And Then There Were The Roads…

travel_map

It has finally happened and with a happy sigh I can say I have returned back home. My real home that is – in Rīga, Latvia, a bit away from the “other home” in Burgas, Bulgaria where I usually spend my prolonged summers. So – 1 car, a bit of energy and longing for home, 2430 km (or 1509.93 miles), 7 countries (Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania), 2 border checkpoints (Bulgaria-Serbia and Serbia-Hungary) and 3 days is all it took to get from the warmer end of Europe to colder one. Since I have very much appreciation for mountains, the scenery during the first 2 days of my trip was the one I truly enjoyed. In the third one…well, it started to look much more like home and the weather turned into quite gloomy one like one would expect in November in this part of the world :)…

My conclusions? Though by far it wasn’ t my first time of doing this drive, things still manage to surprise me. After I have been used to usually quite…undiplomatic officers of Serbian customs, this time one wished me a pleasant trip. Doesn’ t take much, nor is obligatory but definitely felt nice! I faced slightly different situation at one of the posts of Serbian toll roads – giving the man 5 Euro instead of necessary 2 took an unexpected turn – he said that was too much money and I had to figure out a way to exchange it. A touch tricky with a line of probably 20 cars behind mine, eager to keep going, wouldn’ t you agree? Sometimes kindness and sort of tough stare does the job, fortunately. I mustn’t forget mentioning the highways in Hungary. They are really of a good quality (I am not comparing them with the ones all the way through Europe, just the countries I passed through) and they have paid attention to how important the road signs are for the people who somehow find themselves in a car on the road over there. Another maybe not too important matter but still worth mentioning – if WC sign in every single country I drove through meant the facilities were really there and available to be used, in Poland they had done the trick with…making them NOT free of charge. If a person travels with just a credit card and some cash in Euros, to pull Polish złoty out of the hat right there right then didn’ t seem nor easy, neither fair. Especially after the car had been fueled up in the same petrol station. The good part – people are really working on developing and improving the highway system in Poland, and for me personally it balances out my previous complaint. Almost!

What else? It is always so much fun and joy to travel, to discover new countries (or re-discover them) but there is something indefinable about returning home that makes my heart beat faster the moment I cross the border of Rīga. Always.

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22 thoughts on “And Then There Were The Roads…

  1. Thats incredible 🙂 I never thought you would return via road. But you did, and splendidly so 🙂

    You continue to be an inspiration Ese! Someday, you are going to have to teach me tricks of travelling. Or, you can even write one of those travelogues… 🙂

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    1. Thank you very much, Tatsat. To be honest – i didn’ t have any other way than driving. Not because i am afraid of flying, of course – love it, just…too many things. And it is somehow easier to put a cat in the car than worry about all the documents and processes of getting it on a plane. 🙂

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  2. Suzanne

    What an incredible road trip. I can drive that far in Australia but I am always in the same country. Going through all those borders and dealing with different cultural customs must be quite testing at times. I agree about WC signs in Europe. It would be great if there was an international sign and if they were always free. 🙂

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    1. Yes, I think comparing to the distances in Australia, Europe is one rather short drive all across in different directions 🙂 Since most of the countries are in the EU, things have become much different and easier. I still remember years ago waiting on the Lithuanian – Polish border for 7 hours…not the most pleasant memories – fortunately, gone.

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    1. Thank you, Milka. Had to strech it in 3 days to have proper rest in between. Otherwise might be done in shorter time. Photos…a bit here and there, though gloomy end of autumn isn’t the most pleasant for capturing lovely moments. 🙂

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