June 4, Day nine

What the others taught me

The articles I read about the Czech villages in Romania praised the untouched nature round them. True, but also any conceivable hill there is blemished with huge white wind turbines. Romance versus reality. Nonetheless, I start the day with a tranquil stroll through the village to inhale its peculiar spirit one more time.

Years ago, in a museum of cycling, I learned that the English gentlemen when riding on the huge front wheelers in 1900 had a one indispensable contrivance: A rod to drive away dogs.
I wish I had such a rod today. The first 80 km were almost without cars. But with countless homeless dogs running after me from every conceivable ambush. I did not know any better than to speed up. Innumerable sprints.
I simply believe that the saying “a barking dog does not bite” misses the second half “and biting dog stops barking”

The last 50 km were no dogs but cars again. Some sections portrayed the cyclists’ hell. One truck after another, no cycling lane, no alternative routes, two tunnels included, roadside with holes, bumps or canals without grids. The hottest day so far completed the story. Here I remembered my father’s saying “stop, when the fun is best” – and decided to conclude my trip. With a good feeling: I saw the Iron Gate, visited the Czech village and travelled 1160 km in 9 days.

The last wisdom I applied today was what a fellow cyclist taught me. If you dismantle your bike and pack it into a food-fresh-foil then almost any train attendant accepts it as an carry on baggage. At least the first one in my 3:38am Romanian train did.

The view when leaving the Czech St. Helena village in Banat


The Iron Gate opens up – or rather closes down 🙂

Till 1970 this used to be the most dangerous canyon of the Danube water path. Then this water dam was built

Yet another view at the Iron Gate area, shortly before the cyclists’ hell, i.e. the busy road with trucks begins…


The dam on the horizon… and a comparatively flat countryside going forward

Posted on 03.02 2024 at 17:30