And Then There Were The Roads…

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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.