With one month left to travel in 2021, we've decided to pack up our Defender again and go eastbound, aiming to explore Romania.
Exploring the country in our Defender
THE FULL TRIP
STUTTGART - BUCHAREST
Originally, we had planned to drive through Czechia and Slovakia in order to visit the High Tatra National Park but one look at the weather forecast and we let go off that idea. Thunderstorms and heavy rain would be going down the next couple of days and no need to mention how well Boggy deals with water from above.
Boggy also decided that it was time for a little caretaking after his lonesome times in Sudan, so we made a brief detour to a garage in Vienna to get the goodest boy a new battery.
We took a couple of overnight breaks in Hungary, enjoying lakes and castles, but decided to head straight to Romania in order to have more time exploring.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO
WITH YOUR CAR IN ROMANIA
THE WOODEN CHURCHES.
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AND A FUNNY GRAVEYARD...
The wooden orthodox churches in the Maramures region in the north of Romania were built in the 17th and 18th century. They are an impressive example of fine handmade craftmanship and you can easily explore them via your own hop-on/hop-off tour.
On your tour you will most likely pass by the Funny Graveyard – an expression which is a paradox to anyone living in a western, especially German, culture. The dependants of those buried at the graveyard had decided that there can also be a comical (or is it even late revenge in some cases?!) touch to death, so you will find inscriptions like this one: “He owned a garage and worked hard his entire life, relaxing with the help of a lot of liquor and women.”
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AND Riding the CHairlift...
After all the driving from Germany to Romania it was time to get active again. Competitive as always, we went for the (supposedly) highest waterfall in Romania and in order to avoid the (mostly overweight and therefore not very mobile) touristy crowd, we decided to hike up and take the lift down.
The trails in Romania are not marked by some mountaineering organization, so we got lost in the end (to be honest, we also get lost when trails are perfectly marked) but eventually we started hearing the waterfall and followed the sound. Real adventurers know how to deal with the wilderness!
SLEEPING IN THE MOUNTAINS.
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AND Drinking with DUtch Defender Dudes...
UFBCD IJCWPD DPCKDSC
The Carpathian Mountains – a Defender owner’s offroad dream on the edge of Europe! Our first stop was at a campground owned by Dutch Defender fans who are also offering guided offroad tours in the Carpathian (link?). It turned out that the guys not only offered a great Jacky & Coke but also all the maps and knowledge about the National Park and offroad routes. We told them about our level of experience (like 1 out of 10) and they should us a route where we most likely wouldn’t get stuck.
We took off the next day and after an hour on the highway we turned onto a gravel road leading into the mountains. After about 20 Minutes we passed the campsite for all the VW, Pössl and Mercedes Sprinters which apparently marked the border to the offroad terrain. Soon, shepherds and their herds crossed out path, as well es their highly alert livestock guardian dogs. The road was steep and rocky, but we managed to move on and found the perfect spot in the middle of nowhere, just in time for the sunset. After dinner, we lit a fire and right then and there we were in heaven!