I have just finished my route for my after-graduation-trek this winter.
I will basically kind of follow the Donau, crossing it on several occasions and following it to its source (well, not both, but where they join). I intend to start in Tulcea and from there take the southern route through Braila, Bukarest, Craiova heading to Hungary by Temeschwar and crossing behind Arad.
In Hungary I will head to Austria through Hodmezövasarhely, Dunauföldva, Balatonfüzfö and Veszprem before crossing the border behind Osli.
In Austria I will pass the Neusiedler See, Wien, cross the Donau at Meutern and again at Hartkirchen before finally coming home behind Schärding.
From there I will head straight west through Augsburg to Donaueschingen.
I am already preparing conditionally, innawoods-y, informing myself about Romania and Hungary and learning some words Romanian (Hungarian is to complicated, I can't even pronounce it).
So my question is: Has anyone ever done this before? I mean, just trekking through southeastern europe? What are your experiences with Romania and Hungary? And will it be really cold in winter? From what I know, Romania has a similar climate as Germany, i.e. not too cold in winter. And how big of an issue are bears in January/February? They have their babies at that time, I think.
Nice trip you've got planned there.
My advice if you're going to pass trough Romania is to visit Transylvania (Brasov, Sighisoara and Sibiu in particular, old medieval cities built by Germans).
You should be worried about bears only if you plan to camp in the Carpathian forests, but those are way out of your path.
pic related, is Brasov.
Also, Tulcea (the Danube Delta) is much nicer to visit in the Summer.
It was actually my first route, straight through the middle of Carpathians, but I thought was better to not challenge hills in winter, especially since I am no alpinist.
So southern Carpathians will not lead me through the woods? And how much of a danger are country folks? I mean, when I cross fields and farms and such, will they shoot me? I think wild camping isn't allowed, is it?
Also, probably I must start at Konstanza, since Tulcea apparently has no international airport... Well, at least I can then see the black sea.
>My advice if you're going to pass trough Romania is to visit Transylvania (Brasov, Sighisoara and Sibiu in particular, old medieval cities built by Germans).
Unless you're a Romaniaboo which I am :3333 there's really little reason to visit the Walachian plains.
>I think wild camping isn't allowed, is it?
Of course it is not, but nobody cares if you don't get caught, just like everywhere else.
Beware of Gypsies and stray dogs. Bring pepper spray or something to defend yourself.
Well, I am actually not really interested in any touristic stuff. I want to see the not-so-touristic country, the rural people and all that.
And I already have pepper spray. Are wild dogs really such a problem? I have seen some videos where they bark at traffic and such. Do they have rabies? I have never eaten dog...
by the looks of it you are planning to cross the austrian-hungarian border here
>crossing the border behind Osli.
I just came home from there yesterday after a 100km biking.
If you are planning to leave the highway i recommend to use printed maps/gps or plan your way carefully because i went through many places that where not on the map. (should have zoomed in more in google maps)
Oh and if you are lucky you could buy from the moving bakery seller.
The southern side of lake balaton is swallow but its free and cheaper. You should consider going that way.
After rereading the thread:
>will it be really cold in winter
It usually stays above -10°C, you should be okay with a -20°C even in the alföld.
>how much of a danger are country folks?
You should avoid questionable people, old country folks will be helpful but you wont be able to talk with them. You could write down some helpful phases. You could ask us to translate everything you think would be useful.
>wild camping isn't allowed, is it?
Nobody cares if you cut your way through a field especially in winter, just avoid climbing fences and you should be okay. Wild camping has no restrictions. We spent a night in austria around lake fertő and the rangers wanted to fine us for lighting fire in a national park but they let us go.
I couldn't find adequate information about making fire here in the wilderness. I could ask the authorities if you like.
>Are wild dogs really such a problem? I
One chased me yesterday, and run into a really big one a few years ago just outside the village.
>Do they have rabies?
Foxes and dogs carry it, i don't know about dogs but foxes become 'friendly' (loose their fear from humans?) when they have it.
>Getting the maps is currently the hardest part since Romania and Hungary are pretty empty spaces here
Do you have a smart-phone? there are plenty useful apps/online maps. If you wish I could find a printed one that you could order for yourself through the net.
No, I don't have a smartphone. I actually don't want to have to rely on anything that needs electricity. But if you could find me some 1:50.000 maps that would be really cool. German stores suck for Romania/Hungary and the googles do nothing, too.
Térképlefedettség Magyarország területére:
1:200000 nagyítású térképszelvények 28db.
1:50000 nagyítású térképszelvények 319db.
1:25000 nagyítású térképszelvények 1166db.
Found 1:100.000 county and 1:50.000 'settlement' maps.
here is a link
That is cool, thank you. Do you think I can buy them on site?
Of course, but before that I recommend sending them an e-mail with your plan, planned route so they could recommend you the maps/sheets you need. Sadly I found nothing where they show which sheet covers which region exactly.
Sorry for posting the hungarian link previously, here is the english one:
And the map navigator for the autistics out there:
As you can see its no wonder they need 319 sheets to cover the whole country at 1:50.000.
Btw, the english page list the prices as 7€/sheet while the hungarian only ~2,5€ (700HUF)/sheet. I never bought anything from abroad so i don't know if this information could be helpful..
My brother has a euro based bank account but i would not like to involve him if not necessary, but we did some domestic money exchange before. And
>On inland deliveries, orders over HUF 10,001 (15 sheet) packaging and postage is free.
So you could pay for the maps (and remaining delivery fee) in euro for the HUF price.
the michelin maps are among the most used by cycle tourists
nokia maps are another nice free alternative
Thanks, I will look at it. Though there was a misunderstanding, I meant if I can buy maps locally in shops. It would be my favourite modus since I could buy the map for the respective region and later discard it since, as you mentioned, I would need LOTS of sheets.
Don't know about that. The two national bookstores are alexandra, líra and libri:
These should definitely have the maps you desire.
I went to the posta and they said that its possible to send mail to any post office addressed to yourself, but they only store it for 10 days max before sending it back..
If you can keep up with your schedule you could simply pre send the maps and collect them at the next post office as you advance. Or send it to the town hall, with some explanation in hungarian, im sure they would cooperate. The drawback is mobile post office schedule and stores usually have favourable opening hours to public institutions.
The next not so crazy idea is: könyvtár. Libraries should have some maps but copying could become a problem.
If you're not starting in Budapest, or some decent sized city in Hungary (where you can find all types of maps), go and check out the gas stations for maps.
Also I'd avoid Romania during January/February. It might be a similar climate to Germany, but things can go tougher in the Carpathians I think. Also remember to make noises when in the woods, so that bears would avoid you. Sing or shout or anything, just make noises wherever you go.
Re maps... Be careful, and use common sense, also ask around. I've been hiking a lot in Hungary... And sometimes the maps I have from 1967 proved to be more useful than the 2012 maps. Some of the older signs are more visible in the trees than the newer ones. This is not too common, but be aware that there are some misleading marks.
Oh, also... I think Hungarian should be easy for Germans to pronounce. Once you learn those consonant combinations, you should be able to read anything out loud. Then again, German is better spoken in Hungary than any foreign language, so you'll find German speakers in villages as well. Once you start with a Hungarian greeting, and switch to German after that, it all should be fine.