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J151 - Tuesday, March 16: Byala - Daia

72.43km – 10H40’
Altitude: 41m

Serge has a slight intestinal problem but it is nothing serious.  Today the sauerkraut will be replaced by rice during refueling.  Between fields and forest we arrive in Ruse.  It is a big border city which flourished until the 19th century because of its position on the Danube, which is the only navigable river in the country.  This famous river inspired the composer, Johann Strauss, and if it was blue at the time in Ruse the color is brown.
The Danube is a natural border between Bulgaria and Romania.  Between the two countries there are border points other than Ruse and Giugiu but then you have to take a ferry to cross the Danube.  So we take the only bridge between the 2 countries.  It was build between 1952 and 1954, is 2 km long and shows its age.  There is also a railroad bridge.
On both sides of the bridge there is a toll booth and police check point and we have not seen customs officials, who are probably interested only in trucks.  It costs 6€ to cross the bridge and you can pay in Lev on the Bulgarian side, in Dollars or in Lei (the Romanian currency) on the Romanian side.  Our passports received only a cursory glance.  The border post was almost deserted, with buildings which no longer have a purpose.  René and I led the way in the camper.  As in Bulgaria, we paid 66.01 Lei for a vehicle sticker, valid one month because 1 week is not enough time for us.  This sum represents 16€ and cannot be purchased with Euro as in Bulgaria but only with Lei.
Serge crosses the bridge mid afternoon at km 59.  We don’t enter the city of Giugiu but go around it on the beautiful E 70 or “N°5” which heads due north toward Bucarest, which we will cross tomorrow.
This evening we are fortunate to meet Serban, a Romanian runner who lives in Bucarest with Ioano, his wife and their two children, and who will run with Serge tomorrow and guide him in the capital.  We corresponded via Internet concerning the route and agreed to meet this evening.  We will have another meeting tomorrow evening in Bucarest and it warms our hearts to be expected and welcomed.

Tomorrow we will have a busy day.

Town : Daia (Roumanie)

GPS : N 43.59491° E 025.59309°