Friday, 14 November 2008

The Balkans - 6 - Romania to Serbia

The final leg on my short (in time, if not in distance - 2400km in all) Balkans tour was to take me from the bridge crossing at Ruse in Bulgaria into Romania and thence to cross back over the Danube into Serbia at Drobeta Turnu Severin. I had intended to visit the BGRORS tripoint marker on the Romanian bank of the Danube on the way but the lateness of the hour, a traffic jam on the Bucharest ring road and the early sunset in November sadly precluded that. Maybe another day.

When I got to Drobeta-Turnu Severin I was perplexed because I didn't realise just how far north of the town the bridge across the Danube lay. This is not really a bridge actually - really it is a dam. Anyway, I had seen no signs to "Serbia" and so had started to make plans to drive further north in Romania when suddenly the crossing appeared. It was so poorly marked that, in the dark and the rain, I missed the turning, went past it, and had to turn around to find the entrance. All this despite having Garmin GPS maps of both countries on my laptop connected to a GPS - but the crossing was not shown on either of them!!

The following video shows my journey across the river - this was not the best quality as the autofocus kept thinking it should focus on the raindrops on my windscreen rather than the outside objects - and the rain and dark made it not especially clear - but it is the best I could do.

After that it was simply a matter of driving about 2½ more hours to Belgrade, finding my hotel, and checking in to relax before flying to London the next day.

So that is the end of my short Balkans tour - There are just 4 more countries in the region for me to visit (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia-FYROM), or 5 if you include Kosovo (which I shall eschew for a while until things are a bit safer there - plus I don't want to get into the politics of whether it really is a county or not either). Additionally, once I have visited those, Moldova and Monaco I shall have set foot in every European country on the continental mainland. (I'm choosing not to count Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan as "Europe" despite their transcontinental nature if you have a certain opinion of where the border of Europe lies).

This tour took me to 2 new countries for me - 5 new borders - and added 5 more countries to my list of where I have found geocaches (bringing that total to 42).

Still lots more borders to cross and areas to spend more time investigating - so more blogging WILL follow for my subsequent trips.


Unknown said...

Great posts -- thanks. I guess the border controls between Romania, Bulgaria and Greece will disappear when Romania and Bulgaria fully implement the Schengen agreement.

Anonymous said...

Excellent posts!
I really enjoyed reading your trip reports. :)

Anonymous said...

Great posts! I really enjoyed reading your trip reports. :)

Michael J. Scott said...

Very informative, Hugh. I'm actually writing a book at the moment, which has my characters travelling by car from Munich to Rezovo on the Black Sea. They have to travel through the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, and finally Bulgaria. Based on your experience, what sort of checks will they run into on such a trip, and what documents, fees, and so forth would they be required to pay, if you don't mind my asking?

Thanks in advance,

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another productive trip... some new borders, some new countries. Sorry you didn't get to the tripoints you wanted but that will leave something for us to look forward to in a future dispatch!

Percy said...

H iHugh
I am interested to know what/how you mount your video camera for the trip, the whole thing is very smooth, I am driving from Oxford UK to Moscow in a months time and would like to video part of the trip.

Any info would be great

Percy said...

What camera mount do you use, you have great videos on you tube.

Hugh said...

I use a Sticky Pod - see

rupiawan said...

thanks on the information you write. I have always faithfully follow the latest posts from you

Anonymous said...

Great, i found what i 've been lookin for