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Chapter 1: Goerlitz - Czestochowa
Chapter 2: Kosice
Chapter 3: Satu Mare
Chapter 4: Borsa
Chapter 5: Gheorgheny
Chapter 6: Schaessburg

21 Wednesday, 8.6., Fagaras,  90 km

After breakfast I cannot check out with my Visacard because the reader is out of order. So we must get some more millions from the bankomat before we can start. We ride on the road 106 (Cycle Route 6) into another dull morning.

At the village Apold we see a sleeping dog with a cat on his bag - sleeping as well. This reminds me to our own dog Otto at home who would do anything but not to be as calm and patient with a cat around him. Now at Apold I see the first Kirchenburg (Castle Church).

The next village is Bradeni, Henndorf with the next castle church. And at Agnita, Agnethen there is another one. The route now is really fine and the weather as well, so let us forget the day before yesterday.

Once I meet a Stork in a meadow, he just swallows something, may be to choke it out (auswürgen) for his kids at home.

Let us finish our picture book for today as we enter the busy main road with the fatal number 1 or E68. At this area the buildings and estates are hermetically locked to the street, the windows closed by rolling shutters and no one can see, if those properties are still inhabited. Dead ahead we reach the town of Fagaras.

The search for an accommodation ends at the Pension Flora. "Deutsch, Stuttgart, München" they say to me and then immediately I get a coffee ("Kaffee nix kosten"). The town is not so scenic, built in socialistic style. In spite of all there is moated castle certainly older than it's surrounding. At the Crama Bulevard I find a nice restaurant for another fried trout - sorry. At last the boy hands some toothpicks, may be he is a visionary (Hellseher)?

22 Thursday, 9.6., Brasov (Kronstadt),  83 km

This will be - what a pity - the last day on the road. The first 14 km dead ahead to Sercaia are very hard with a strong eastern headwind on the busy E68. To the right we see the scenic panorama of the Fagaras-Mountains with peaks up to 2500 m high, the highest part of the Carpathian Mountains. Some snow on the top and it looks similar to the Alps.

At last I can enter the smaller road 73 A (Cycle Route 3) up the Sinca valley. This is another dream route and the valley gets more and more narrow. At the steep slopes there are tiny fields with potatoes and other crops.

As usual the valley ends with a little pass and thereafter we reach the town of Zarnesti.

I try to find the centrum (Centru) but only see the ugliest apartment buildings until now. Some are never completed but people live in them anyhow. As I see some industrial factories in front I turn back. Later I find in the Web that Zarnesti is a center of various outdoor sports with a great history. For this time I didn't find it.

For the last kilometers of the tour I enjoy a strong tailwind. So it is no temptation to make a 5 km detour to Schloss Bran - the Dracula Castle. I told you, that Dracula is not my theme, I think this matter to be of the category Disneyland. Instead of that we pass the castle of Rosenau up on a mountain and instead to go up there we are content with the Zoom of the camera. And now we reach Brasov. And this is a terrible thing at first. There is such a busy traffic which was not to be seen until now. Brasov is located at a key position at a loophole of two Carpathian mountain regions. And so various traffic streams come together at this place.

Let us look for the "Centru" and go up the Str. Lunga. We pass the first class hotels
Aro Palace and Capitol which won't correspond with my purse.

At the Tourist Information they recommend some low cost accommodations but then I hit on the Hotel Coroana at the Str. Republicii. I read about this in the Guide and it is an old fashioned historic institution. At the end of a journey this should be the adequate housing and I check in for the last Romanian night.

Before we inspect this wonderful town it is necessary to arrange the retreat back home. There is a rumour that a railroader's strike is at work and nothing will run properly. So it is the best to walk to the railway station, 3 km downtown. You will not see any scenic regions of Brasov at this hike. At the place in front of the railway station they just pump-dry large water surfaces caused by the last rain. At the foreigners desk I get a ticket for the night train to Vienna tomorrow. But I cannot pay, the credit cards are not welcome. So I must walk all the way back to the hotel, get the bike, get millions from the bankomat and ride back to the foreigners desk to receive the tickets and sleeper reservation.

Understandable that the rest-day's activities are poor. It is to be read in the Guide (Marco Polo) that there is one of the best restaurants of Romania at the Piata Sfatului, and this is a Chinese Restaurant, one of my favourites (much more than Pizza Restaurants). As I enter this etablissement there is no other guest and the waiters sleep with their heads on any table. "Ehem" I say and in panic they jump up and from now on I am the king, sit down and order a duck meal with mushrooms. The interior of the restaurant is remarkable and I shoot a secret photo. The duck meal on the other hand is somewhat special: lots of bone fragments inside as if someone has used an ax to dress the matter. But I get fed up and that is the main thing.

23 Friday, 9.6., Brasov

The breakfast is disappointing at a poor Cafe around a corner. But now we have a full day to investigate the sensations of Brasov. At the central place Piata Sfatului the market people arrange their booths to sell wooden and ceramic artworks, souvernirs, flowers or fruits and vegetables. The first happy persons enjoy the sun on those numerous bench facilities. Just aside is the "Black Cathedral" which really does not look black.

The building got its name in consequence of a fire some centuries ago and at that time it is said that this and that looked black. Today you can study the success of restauration activities documented by large photo signposts. But don't ask me what else was to be seen in there. This time nothing of the interior slipped into my camera.

Now we walk to the Str. Sforii (Rope Lane or so), one of the most narrow lanes in Europe. From there we climb up to the city wall and nearby the cablecar station where one can get 700 m higher to the Belvedere. There you can have an outlook like from an aeroplane, the buildings of the town down there look like toys. A panorama photo and some zoom shots are recommended.

We still have so much time today, so I sit on a meadow for a while and think it over. All has come to an happy end and the ticket to travel back home is in my pocket. So one can really enjoy the sunshine. At noon I am back on the ground again.

A view to the Russian Church, and the rest of the afternoon is spent in a small park. There is a memorial to the about 50 victims of the revolution 1989 and I was not aware that this was really so violent. A last visit to an elegant supermarket nearby. It all looks like western standard but may be only the smaller part of the locals can afford to buy there. I would have been happy to purchase a box of pralines named "Heidi" like my dear wife but the rest of my Lei currency is not sufficient. A Fanta and some crackers - that's it.

At 4 pm I get my bike and baggage from the hotel and arrive at the railway station two hours earlier then departure which is a senior syndrome and otherwise understandable after such a long wild three-week-tour. At the platform I get frightened: there is neither a baggage car nor any cycle compartment announced for the night-train to Vienna. But in spite of the rumors of any railway strike the train arrives in time. What to do now? I look for the number of the waggon corresponding to my reservation, throw in the panniers and rumble in with my bike. Other passengers have great problems to pass those obstacles but no one grumbles about that nasty matter. But so does the corpulent clippie (the female conductor), fortunately talking the nice Vienna accent. "This train does not transport any bike - or you take it with you on your divan" - the fellow passengers and the bed-linens would be happy about that. But then a collegue of my furious Chimerae comes up: "Let us unlock this unused staff compartment, if the bike fits inside" - and it does!!!

And at last the train starts - be sure that I hear this and that sweet melody out of the rattling train sounds. Out of the window I see the Carpathians fading away in the evening sun. And be sure that I have a deep sleep. But at the Hungarian border at 2 am in the night the toll officers must inspect the hidden space above the roof of the compartment if there would be a blind passenger, drugs or a bicycle? None of all is to be found. At 9 am we arrive at Vienna and I need the rest of the day to get to Linz at first and then to Passau. For the last time I enter the fine Hotel "Wilder Mann" where I once was 18 years ago. And I find the Chinese Restaurant Jasmin at the Residenzplatz. Sorry for Brasov: this time the duck meal is definitely first class.

At Sunday I am so happy to complete the return but I won't bother you with details. At 9 pm I am back at home and imagine the happiness of us all, my dear wife Heidi and the dog Otto who both do hard to embrace me over and over again at the same time.

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