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happylemon666

Joined:

Mar 10

Posts: 159

Eastern Europe

OK, so it's a long way off yet, but I'm getting the itch to tour and thinking about next summer.  I have a hankering to go into Eastern Europe, as I've not been there (on a bike anyway), but have no idea about it, or what to expect, or need, or even where to go!


Anybody here been out that way from the UK?  Where to?  What routes?  What do you need?  What's it like at border crossings? (remember I've only ever needed a passport to get back into England so far!)  Roads, tolls, accommodation, language, fuel, anything and everything.  Spill it chaps.  Do I need a GS?

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  • Posted 2 years ago (13 November 2012 14:53)

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SlowLearner

Joined:

Feb 10

Posts: 1953

SlowLearner says:

Eastern Europe...

Make sure you don't take anything worth stealing  :ph43r:

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johnrodgers

Joined:

May 09

Posts: 90

johnrodgers says:

Romania and Bulgaria

I'd recommend visiting Bulgaria and Romania. They are both extermely safe countries outside cities and very bike friendly, in fact the locals are friendly full stop, don't believe what you read in British tabloids.

In the countryside you will find yourself overtaking horses and carts, when you ride through villages expect kids to wave and shout (in a nice way). Wild camping is acceptable as long as you use common sense. Wild dogs are very common in both countries, can be a bit disconcerting to hear a pack of dogs howling when you are in a tent in the middle of nowhere but dogs in Romania are mostly harmless and in Bulgaria are innoculated then released with tags on their ears.

The only downsides are the road surfaces - so bad that riding at night is not recommended and the standard of driving is jaw droppingly bad.

Road signs in Bulgaria are in Cyrillic, so expect to get lost without a Sat Nav. What looks like a major road on a map may become a dirt track without any warning.

A GS is definitely not needed but long travel suspension would definitely be a bonus.

Currency can be a headache- you will have trouble geting rid of Bulgarian Levs once you leave the country, the same to a lesser extent for Romanian Rons.

I went through SE Hungary to Mako then across the Danube, onwards to Sofia and back over the Russe Bridge towards Bucharest before heading over the Carpathians and the Transfagarasan Pass, through Transyvania and back through Hungary/Austria/Germay.  It is possible to go through Serbia but you will need to buy insurance at the border and when I was planning it in 2009 you had to report to a local Police station if you weren't staying in a hotel so I gave that one a miss, possibly my loss.

Border crosings are manned but no problem, just a cursory glance at docs, no toll rodas that I found. You will have to purchase a Vignette to get through Austria on motorway but it is not expensive.

I

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Valko

Joined:

May 12

Posts: 130

Valko says:

ride carefully

everything what johnrodgers  said is true, probably I would do the same route plus Black sea coast. Means in Bulgaria go to Sofia -> Plovdiv -> Bourgas.

I am bulgarian and have been in central Europe (Hungary, Slovakia, Austria) as well, make sure you ride carefully most drivers do not think bike there, so make sure you ride carefully and keep safe distance from cars and especially trucks. Most A and B roads there are way more wider then in UK. This is good and bad thing. Good is you have more room for overtake on A and B roads. Bad thing is everybody is speeding because of that.

The more you go in south and east of Europe the often you can expect drivers running red lights and not stopping on a stop sign. The usual ammount of pedestrians wandering the roads plus any kinds of domestic and wild animals on the A and B roads. Avoid night riding in Romania - huge ammount of horses and carts in the dark on the road.

Big advantage is you been with foreign plate everybody will treat you way more friendly then local bikes :-)

Park the bike at guarded parking places, they are cheap, or at crowded public places.

Enjoy good cheap food and make sure you visit Bulgaria south Black sea coast - probably the best European beaches with perfect white fine sand lagunas with turquoise blue warm sea :roll eyes:

Camping Gradina

 

The only drawback is if you see the place you will never want to go back :lol:

 

 

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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SitzmarkAngel

Joined:

Feb 10

Posts: 3

Vignettes

It's not just Austria that expects you to pay for a little sticker for their road tax, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech, and Romania do it too. I understand Germany load it into the fuel price instead. All vignettes can be bought as you cross the border for various lengths of time, or in petrol stations along the way as you get closer. Before you go check online how much they are for a bike, and how long you want it to last. Unless you speak Hungarian/Slovak/Czech/Romanin of course. 

:smile

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