[Roadtrip] Where East Meets West - Part 2

January 9, 2015

Where were we?
Ahaa, arrived in Budapest. :) Okay, let's continue! 

We didn't walk around Budapest this time, as we planned to do so on our way back home. Budapest is a very nice city to travel in; with its preserved heritage too and I love the Chain Bridge that connect the two parts of Budapest - Buda and Pest. Will talk about it soon. :) 

After filling the petrol tank, we drove along Danube river while looking at the beautiful morning scenery and started to head into highways; approximately at 9am Tuesday

Where East Meets West

I took the shift of driving to Bucharest, Romania. Fuh, I was quite nervous as I felt kind of responsible with the lives of other people too. If you are like me, what I did was; keep calm, and recite Allah's names most of the times okay? 

Before I forget, the speed limit here, commonly as follows;
Village - 50km/h
City - 90km/h
Highway - 130km/h

Where East Meets West

Budapest - Bucharest
approximately 830 km, in 9-10 hours (if drive non stop)
Estimated time of arrival (ETA) - 9pm Tuesday.

We stopped at this RnR, aiming to have proper breakfast with cups of hot drinks (coffee, hot chocolate, or tea). There are a petrol station, a restaurant and a cafe there. So, 2 of us stepped into the cafe while the others went first to the toilets. We didn't order yet as we thought we would order together with the rest. Ouch, unfortunately the cafe didn't accept debit cards and she didn't like us to stay in her cafe. Hmphh. 

Where East Meets West
That cafe - building on the left

Aha, we didn't changed money to Hungarian Forint (HUF) that time. Most of time, we paid for the petrol by debit card (we have in Euro currency).  And the rest, we didn't need money to buy any food. Why? Because we brought along 2 full bags of food; name it - nasi goreng, kuewtiaw goreng, cucur, cookies, snacks, hot coffee in flask, bottles of mineral water, bars of chocolates, fruits etc. Yeah, before the trip we had last minute discussion to separate the duty - AJK Makanan, AJK Kereta & Petrol, AJK Kelengkapan and most important one, the treasurer (to keep on track all expenses). Our AJK Makanan took care of all food during the journey on road.

Where East Meets West
Somewhere in Romania. I guess, Arad :)
Roads connecting countries here are not always highways. Sometime, the highways end somewhere and you need to continue driving along the small towns/villages to get into another highways. And this can prolong the duration of driving; there can be people walking ON the road (as their pavements are covered with thick snow), there can be lots of lorries in front of you. There can also be police cars patrolling around - so, you can not exceed the speed limit. Duh. 

By the way, when we passed through customs and passport controls at every borders, we got our passports stamped! Weheeee, that's excited to hear, right? But, no stamps or clear border between Czech and Slovakia, maybe because both were used to combine before as Czechoslovakia :)

Where East Meets West
Border of Hungary - Romania

Where East Meets West
While waiting for passport control. Ignore the dirty screen; the weather was not that good.

Vignette for Romania is not in sticker type that you can stick on the front screen; but in paper form - make sure you keep it in safe place as we need to show it anytime asked and especially at the border going out of Romania. The price for vignette, I can say...depends... (as in some places, they charged extra T_T)
Vignette for Romania = 5 Euro (for a week) - if I'm not mistaken
If you drive a rented car, make sure you have the car's identity card and the contract/paper of renting. Some countries, they ask for this before selling the vignette or letting you pass the passport control.

Where East Meets West
Cards we need to have - International Driving License, Passport, Debit/credit card, Biomatric card (this is only for us as we stayed in Czech more than 90 days - customs wanted to see this as they wonder why are we still in Europe after 90 days :)) 

I can say I love Romania for its beautiful scenery of nature! There are not much of tall buildings and the countryside looks so peaceful to live in. Driving along the hills, with white mountains and hills along the way, sometimes we can see sheep and horses. Sometimes, we can drive along the road with nothing at the both sides - everything covered with snow (I expect maybe those are wheat field) how can not I fall in love with it :)

Where East Meets West
Countryside of Romania.

We changed drivers nearly half way; my friend is more skillful to drive when it gets darker. As you know, winter has shorter day and longer night. I guess, my melatonin was secreted a lot when it came to night T_T 

The road for the rest of the journey to Bucharest was challenging! The route, I can say; similar to the combination of hilly road from Gerik - Jeli and Simpang Pulai to Cameron Highlands. But, as I say Romania is beautiful with its nature; you can expect beautiful views too even at night! With beautiful sky with the shiny moon and stars, you can see reflections of mountains on the river you drove along. 

After making sure that we entered another highway (the A1 highway from Piteşti), I asked excuse to sleep. When I woke up, we already arrived in Bucharest, at 11pm Tuesday! (total of 14 hours) :D

Stopped by the petrol station again, try to continue to places in Bucharest. It was really cold to walk outside, so, we decided to visit anything interesting only by car. When I recheck on Internet about Bucharest, I learnt to know that there was a snow storm before we arrived! And of course we can see most cars were fully covered with white snow. 

Where East Meets West
Not a good picture of Bucharest. I'm sorry.

Basic information on Bucharest;- it is the capital and largest city in Romania, located south of the country. The buildings are quite a mixture of old and modern architecture. It is getting more trendy (maybe like Warsaw, Poland). Was known as "little Paris" before (maybe can be seen in the Arch de Triumph it has in one of the roundabouts :) Ahaa, we need to change our time zone here, by adding up an hour. (12am in Bucharest means 11pm in Czech).

Where East Meets West
Another picture of Bucharest :)

Till next part!
Weee :D

v Khaulah,

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