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across eastern europe
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Saturday, 20 June 2015

In order, among other things, to test jeremy s new 4WD, we are going for a trip of 2 months in the Caucasus. after some stormy discussions, we won t drive the initial route through Crimea, which seems too risky to Sophie and anyway unlikely to go ahead because of a mandatory permit requiered to leave Ukraine. we will then go across the balck sea on a ferry to Georgia.

Once the last prep works done on the 4WD, we hit the road on the 15th of august at the end of the day and aim to reach Odessa on the 19th to take the boat. We don t have time to losse so we go to the shortest and use the highways.

We went straight across Italy, with only one stop in Venice, to eat a slice of pizza on the Piazza San Marco. We spent the night hidden in a small wood in Slovenia, under the rain which made a bit harder the cooking the the use of the solar shower.

grand canal de venise grand canal de venise

The next day we cross 3 borders and drive through Croatia, Serbia and Romania. The further we go, the worse the roads are. The lunch break in Serbia confirmed Sophie s bad judgment on local food. After a last, slightly longer, border crossing, we set up our camp on a hill overlooking the Danube river.

danube danube camping vue sur le danube camping vue sur le danube

The crossing of Romania came out to be long and not very interesting (Sophie slept most of the time), except for the climbing of Transfagarasan in the carpathian range, a big romanian tourist spot, which can remind of the alps.

transfagarasan 1 transfagarasan 1 transfagarasan 2 transfagarasan 2

We catch the rain on the way down until the end of the day. Seeing how late we are, we give up on visiting the Danube river delta and go straigh to Varna to take a fery which leaves on day later. We spend the night next to a highway in a very unappealing place... When leaving the country, we are asked the 3 euro vignette that allow you to use the country rutted roads, which we have never heard about. After some heavy fine threatening we have to pay 20 euros. Once arrived in bulgaria, we rush to buy the bulgarian vignette.

camping bulgarie camping bulgarie

Arrived in Varna, the office of the maritime company send us to their agent who set a meeting at 9am the next morning at the ferry port. We will board at 2pm what is more a freighter with 10 cabins than a ferry, after finding our way through the customs and the port dilapidated buildings. Once onboard, the waiting time is not over. We are served a meal at 5pm, and the ship eventually leaves at 10pm for a 3 days trip on the black sea.

ferry ferry