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Sofia to Bucharest (Romania)

Hard to believe I know. But one of those words is “Bucharest”

And if you think that’s tough try deciphering a bus terminal departure a board in Cyrillic.

Ironic that the longest trip of the  tour so far is in the smallest bus with trailer attached. It was me and my closest 6 Romanian mates from a Kosovo manufacturing plant making our way to Bucharest. Me to sightsee them to enjoy 6 days of RnR with their families before heading back  to Kosovo for 24 days. It is the first ride on this trip thus far where I was the only western foreigner. 

I’ve discovered in this part of the world that health communication about the perils of cigarette smoking hasn’t quite gotten through to the general population. On this particular bus trip I think I witnessed “chain smoking “ get taken to a new level. At one of the “make toilet” stops one of my travelling companions puffed away so furiously I decided at the next stop to count exactly how many cigarettes he smoked. 5 in 24 minutes was the answer. I did wonder why he bothered wasting the gas in his lighter by stubbing out one cigarette and lighting another. To my mind he may have just used the last one to light the next one. It’s been a standout observation throughout the trip. The amount of people who smoke in this part of the world is inordinately high.

The mighty Danube is an impressive piece of water at this juncture of its journey eastward.

The terrain from the Bulgarian - Romanian border to Bucharest is wide open arable land given to crop growing. 

Some observations from the 6 hour trip

: thanks to whoever it was that invented Podcasts. I have decided after listening to BBC Radio 4 “Desert Island Discs” that Bruce Springsteen, Nicol Farhi, Tom Hanks, Sheryl Sandberg, and John McEnroe would all be great to have at the same dinner table. 

:As much as I despise Lidl you can’t but be impressed with its market penetration in this part of the world 

:Strangely enough road workers in Bulgaria work on a Sunday.

:The bus driver ate pretzel sticks like  I do. 3-4 at a time.

: I would like to visit the town of Nikolovo for no other reason than the obvious.

: For the first time I saw roadkill. Foxes , dogs , and even a feral cat about the size of a small bear.

: I saw a GB licence plated Mercedes C6 and wondered to myself if the owner had probably last seen it parked on his driveway as he left for work in central London a couple go days ago.

: There were a dozen fishermen on the banks of the Danube as we crossed over. Who would want to eat that fish?

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