Back in Budapest
Early August I arrived back in Budapest, travelling by train from Munich overnight in a wonderfully comfy sleeping wagon which I had all to myself. There were enough empty wagons, so the ladies from my cabin decided to take another one for themselves. That was probably the best travel comfort I ever had while travelling low budget and eco friendly.
Truong and Bettina - arrived shortly after from Berlin and as we made it back into town from the airport we went straight into birthday celebrations and a Hungarian warm welcome with Palinka. The day finished as it started with even more Palinka. (Sorry no subtitles yet on the flip below)
Romania - Transylvania
Few days later we sat in an overnight train to Bresov, Transylvania, where the hiking and journey to Istanbul began. Being in the South Carpathian mountains and forest - the largest mountain range in Europe with up to 2,500 m (8,202 ft) - has been one of the best experience of my trip so far. At some point Truong and Bettina moved on to the Danube Delta at the Black Sea and I continued another week on my own, enjoying the hike up and down the mountains through endless wild forests which still have bears and wolfes. I must have walked between 8 - 12 miles a day in average. I think I have never done that much walking in a week time and for me who has been more or less glued to a bike most of my life, this was quite an experience. I enjoyed the path more than reaching a particular destination, taking my own pace, sometime superslow and steep, sometimes running downhill or discovering interesting things along the way. Leaving Romania left me incredibly grounded and content.
Some impressions on the flip...
Bulgaria - Transit
From Bucharest to Istanbul I took a train which took 20 hours in total, leaving noon on Friday and arriving 8 am the other day. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Bulgaria we had a little stop over. Some fellow travellers from Slovakia and great musicians with bikes gave an uplifting performance and helped change the mood immediately. All the people left the train curiously to see them. We all loved it and the music magically helped the people to open up and connect more easily.
On the train from Bucharest to Istanbul I met Matz. Matz is also from Germany and it turns out, that he lived in Istanbul for 1.5 years! He even spoke some Turkish, very impressive. We had a nice relaxing day on one of the islands in the Marmara sea.
Meeting Truong and Bettina back in Istanbul, we had a good last nights dinner before my departure to San Francisco - eating really good fish dürüms in the heart of Istanbul.