Sometimes I forget that I'm riding in Europe
Then something like this reminds me
I has a good day riding from Brasov to Sighisora, but found I couldn't stop there - no room at the inn - so I continued on to the next pace to stay. I'm 20 km past Sighisora in a hot - no air conditioning - and noisy place that is pretty nice. I had my fourth meal of the day here - it was very good -and my room is good, but too hot to stay in right now. Hopefully it will cool down after sunset. I'm working in downstairs lobby that is cool enough if I only wear shorts and sandals and I keep my computer - eeePCs do get warm - on a table instead of on my lab.
I had a good rest day, with a lot of walking, at the Helis Hotel in Brasov. Good folks, a reasonable price for Brasov, and within walking distance of the center of town. The walk, through a big apartment complex and then down one of the main streets, also let me see an interesting slice of Brasov. I liked it.
My route out of town was simple, although riding in Brasov is always an experience, and only one vehicle felt the need to blow its horn at me as I made a left turn in front of it...
20 km out of Brasov
Not pretty, but easy riding
I'm ignoring a sign that says no bicycles
Once out of Brasov on E60, it was about 120 km to Sighisora. 100+ km of that was nice riding. The first 25 km reminded me of riding in North Park in Colorado. I was riding in a flat area surrounded by mountains. Then a town appeared on a low ridge ahead and a series of easy climbs and descents started. Maybe 5 km later I stopped for a second breakfast because I hadn't been able to replentish my supplies as I had hoped. The route had a lot of 'truck stop' restaurants - and a lot of trucks - but I couldn't find anywhere to buy some bread. Instead of snacking from my supplies, I ended up eating four small meals today. That worked out OK except for the french fries I ordered with my omlet because of a language error on my part.
I began climbing more seriously after that meal, but the climbs before Sighisora were neither really long or really steep. Some of the descents seemed much longer than the climbs. Moreover, once I got into the hilly part of the ride, my most common expression today was 'damn that is pretty!' I usually even said that later in the afternoon when the wind was bad that I was riding head down into it. I'd look up regularly to see what was ahead of me and it was almost always beautiful. This is a very nice part of Romainia!
The first long descent seemed like it went on for half an hour
Pretty country after first descent
This is the second big descent - faster and shorter the first
About 70 km from Brasov, I came to the judetal border between Brasov and Mures. Before that border, towns, including Brasov have a second, German, name. After that border, they have a second Hungarian, name. The dual names came into existence after WWI when this part of the world got taken away from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and given to Romania.
When I got to Sighisora, I stopped to get money at an ATM and then I stopped to have a beer. On the second stop I was surrounded by a group of boys wanting to ask questions about my bike. They didn't have much English, but we had a good time and I think answered all of their questions.
After finishing my beer and watching people for a while, I went to a nice looking nearby hotel. No rooms. I rode into town and tired another hotel. No rooms. I rode out of town toward Targu Mures, 50 km away, and checked a third hotel. No rooms. Sighisora has an exceptional old town and is now a major tourist attraction. Apparently, the room supply hasn't kept up with the demand. It is about 5PM and it won't be dark till 10 PM, so I'm outta there, heading for Targu Mures,but hoping to find something along the way.
Pretty country after Sighisora
Looking back on part of the last climb
Descending into the valley where I'm staying tonight
What I found, after some road construction, was a service station where I could top up my water supply and a big hill, the biggest of the day. It wasn't really steep - maybe 5 % on the straights and 7% in the switchbacks - but it went on for 5 km so it was a big climb. There was a restaurant at the top, but it didn't look very good and it didn't have any good place to park my bike, so I rode on. The next town was 4 km, all downhill, away and it had a place that looked pretty good.
It is getting dark now and there is a cool breeze coming in my window. Unfortuately, the loud voice of an announcer from one of the Euro 08 games also coming in. Usually, the traffic noise blocks him out...