve had almost only sunny days with clear skies, and in a week we probably saw the sun more than in two months in Berlin. Berlin is a really nice city, but with all due respect the winter months are too dark and grey for us.

Cozia is one of the mountains which I consider more or less home. It’s the first tallest mountain with an impressive view which I saw up until now, and it one of the mountains in which I’ve been the most. But somehow each time is a bit different, the seasons and the light change, and with time we also change.

This time we’ve been lucky enough to do the tour together with two friends form Romania, Elena and Alex which accompanied us together with their one and a half year old daughter Ana. The two are probably the best example that life doesn’t end once you have a kid, and the young girl probably saw more mountains than I saw before I was 24.

Plapuma de frunze.

Leaf blanket.

Descoperind Cozia pe propriile picioare.

Discovering Cozia on her own feet.

Tatic  model (mai ales la capitolul manusi).

Modelling father (especially the gloves)



Din punctul de pauza si de belvedere unde m-am oprit de atatea ori.

The rest place where I’ve stopped so many times.

Mai e mult pana sus?

Are we there yet?

Ma dusei sa privesc Oltul de sus.

Looking over the Old river.

Din nou acasa.

Once again home.

La inaltime.

The scenic view from Cozia.

Umbrele noastre la Cozia.

Our shadows.

Zambetul unei zile de toamna.

The smile of an autumns day.

Pe muchia Turneanu.

On the Turneanu ridge.

Pasind catre apus.

Descending towards the sunset.

Coborarea pe muchia Turneanu care a fost destul de solicitanta psihic si fizic.

Tired faces.