We start Easter with a lovely breakfast. The Landlady of the Vila Kristina made us really feel like home. She had decorated the table and even painted some Easter eggs as we do it traditionally back home as well. We leave the Vila for our daytrip to Vidin full of energy. We hardly had managed to ride for 500m when we met this old woman, her hands dirty of grease. She had put her groceries on the road, her old bicycle was upside down as she tried to fix the chain in vain. That was an easy game for Markus. He stopped, returned to he women, put on his plastic gloves and put the chain back in place. The women was really please to have his support and said thank you a thousand times – at least we assume it, as we don’t understand nor speak the language! Once again, we spent our last Serbian Dinars buying some stuff. This time it was Voltaren Gel to treat all our little aches!
Finally we could get moving. We drove through the countryside and small villages a bit away from the Donau, accompanied by pheasants. But you wouldn’t believe what big homes have been built lately in this remote area! Mostly they are second homes of the people who live and work abroad eg. Germany or Austria. The villages as such are deserted; only few people seem to be living here. At the beginning/end of each village you will find the cemetery with huge graveyards. What surprised us most was to find some tombstones, which had the birthdate of the person already engraved, but the date of the death was not on it yet. It seems that people prepare their last spot already in advance…
After about 20km we reached the border to Bulgaria. The ancient customs buildings from the time of the iron curtain like disinfection plants are still there, although not in use any more. We were not enthusiastic at all about the first impression of Bregovo; it looked rather desolate.
In Bregovo we had to decide about the routing. We had 2 options: option one was to follow the main road to Vidin, facing traffic and noise. The second option was to follow the route through lovely villages and along the Donau. We new, that choosing this option 2 we would have some dirt road – but are we not on adventure tour? So we decided for option 2. What we had to face after all, was not really that nice: a “romantic walk” along the Donau pushing our bikes in gravel and sand forth and back, as the track had a dead end; following trails with branches full of thorns, it felt like being in a scouts camp; Marie-Claire fell for the first time while loosing control in the sandy part – luckily she didn’t get hurt; pushing the bike uphill and last but not least – Markus had to bring the bikes from one side of a ditch to the other. Of course, being a strong man he managed well!
But we are not complaining at all. We do it by choice!
We had to fight against some head- and side winds before arriving in Vidin. And here starts the usual program: looking for a nice restaurant, get some money from the ATM. We ended the day drinking a good Merlot which compensated for all troubles of the day!