OE Day 33 Ruse to Veliko Tarnivo 121 km

Our first full day in Bulgaria took us into the rural North. Lovely ride with the oven temperature slowly increasing and the best hill saved for the last miles.

Poor or changing. Massive derelict factories on the edges of towns; huge well cultivated fields (with no signs of the major machinery needed); horse n cart; deserted villages in places, as though the population has moved. Road side shrubs of apple, sloe, damson. Still all litter free. Good 5G.

The region we’re in is famous, apparently, for rose petal products. For an explore tomorrow.

OE Day 32 Bucharest to Ruse 104 km

A quiet route was promised. Apart from the 25 km to get out of Bucharest navigating the road works and traffic. And the section crossing the border with its 10 mile queue of lorries. Twinned with Dover.

Perhaps the humidity, thirsty work today so we kept stopping at road side shops. The villages hug the roadside. The fields roast in the heat.

The border between Romania and Bulgaria is down the middle of the Danube. Which has grown to 2.4km wide. It’s crossed via the Friendship bridge built by the two nations. Too narrow to stop, just side enough for a car to pass. Thankfully the lorries are in queue.

Ruse population 150000, was in its heyday late 19, early 20 Century. As a trading port: the buildings we’re told are reminiscent of Vienna. Certainly not western though the Cyrillic script everywhere provides a clue it’s not. The central plaza is a delight: full of locals enjoying the evening heat with kids happily thrashing around on scooters.