I really love travelling in the eastern European countries. There are lot less tourists – at least western tourists. The people are very approachable and appear genuinely interested in you, and the money takes you a lot longer than in western Europe. And as long as you aren’t looking for 5-star luxury, the standard is actually not that different.
In 2019 I will ride to Moldova with good friends: Thonny, Michael, Vova, and Steen. I’m really looking forward to riding with the guys again.
One of the first sights we get to see, is the Medieval Hotel in the Czech village Detenice. I have been wanting to stay the night for quite some years, but never got too book the room in good time as it was always the end of the trip (and I usually don’t know up front when the trip is over).
Also, on the route in the Czech Republic is Sedlec Ossuary, the bone chapel in Kutna Hora. I have seen it a some times, the first time back in 2000, when I was living in Prague for a couple of years, and latest on a ride with Peter. But it is a grotesque place and worth another visit.
At the end of that day, I’m hoping we can stay the night at the picturesque Hotel Tanečnica, that I stayed at on a 2011 ride.
Next day, continuing east, south of the Tatra mountains in Slovakia, and ending the day close to the border to Ukraine.
We will meet up with Vova, and ride through the west-most part of the country, into Moldova. In Ukraine, the route is undecided. It is either via L’viv or via mountains. Ukraine is generally quite flat, but the Carpathian Mountain range just crosses the southwestern-most tip of the country. There’s a couple of fortresses and castles that we will see before heading in to Moldova. One of them is the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle. This is also (or close to) where we most likely will stay for the night.
The following day is in to Moldova, where we will head east in the country, but we will not be riding into the Transnistria region. Transnistra is a self proclaimed state, but not recognized by the international community. Along the route, we will visit the Soroca Fortress, and an old abandoned Warsaw Treaty command post (or what’s left of it).
The Moldova route needs a bit more work as there are stuff to see that I’d hate to miss. One of the things is Old Orhei, which has a history that dates all the way back to Paleolithic, including a cave monastary. More information is available in this brochure. This is likely the eastern-most point of the entire trip. From here, we’re heading west again.
Also, in Moldova – and this one of the highlights of the trip – is the world’s largest wine cellar, in which we can ride the motorcycles. It’s a bit of a paradox, driving (riding) in the world’s largest wine cellar. Maybe they don’t consider DUI an issue?
After those sights, and a couple of days in Moldova, we’re crossing the border to Romania. The next couple of days will be only a little riding as we’re planning to visit friends that we got to know from the 2018 trip.
First stop in Romania is Bacau, where we’re going to take it easy after only. Next day is another easy ride, to Gheorgheni where we will (hopefully) meet the guys who helped out after the accident in 2018. We may see if we can ride to the place of the accident, if weather allow. The track was a bit tricky. On the way, we will ride through Bicaz Canyon.
After having a great evening with the guys, we have an easy day of riding ahead of us. Only a couple of hundred kilometers to Sibiu, where we will stay at a hotel in the old town.
We’re not planning on riding Transfagarasan, as we’ve done that a number of times before, but we are taking the Transalpina route, both the northern part, which is nice and smooth through the forests, and the southern, which is the popular scenic part. Following that, we’re riding on the south side of the Carpathian mountain range for a little while, only to turn back into the mountains. We will stay on paved roads for now.
We will follow the mountains, pass Baile Herculane, which is known for its healing natural springs. We continue to the Danube River which is close, and ride up river, on the Romanian side, where we will find a B&B for the night.
Next day, we will follow the Danube river for a while, only to head west into Serbia. It is undecided if we go towards Belgrade, or take a southern route. Unless we’re planning on staying a night in Belgrade, there is little point on taking that route as traffic will be an issue. Alternatively, we go south, to Kosmaj, which is a recreational area, with lots of hiking trails. While we won’t be hiking, the area is nice and we’ll see if we can get to the 1970’s spaceship like monument, celebrating partisan fighters of World War II.
After a pretty long day, we will find a accommodation near the border to Bosnia & Herzegovina, so we can cross the border as one of the first things in the morning.
Just after entering Bosnia & Herzegovina, we will visit the Srebrenica Genocide Memorial, after the massacre taking place in the nearby village of Srebrenica less than 25 years ago.
After what will probably be a mixed emotion experience, we will continue across Bosnia & Herzegovina, towards Banja Luka, via Doboj. Banja Luka is the second largest city in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the de facto capital of the Republika Srpska region.
Next day, we continue west towards Croatia, where we will cross the border at Bihac. This is close to the abandoned airbase we have visited a few times before. We may go there again for quick visit as we’re there anyway.
Close to this place, is the Plitvicka National Park. It is very nice, but as we’ve been there before we will continue to an interesting place we haven’t been to yet: The ruins of the summer villa of the former Yugoslav communist leader Tito, villa Izvor.
We will most likely find a place in the area to sleep for the night. Being a national park and a popular tourist destination, there are plenty of private accommodation to choose from.
Next day, we will travel north, into Slovenia and ride along the border to Croatia. There will be gravel on this bit, but I think it is gravel easily ridden on a heavy GS. It is a forest area, with a river forming the border between the countries.
At the end of the day, we will decide if we want to ride into Italy to take the old Smuggler’s route, or stay in Slovenia and ride into Triglav National Park. The Smuggler’s route is gravel, and both are very nice rides. Before that decision, we have ridden along a mountain ridge on the border to Italy.
We will stay the night somewhere in this area. Next day the route goes north over Grossglöckner. It’s a popular route, sometimes quite packed. A long day of riding will take us to Prague where we will celebrate the last night of a great ride.
Next day is riding home on highways, skipping Berlin. It’s a long ride, but perfectly doable,
|1, June 22nd||Departing home, and arriving in the late afternoon, or evening, at the Zámecký resort Dětenice, CZ. The majority of kilometers will be on the German highways, so it will be ease to cover good distance in a short time.||799|
|2, 23rd||Continuing east. Visiting Sedlec Ossuary, the bone chapel, in Kutna Hora.||333|
|3, 24th||East pretty much across Slovakia. Passing the Tatra mountains on the south (Slovakian) side. Criss-crossing the border between Poland and Slovakia. Planning to end the day not too far from the border to Ukraine.||343|
|4, 25th||Crossing the border to Ukraine, continuing southeast to the Ukranian Carpathian mountains||319|
|5, 26th||Continuing in the mountains towards Kamianets-Podilsky||399|
|6, 27th||Entering Moldova affter a short ride in Ukraine. Riding on the eastern side to Sorocca, and Orhei||336|
|7, 28th||Visiting the wine cave, leaving Moldova, entering Romania||295|
|8, 29th||A short day to Gheorgheni. We may use some of this short day, by shorter rides and perhaps one more night in Moldova||148|
|9, 30th||Another relatively short ride. We may ride Transfagarasan, which will add a few hundred kms||212|
|10, July 1st||Transalpina, Baile Herculane, Danube||419|
|11, 2nd||Cross Serbia, via Kosmaj||372|
|12, 3rd||Bosnia via Srebenice, Doboj, Banja Luka||303|
|13, 4th||Cross Bosnia, crossing the border to Croatia, visiting villa Izvor||279|
|14, 5th||Slovenia, to Italy and Austria via Smuggler's route||403|
|15, 6th||Grossglockner, to Prague||551|
|16, 7th||From Prague to Home||781|
Some very rough guestimates on the cost look like this (not including ferry, food and drink).
|Petrol||6300 km @ 16 km/l, approx 400 liters @ €1.50.||600|
|Accommodation||15 nights @ avg €30||450|
Feel free to add comments and questions.