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flaskhalsen, the bottleneck
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To Turkey, and further: Vama Veche, Romania

2008-07-25 14:38

Previously published on a blog on wordpress.com, now long gone.

Leaving Ocniţa early in the morning with the bus to Chişinău, I was planning to go to Brăila in Romania, but not sure about the way. The weather was clear, and I felt good about leaving. In Chişinău I take a minibus to Gara de Sur, and upon entering the bus, and during the 15 minutes trip, there is a great hail storm crashing down over the city. Though stepping out at the other station, the ground looks almost dry.

I decide to catch a bus to Cahul, and there cross the border to Romania. This border crossing was kind of a hassle to, because when I eventually get to the border, the guy there explains to me in gestures that I am not allowed to cross the border on foot. And ofcourse there is a guy in a “taxi” there, waiting for me to pay 250 LEI (about 25 dollars, 150 kr; a large amount here) to take me across the border, and maybe 2 km to the small town of Oancea in Romania. And there are really no cars passing to hitch with. So I pay.

It became a long day of travelling, alltogether. When I finally get to Brăila, I find the place of my host, but after waiting a few hours, it is clear that she is not going to turn up, or answer any messages… I end up sleeping in some no-mans-land behind an old school. Mosquitos and feeling down.

The morning is better, and I talk to a few people on the streets (spanish, gestures, improvisation). On the bus station a man I talk with goes away to buy me some food, because he thought I looked hungry? I was, and had kinda forgot about it. I end up in the evening south of Magnalia, in Vama Veche, on the Black Sea (Yes, finally that sea!). A small village on the Bulgarian border that turns into a party beach for Romanians during the summer and especiall weekends. Camping in a really small place, I hang out with two people, mom and daughter, from northern Romania. Having a few beers on the beach, and collapsing after a strenous journey…