Serbia Bike Touring – ep. 1: Rained on in Bulgaria

The end of September couldn’t have come fast enough. I was so anxious to start our second honeymoon, a bike touring trip through Serbia!

Adelina and I discovered quite recently the many pleasures of bicycle touring. Pedalling on lonely roads, through villages, forests, climbing hills and speeding downhills are pure gems. We love meeting locals over a cold beer and stealth camping at the end of the day. We love discovering places you would never drive to. That is bike touring.

We left Romania from the town of Calafat, Romania, and crossed the Danube to Vidin, in Bulgaria. I knew my way around the city from spring, when I visited the place with Ștefan, on a four day bike trip to the Belogradchik Rocks, in Montana Province. The city of Vidin itself is greyed with buildings and people seem like sad, lonely robots. As soon as we reached the shores of the Danube and the old Vidin Castle, called Baba Vida, it started to rain. We did enjoy the trees in the park, with autumn sparkling through their leaves. We took shelter under the umbrella of a nearby pub and waited for the rain to stop.

It didn’t take long. Soon, we were biking west and left Vidin on our way to Kula, the last town before the Serbian border. Just outside Vidin, though, rain hit again. It hit hard! Fortunately, there was a pub nearby, and we sheltered inside from the pouring rain. We grabbed lunch and a couple of beers, and even got a little something for a stray dog.

During our bicycle touring routes, we would always feed stray dogs we met on the side of the road. I will always remember the unconditional love and gratefulness in their eyes. It’s something you just don’t see in humans.

Jumping in the saddles again, we ride on the wet road, getting closer and closer to Kula. Another place I know from spring, it was just as deserted it was then.

There is a local legend about the fortresses in Vidin, Kula and Gamzigrad (which we are going to visit the next day). Vida, Kula and Gamza, the beautiful daughters of the local lord, divide his kingdom upon his death. They each receive a castle and the lands around them. Only Vida, closed in the fortress in Vidin, remained alone and unmarried, and her kingdom flourished. She is remembered as Old Granny Vida, or Baba Vida.

A warm meal raised our spirits and we biked a little further towards the border. We decided to camp somewhere near the road. It was a dull start for our trip. A lot of rain and moisture, and no sunshine at all. Fortunately, morale was still high and we were looking forward to crossing the border and starting our Serbian adventures.

The route for our first day is here. We also made a short video and do be gentle, it’s our first! You can watch it below.

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