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Bicycling to Romania

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Bicycling to Romania

These days of reception work at a hostel in Budapest are coming to an end. I only have twelve days until I should be in the concrete canary cage of New York City. I am going to have to breathe in a lot of fresh air now to last through these next few months of city living.

As I look at a map of Europe, I find that there is no fresher air than in Romania, and the bicycle is the best vehicle for the taking in of such air. So I am getting the bags packed, the emails written, and the blog posts up; I am getting ready to bicycle to Romania.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Budapest, Hungary- August 15, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos

I bought a really good road atlas yesterday. The thing costs me $20. But I know that there is a huge deficit in the quality of a good road atlas compared to that of a bad one. I could have saved $7 and purchased a poor atlas, but then I would still have been paying $13 for a piece of crap. I do not like buying things, and, when I do, I try to buy the best quality things I can. For I know that needing to purchase a cheap thing multiple times to compensate for its poor quality is more expensive than spending a little money and buying a good thing once and using it for a long time. If I am going to go through the ardor of buying, I am going to buy something good.

Map of Romania

So I have a really good road atlas to Europe which includes Turkey, Syria, Armenia, Georgia, and parts of Iraq. This atlas even has the smaller routes numbered and labeled. It is amazing to me how many maps include roads without any semblance of a label. This is pointless. For how will I know when I am at an intersection if the route is not properly demarcated on my map?

I can’t. I would have to guess.

Guess working directions in a car is one thing, on a bicycle it is quite another. When on a bike I do not want to have to guess if the road on my map is the one that I am riding on, as one wrong turn can take an entire day to correct. (But, then again, if I have no destination, I have no worries; if I have no worries, I do not need a map. But if I do happen to have a destination, then I want a good freaking map.) So I dropped a little money and bought an atlas that I can use for traveling in Europe for years to come.

I opened up this good road atlas yesterday and looked out at Romania: it was all grey mountains, skinny, wavy little lines masquerading as roads, and hardly any dots. The less dots you can find on a map, the fresher and more vibrant the air. I am in a hunt for good air, so I am going to ride out into the rocky, dotless land of Romania and track it down one lung full at a time.

Hopefully, I will become so full of air-substance that I can just float through these next few months of Big City traveling.

I have always dreamed of Romania. I have always dreamed of Gypsies, horse drawn wooden wagons, black felt hats, old dirt encrusted farmers, and rolling hills of perfect, glorious nothing.

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Opening Ceremony Beijing Olympics
  • International Study Travel
  • Photo Copy Travel Guides

Bicycling to Romania
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Filed under: Bicycle Travel, Eastern Europe, Europe, Hungary

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3135 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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