Life is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page

Drobeta Turnu Severin - Calafat/Vidin - Sredna Gora Pass - Agkistro - Athens

Trip Details

Road Trip 2015
Date: Wed, 12/08/2015 to Thu, 13/08/2015
Romania, Bulgaria
Distance: 504km & 614km
Motorcyclists: Manolis, Stratos
Photographers: Manolis
Authors: Manolis
Translators: Sakis
Map: Trip map

Sightseeing map

We were on the last day of our trip, which actually was our last day abroad and before our return to Athens. The city of Turnul-Severin is located 75km from the border of the town Calafat in Romania, opposite the Bulgarian town of Vidin. This point links two neighboring states. We have estimated that the total distance until the Greek town of Agistro, was about 500 km. We had planned to start until 11a.m. and so it happened...

We packed our stuff and we followed the main avenue, which crosses the city from one side of town to the other side, following the signs for Calafat. Mostly, this road is used by trucks because this is a central axis from Turkey and the eastern district. It was in a good condition and generally, we did not encounter any problem or traffic jam.

We left the town and for several kilometers, we drove near Danubian Romanian coast, with a view of the wonderful Danube. In some areas, where the river making small bays, we saw layers of many water lilies on its banks, which are covering large surfaces. The road crossed by small villages, without any interesting in their architecture, however, they were crowded because it is considered "commercial" route.

A couple kilometers before Calafat, the road turned into highway. We made a short stop at a gas station to spend our last Romanian money, refuel our engines with gas. Later, we met the toll station, which is determine the customs station of the two states. On vehicles, there is a toll price for the use of the newly built bridge, which starts at 6 euros. The truth is, that there was no information sign as we usually met at toll stations. We arrived at the first officer, who made us a typically passport control and then we stopped on the second officer, to whom we paid for our passage through the bridge. With a simple nod, he made us sense to pass for free... Obviously, the motorcycles have free passage... and somehow we passed this impressive bridge, whose construction started in 2007 and inaugurated in June 2013. This is called "New Europe Bridge" making it a powerful symbol of European cooperation, as most of the construction was covered by EU funds.

Now, we were on Bulgarian territory and the road continues as a regional city of Vidin. We continued east and we had as guides the signs to Sofia (250km). We left the regional road of the city and we followed the central axis for Montana - Vratsa - Botegrad. The ride was comfortable but we expect the road to be more "commercial" due to trucks but also, because the crossing of Vidin - Calafat is the second most famous crossing between Bulgaria-Romania, after the Russe-Giurgiu. We saw some small poor villages, which probably, we would expect to see them into a more mountainous or desert route.

We having traveled about 90 km in Bulgaria and we entered the town of Montana. Although, the signs to Sofia lead to a regional road of the city, we preferred to move from the center for two reasons: first to see the center of it and second to follow the alternative route to Sofia. The crossing proved easy affair, following the main road of Montana and some instructions of GPS.

At the exit of the town we met the junction of Blagovo, so, we followed the path 81. For the particular route, we had some special information. We took a look at the map and we realized that it was about 40 km shorter than the main route through Vratsa and also it reached at the 1400m altitude. We took the risk and as we well know the situation, we followed it and it demonstrated that our choice was right.

As we drove higher and higher in altitude, we are surrounded by wooded areas with tall trees. The road was in very good condition, making our driving enjoyable. The landscape was so beautiful, that sometime, we made a quick stop under the shade to enjoy a cup of coffee. At the highest point, on the route there was an artificial lake and a couple of restaurants. The downhill continued at about the same landscape and slowly, the vegetation began to reducing as we approached the endless plateau of the Bulgarian capital. As, we approached the regional road of Sofia, the quality of the pavement was not so good, full of potholes.

We are reaching the regional road, where for one more time I received a second bee sting in the same hand as the previous time, we followed the signs for Kulata, which abstained around 180km. We were closer to the point of exit from the regional road of the capital, following the southern route. The time was almost 5pm and we decided to make a stop to refuel and we have a snack at the gas station.

They remained about 170 km until the border, where we had decided to spend the night and particularly in Agistro. Already, we thought about the spa, that there are in the village. The truth is that in this trip, we did not feel tired any day. Obviously, this had to do with the few kilometers that we traveled every day but also, the temperature was the most appropriate that it could!

At 7pm, we arrived at the border between Greece and Bulgaria, Promachonas. The sun was setting and it offered us the best colors in the sky. I felt an intense feeling of pleasure... I felt that I did what I wanted to do in my life... In my mind constantly came the phrase "Life is one, live it! Live every day as if it is the last... ", so i did it...! Once again, we had a simple and formal check... Even if it's been so many years since the borders worked, the controls were thorough and I could not think of how much things have changed... We having spent a few meters from the Greek customs station and we made a stop to enjoy the view of the buildings, which painted by the most beautiful colors of the sun and have a little chat with Stratos...

We took the road to the neighboring village, Agistro, directly to the hotel. Unfortunately, for our bad luck was full, so, we chose to try our luck at the Wooden Village (40euro), where we visited for lunch when we started our journey. There, we found a quaint room, as this is a complex of wooden houses! We left thinking the spa as well, we preferred to relax in the restaurant, sipping our cold beer and tasting their savory snacks.

We sat relaxed and our conversation focused on our entire trip. On routes, that we had traveled and the places that, we visited. Once again, we were thinking the journey, something that we will think a lot in the future...


A few words about the epilogue...

What can you say for such a trip when the end coming. All that you feel is pleasure!!! I cannot figure out if it has to do with the locations that we visited or the friendship that we were but I think that it has to do with both them. Before we start, I felt that I was taking a risk to re-visit places that I had seen before, because, there is a possibility that they will lose their "first magic sight"... As we returned, I realized that something like this did not happen! I lived the journey like seeing everything for the first time and the truth is that every time the journey looks different! I feel unlimited gratitude that I had the chance to travel once more in places that i love and they have an important place in my heart...