miercuri, 18 noiembrie 2009
I started this tour on 16th of june from my little town Ineu. At Dorobanti village, I met my cycling friend Andrei Ozizu, an experienced cyclotourist from Buzau and there we stayed to enjoy and relax a few hours at a thermal balneal compound where we met a lovely Turkish girl that stayed in Arad. We had a nice time swimming, drinking beer and chatting with the pretty girls. I found out that Ozi my friend was a real Casanova, he was always flirting with beautiful girls. We entered Hungary at Battonya customs office and the first night we pitched our tents near the border on a pastureland. We cycled together for 9 days, a real tour of Hungary, crossing the endless Panonia steppe under the scorching sun, visiting the gorgeous capital Budapesta, and passing through wonderful towns, such as: Szeged and Szekesfehervar. We also had some nasty weather to cope with, we had 4 days of continuous rain but when we reached the Balaton lake the sun showed up and we had such a lovely time, feeding some swans with cubs and cycling on great bicycle path near the lake. I liked very much cycling with Ozi, sometimes he raced me with an average of 30km/h, so very tough for cyclotourism with heavy luggage. At Szigliged village, at the other side of the lake, we had to say good bye to each other for we had different plans, I had to go to climb passes in the Alps and to be present to an important meeting in Obertsdorf and Ozi wanted to cycle in Slovenia and then to head for Wien. I slept there overnight and next day I continued my tour. I passed through Zalaegerszeg and then I was caught by a violent storm right before crossing the Slovenian border. I was lucky to get to a pub just before the storm started and there I ran into 2 lovely fair hair girls with whom I had a nice discussion about my trip and about their country. Then I entered Slovenia at night and I cycled in the dark till I reached a restaurant where I had a great pizza frutti di mare and I tried the Slovenian beer (pivo) which is very tasty. The next day I cycled a bit in a hilly region with gradients up to 17% than I entered Austria, after meeting a decent german cyclotourist Klaus that drank with me some white wine in a pub close to the customs.
Austria will remain for ever the queen of my soul, a paradise for cycloclimbing, with the fabulous mountains, the kind-hearted people, the gorgeous girls, the great cuisine, the impeccable bike ways near the spectacular sparkling rivers and streams under the mind-blowing snow-capped peaks. Oh, Austria my beloved how could I ever forget you, you accomplished my deepest dreams, and there I lived the best days of my life, climbing the toughest slopes on modernized roads from Europe, coming across tourists and cyclotourists from all over the world, meeting so generous people and falling in love with unbelievably beautiful young girls. In Austria the people are in a tremendous harmony with nature and I was simply bewildered by this country and its beauty and I swore to myself I would come back next year to discover new secrets from such an unique and unparalleled land.
I crossed Austria through the Alps. In Burgenland I had to climb many hills with gradients up to 20%. In this area I cycled about 20km with a young and stout guy that always used to say: “Holly Shit” when hearing about my trips on 2 wheels. Then the rain started and we stopped at a guesthouse where he paid for a bottle of wine for us to drink and we had a nice chat. In the evening at Obergnas village where I stopped as it was raining, I met a great lady Christine, at a guesthouse that offered me a delicious pizza and a glass of wine for free and then let me spend my night in a cloakroom for sportsmen, where I could have a hot shower and in the morning she gave me a plentiful breakfast, too. Such a generous lady, I will never forget her. Long live Austria!
Then after avoiding Graz, I was heading for the Alps and after the town of Koflach, it started raining again and at the foot of the StubAlpe, I was invited by some motor bikers at a party where I met great people and I had a great time, and then there I slept in a garage of a guy. Such a lovely night it was with plenty of beers, great food and merry people. The next day, having a slight hangover I continued my journey, climbing the first BIG pass in the tour, the Gaberl Sattle(1551m). It was raining and cold and after about 15km of climb I arrived at a chalet where I stopped to have a cake and some wine that cost me 14€. There I met a lovely young lady with 3 little and smart girls that talked to me. The gorgeous lady learned one of her daughters to say: “This is a very nice man!” referring to me.
It was a great afternoon, then I had to go, quickly descending the hairpins and at the first village I discovered a party. There I stayed, and a few youngsters impressed by my tour offered me some pints of beer. It was raining so I stayed more enjoying good music and great company and then it was discoteque in the open and under some large tents. Latter on, I fall in love with a beautiful brunette with whom I danced. Unfortunately she had a little girl and a husband, so no chance for me. Then, an old sexy women rather tipsy picked me up, and we pranced and danced very hot, drinking whisky and enjoying life. Finally she took me to her house and offered me a great night, I mean she left me an entire house for a night for she had 2 houses. Such a great lady, I am grateful to her and next day, almost in tears I promised I would return to visit her.
Then at Judenburg, a nice town where I saw a medieval tower of about 80 meters long, my mother sent me 100euro at a Reinffeisen Bank.
Then I climbed some more passes, I remember SolkPass(1790m), pretty tough with gradients up to 15%, on the top I entered a little chapel dedicated to Saint Nicolaus where I said a prayer thanking God for this lovely trip. On top of the pass I saw plenty of snow and red mountain peony.
Then on my way to Saalfelden I climbed another 2 BIGs, Arthur Haus, very tough with slopes up to 18% and Dientner Sattel with gradients up to 15%. Then the great challenge came when I climbed the terrible Kitzbuhler Horn, that has an average of 12.9% and a maximum gradient of 23%. And this ferocious climb I did with heavy luggage weighing 25kg. My bike Kona Sutra 2008 was just perfect for this difficult task, and I must thank from all my heart to the generous sponsor, Mr. Mircea Florescu for fulfilling me my dream by giving me this exquisite bike that helped me conquering so difficult climbs.
Climbing this monster with heavy luggage astonished the tourists, especially the last 3 km when the average gradient was more than 20%. On top of it at 1970m high, I celebrated with a guyas soup and a pint of beer, and an old man took pictures of me quite astounded by my feat. I felt so good, I was so overjoyed and for a moment I was the king of the hill, so I encountered for a splitting second the state of everlasting inner bliss. Mighty God be praised for this for ever!
On my way down I nearly bumped into some tourists, the road being very narrow and I saw a spectacular parade of ancient classic cars, extremely expensive and flawlessly restored to their majestic beauty of times bygone.
Then near Hopfgarten I came across a lovely group of young tourists from South Africa and Australia. I drank some beers with them, talking with pretty girls about my adventures. On my way to Innsbruck, I passed through Rattenberg, a lovely medieval town that drew my attention and in the town of Schwaz I met two beautiful Austrian girls that were having a tour by bicycle near some rivers. Except for Budapest, Innsbruck was the most fascinating town that I visited in this tour: fabulous cathedrals, great medieval architecture, plenty of tourists, a cosmopolitan atmosphere was ruling everywhere. There I met 2 german cyclotroubadours and 2 young Scottish girls that were having a long journey in Europe by bicycles.
Then I climbed another BIG pass, a very scenic one (Hahntennjoch pass -1894m), and just after descending this pass I met a couple of cyclotourists from New Zeeland that were going from Athens to Germany. At Elmen village, I stayed at a barbecue party where I enjoyed a lot till very late.
The next day after climbing another 2 passes I finally reached Oberstdorf in Germany where I was so well received by my colleagues and friends from BIG Challenge Club.
It was such a great honour for me to finally meet great cycloclimbers from all over Europe such as: Daniel Gobert, the emblematic president of this great international cycloclimbing club, Claudio Montefusco, a great Spanish cycloclimber that interviewed me and than included me in a nice feature report that appeared in nr 32 of the prestigious Spanish cycling magazine Pedalier. Then I met Francois Candau, a friend of mine from France that sponsored me with 100euro and who was very kind to me. I also met Gabor Gyorgyi, who is a friend of mine and Gabor Kreicsi, the best cycloclimbers from Hungary. I met there guys from Belgium, Netherlands, France, Italy, Hungary, Spain and Latvia and I stayed 2 wonderful days with this special team climbing a few BIGs in Germany together.
It was just a great biketrip for me and then on my way back to Romania I cycled in Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary again crossing the mighty Alps again and collecting many BIGs and having a great time with plenty of adventures.
This fabulous journey on 2 wheels I want to dedicate from the bottom of my heart to the generous sponsor, Mr. Mircea Florescu, the patron of Assport bike shop from Bucharest, who made my dreams come true by sponsoring me with a gorgeous touring bike Kona Sutra 2008 that behaved magnificently in this long tour through the Alps.
God bless the gentle-hearted sponsor and his family!
I also want to thank to my family, my mother Mariana and my father Dan for supporting me and helping me through thick and thin.
I also want to thank Daniel Gobert, Francois Candau, Mihaela Rusu, the patron of a factory of furniture for children (Wildkidzz.com) and Catalin Dimofte for their financial help.
God bless the generous people!