20 July 2017
The best proof that there is no such thing as a "Master plan" in Nature is human evolution. When man rose to his feet and with a disproportionately large head significantly increased his center of gravity, the likelihood of falls and hip fractures increased by few tens of times. The evolution thus physically handicapped humans. Even on the intellectual side man did not perform as brilliantly as he likes to think. They don't say in vain that ten Doctors of Science can not answer the question of one chimpanzee. Who is then more stupid? The one who asks a silly question or the one who can not answer it? Was Socrates, who knew only that he knew nothing, smarter than those who think they know everything? These are the fundamental issues that accompany me recently, when everyday human speech often seems a mere sound pollution to me. Like the noise of motorized leaf-blowers. If you want to answer the fundamental questions, you have to rise from the foundations, you have to separate, go, remove, annihilate. Only from a distance you shall find all the answers. That is why I had to leave my country this summer again, to keep my mind in a reasonably healthy condition. Just a small change was needed: the cycling journey to the Wild East, to Romania and Bulgaria.

Your ultralight touring cyclist strikes again (note the crocks up left).
But, firstly, it was necessary to overcome the evolution. Unstable posture on two legs was out of the question! While walking people contact the ground mostly in only one point. How dangerous! One should crawl on all four, or, better still, as insects stand firmly on six legs. Have you ever heard that the fly broke its hip? Certainly not, because even when moving it is always on three contact points. And from geometry we know that three points uniquely define the plane in the space. So if there were a mathematical "master plan" in nature, it would be more suitable for insects then for humans. No wonder they are the most propulsive form of life on the planet! Waiting for the evolution to provide me two extra limbs wasn't an option either. This would take at least 500 millions years, and I was in a hurry, I only had a few months to spare. Fortunately, there is also a bicycle. It is in contact with the ground always in two points. It's not exactly the most stable, but already Einstein said that "life is like cycling - if you want to keep the balance, you have to move". It is not clear what he meant by "life", but I suspect he used it similarly as in the Latin proverb "navigare necesse, non vivere" or „it is necessary to navigate, not to live." Both statements can be summarized in a new saying: "It is necessary to cycle, not to live". And since living is not necessary (as follows from the proverb), it can be deleted and it remains only: "Cycle". As a fanatical minimalist I will shrink it to a single letter: "C" - or „K“ in some  languages. If I add the term for "I", I get my motto: "IK". But these are also my initials, and - QED – it follows that a "master plan" nevertheless exists, and surprisingly, it fits me perfectly. According to this plan, I went on a bicycle tour to Romania and Bulgaria.


25 July 2017
Why there, of all places? Being a doctor of science, I was initially reluctant to answer such questions, but after consulting nine other doctors, I decided to give up and forgive the sacred simplicity. Here is my logical answer: because of three things - transfagarasan, the sea and the golden calf. If this answer surprises you, don't worry – in the next 20,000 characters all will become clearer.

Let's start at the end, with a golden calf. In 1931, the Great Combinator, Ostap Bender, tried to cross the frozen Danube from CCCP to (then) democratic Romania. He didn't succeed, Romanian gendarmes deprived him of all the smuggled property and in a merciless boxing fight sent him back to communist homeland. All that was left in his hand, except for a bunch of someone's black hair, was a pendant of the Golden Calf Order. As a great fan of the Great Combinator, I felt the duty to visit Romania and force the local authorities into reparations for inhumane treatment of the Russian intellectual. The totalitarian regime of my former country (YU) hindered me brutally for many years, yet, after 26 years of democracy, a unique opportunity opened: a bus connection between Ljubljana and Bucharest was established, costing only 76 euros. A real Democrat will not miss such an opportunity! I have a slightly different opinion about democracy, so I took a more aristocratic and faster way: an airplane from Ljubljana to Bucharest.
First day out of Bucharest
The first day of the tour is always a bit stressed. You have to get used to a different environment, incomprehensible speech, unknown roads, and first kilometers on the touring bike (despite the minimalist luggage) are clumsy, quite different from training rides at home. It was true this time too, I may even say: to the second power. It rained in the morning, the main six-lane road, which led from the airport, had puddles along the bank, and traffic was raging behind me towards the center of Bucharest. The first few hours I spent riding up and down the road in search of the turn to the west towards the town of Pitesti. All side roads led me either to the highway or to a dead end in the courtyard of some industrial plant. Then the rear tire went flat. I changed the tube, but I had a feeling that something was wrong. Indeed, after an hour, the second tube punctured. Two defects in the morning, I didn't make a kilometer of planned route and I'm still spinning in circles at the beginning! Then a summer shower began! I was desperate over the situation at first, but then used the ten-seconds rule: during that time you get out of your body, look at the situation from the outside, objectively, without emotions, and you see – that it will somehow resolve. Usually it is recommended to use the ten-seconds rule in a supermarket when an unstoppable desire grabs you to buy an immersion saw on sale, which you then never use in your life, but the rule also works in more demanding circumstances. Namely, things started to improve. In one motel I spoke to the owner and decided to leave the bike, take a taxi to the center of Bucharest, buy a new tire and tubes, return, fix my bike and continue. As a bonus I got a taxi driver who spoke excellent English, and gave me instructions how to get to Pitesti - you have to ride for 10 km on the highway, which is a bypass in this section and should be opened for cyclists. In the middle of the afternoon, rain starts again, so I quickly resort to the first hotel. I made only 20 km of planned route, but it is important that I am already outside Bucharest, on less busy roads. My eyes are closing from the jat-lag, but I manage to collect the last atoms of will to patch both tubes.

A great hero in s small village of Tito
The second day was already better - probably because there was no possibility in the universe that it could be worse than yesterday. Nevertheless, after 30 km, I noticed with horror that my improvised under-seat bag including all the tools is missing! I turned back in a rather desperate attempt to find it somewhere along the road, when the rule of ten seconds saved me again: namely with the help of out-of-body elevation, I recalled that after last night's repairs, I did not put the bag under the seat, but that it is in the backpack on the rack. Calmed, I stop in the village of Tito, buy bread, salami and coffee in the local shop (here they call it "Magazin Mixt") and I have a breakfast enjoying the sunny morning. The scene in this part of Romania is peaceful, Pannonian, with houses squeezed along the only main street, where horse-drawn charts are ubiquitous, not as a tourist offer, but as a mean of daily transport. After decent 148 km I am in Curtea de Arges, which is the starting point for climbing the Carpathians over the Transfagarasan pass.
Ortodox church with a tin roof
Yes, Transfagarsan, the second goal of my journey. We have already written about the sysifical nature of cycling - I will not invent hot water again. The fact that man never learns anything has also been covered. So why ride a bicycle over a 2,000 m high pass and then go downhill again? I leave this explanation to professional psychologists, who ultimately should deserve their salary. The pass is worthy of those in the French Alps, such as Izeran, Galibier or Col de la Bonnette. From Curtea de Arges it's 80 km on the road 7C, but for a long time the road waves around 800 m, the real ascent begins from 1000 m onwards. At the top of the pass at 2050 m there is a tunnel, where I had a rather awkward accident. Before entering the tunnel, I put on the lights and rushed inside, maybe too fast. The tunnel is not lightened enough for cyclists and the transition from daylight to darkness blinded me. I turned to the left and fell on the ground. Fortunately there was no traffic behind me, otherwise it could have been very serious. On the other side of the tunnel weather changed: fog and visibility limited to 5 m, whole traffic, including cars, was crawling down the wet road   at 10 km/h. Such situation lasted up to 1500 m, where I could finally let off the brakes and caution on wet road and raced about 25 km to the town of Curtisoara in the valley on the north side of the Carpathians. On the pass, I experienced a surprising revelation. Namely, among the number of visitors, mostly motorized, I found that - I was nothing special. The golden leaflets of the egoistic mosaic, which we glue around our unique personality, suddenly fell off. Just like that, pufff, without a big bang. However, I didn't feel much disappointment with this loss, rather a relief, because I have let off a thing - and a quite large one this time- that I will no longer have to deal with.
100 % me on Transfagarasan.

Transfagarsan pass - south side

Down the pass, north side.
The main road No. 1 leads to the town of Fagaras and further to Brasov, and it luckily has a minimalist bank (in the size of a cigarette pack envelope, as the Grand Combiner would comment), so with a proper squeezing, it is still possible to ride on. The next morning is cloudy and slightly rainy. When the tail wind turns to the side, it's pretty chilly. I don't have warm clothes, I counted on summer temperatures, after all, it's July. But there is a solution even for this. Suddenly, I had a thought that I could take a break in the middle of the day, slip into a sleeping bag and wait for better times. I did just that, in the hall of some abandoned restaurant I quickly make a camp, drowse for two hours and wake up in much better weather. Another new conclusion: sudden decisions are worth of gold. In the evening I set up a tent on the pasture high above the road. For a while I struggle with rain, then, despite the wet sleeping bag, I sleep peacefully.

Church in Fagaras
I've come to the age when I have to be careful not to stress my eyes too much. That's why I read little. But this is not a handicap. I have found that today, with enormous flood and inflation of words, there is little new content and reading is mostly a waste of time, health and paper. But there was one book that I read: "The man who counted". I started to count myself too. Before leaving on this trip, I got a list of 400 words that should be the basis for understanding the foreign language.  Following this list, I learned some basic words from Romanian, but it soon turned out that 400 words were far too much. Bulgarian is so similar to Slovene that you do not need any special preparation at all. During the tour, I counted the number of words I needed for basic communication or survival. I only listed 100 words, of which more than 10% were numbers. What is the lesson of this story? This: when preparing for a trip, invest a few hours of your life and learn at least 100 basic words of a foreign language - the journey will be much more pleasant and fulfilling. I also counted how many cars overtook me on this route. It was different, in ten minutes I was overtaken by 91 cars on a very busy road down to 7 cars on a quiet mountain road. On average, there were about 35 cars in 10 minutes, bringing 15,000 cars on the whole route. The probability that the car would hit me from behind thus was 70 ppm, which is 43 times more likely than natural death in an average lifespan. But It is true that car did not kill me even in my previous 147,000 km. This is 100 times more than on this tour, which means that I was about 2 times more secure on the bike than in the rest of my life. Another proof for the statement: "ciclare necesse, non vivere".
Romanian main roads: good surface, narrow bank and a lot of traffic. 
Crossing Carpatians again: from Brasov to Buzau.
Weather improves in the morning, the road climbs over the mountains, then drops in Buzau, where I finish a little earlier because of a painful Achilles tendon. After crossing the Carpathians again, the road to the Black Sea levels as a tray, the altimeter even shows height below 0 m. In Slobozia I try to find some cheap pension, but when I ask two elderly gentlemen about it, I get a blank stare. Maybe they thought I addressed them as pensioners? This is the clumsiness of the lack of knowledge of the local language. In the end, I resign with the expensive hotel (167 levs = 38 euros). But it paid off! Firstly because of a TV show about nothingness - it definitely opened my eyes on the Big Picture. I remember seeing this show before, but only this time I understood it. The Big Picture is a story about the creation of everything. Simply put, the beginning of everything, from a hydrogen atom to such a complicated organism as the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, is caused by (due to Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty) the incredibly small supremacy of matter over antimatter in the archaic nothingness. Everything is therefore the result of an extremely small probability, and is therefore very little important, or otherwise, it is very much irrelevant. You must agree that 38 euros is a small price for such a fundamental insight! But, wait, that's not all!! This incredible price included also a fantastic buffet breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausages, range of cheeses, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, olives, watermelon, fruit cup, croissants, yogurt, coffee and juice; all this with any number of repetitions! I do not want to be ungrateful, but a bitter taste remains because the Big Picture and the Big Breakfast happed in the last fifth of my life. What did I do before that? Loose time, obviously! I therefore strongly urge that teaching about the Big Picture should be a compulsory subject in elementary school, and necessary for promotion to higher level of education.
Two things are of utmost importance for every nation: The Flag Code and The Way of Packing Hay
The concept of the Big Picture might help you to reach the blissful state of the great gurus, but it will not protect you from everyday events, such as is a puncture of a rear tire after 90 km. Heisenberg's principle allows a minimal possibility that atoms will organize by themselves and patch the tube, but, realistically, do not wait for it in our world. This is the second big message of the Big Picture: unless you are one of the now far too many of those who can survive by bluffing and blah-blah-ing, you will have to pull up the socks and do the dirty work yourself.
A lot of  holesrterol.
Stroll along the beach in Black Sea Resort.
The next day I came to the sea, the last, third goal of my journey. Motivation to visit the sea was a a bit of a stereotype: barefoot walking over deserted, sandy beaches, the waves washing off the traces of your feet, while you gaze at the water horizont into which the sun disc sinks. The idyllic performance is somewhat disturbed by a plethora of tourists, long chairs, parasols and a scent of sunscreen. I take a little walk on the sand beach, although my Achilles tendons prevent me from longer walk. It's not exactly what I planned, but I will turn a blind eye and add another mark to my "I did it" list. Later, I stop at Mangalia, where a woman holds a sign "Cazare". In Romania, this is a sign for renting private rooms. She takes me to her home and puts me in a comfortable room for 80 levs. I take a coffee and juice with Mrs. Mariana, and even communicate a bit, even though she speaks only Romanian.


Entering Bulgaria
3 August 2017
After crossing the border with Bulgaria, I again stop by the sea. This time it is a wild, rocky and uninhabited beach. Abundance of plastics, plugs, Styrofoam, ropes and shopping bags nevertheless indicated that an intelligent, technologically developed creature was here. Instead of an active stroll along the sea, I choose to stand in the water and let the waves do this relative motion instead of me. Considering that we all move around the Sun at a speed of 107,000 km/h, any walk, ride or race on our planet is a ridiculous, pathetic task of someone who is not aware of his/hers insignificance.
Wild beach in Bulgaria.
In the city of Kavarna buildings are painted with large images of famous pop-personalities. How convenient! When you take a bit longer stroll in the town bar, order a taxi, and because of too deep look into the glass you don't remember your address, it is enough to say "Jon Bon Jovi" or "Shakira" and they will safely bring you home. In the small village of Topola, I stop at the village market ("Hraniteljski trg" they say in Bulgaria), where the best thing is that the locals don't give a shit about me -  they sit at the neighboring table, involved with their problems and do not give a quid about a tourist trying to get an impression with a racing bike. As if I was invisible!  Wonderful feeling! The road towards Varna runs along the sea and past pine forests - an ideal place for camping. This was the second time that I camp and quietly spend an unproblematic night. No worries - no insomnia.

Pop blocks in Kavarna.
Westward from the Black Sea in Bulgaria. Good roads, not much traffic.
After the Black Sea resort of Golden Sands, where they obviously milk the tourists - I saw a sign for a room for more than 100 levs (50 euros) - I leave the marine scene and go to the west. The road leads through a kind of "mesetta", a slightly wavy plateau without settlements, which rises in mild undulations to 500 m in height, with wheat and sunflower fields stretching to the small hills on the horizon. The situation is appropriate for non-intensive cycling, when you have the opportunity to finalize some of the thought concepts you have recently dealt with. One such thing is the concept that I named "universe trail" and is the last one - I promise, indeed, the last one – of the messages of the Big Picture. Here it goes. The past is recorded as a trail of a four-dimensional space-time. The medium on which this trace is written is not yet known, and for this reason the player of the past of the universe is not yet available. It is unlikely that there exists ethics in nature, but caution with the quality of this trail is nevertheless appropriate. After all, a number of human concepts have arisen from this prudence, apparently different, but in essence a single idea with various wordings, such as: good, bad, fate, karma, reincarnation, god, arbiter, hell and heavens, forgiveness. It is therefore important what kind of trail you leave behind. Because it can not be cleaned afterwards! Everything is definitely and indelibly written on an unknown medium, to which only beings from the fifth dimension have access. I'm sorry, but the trail does not offer forgiveness. Therefore, make sure your trail is clean at all times. This applies to every great or small thing you do; also when you take a downhill on a bicycle: make it in an elegant way. Those who will look on your trail will then not roll their eyes.
Accross undulating hills in Bulgaria.
I have a few days to the city of Ruse at the Danube, which is a borderline between Romania and Bulgaria. The last days of this tour are marked by a heat wave. The temperature rises to 46 degrees C while driving. As long as you are on the bike and the wind cools you down a bit, it's not a problem. But when you stop, it becomes more serious. One such stop is in the town of Davnya, which is the most elusive village in Bulgaria. Wherever I look there is a sign with the name of this city. Left, right, up and down. At the next stop before Novi Pazar, I stop at a kiosk, where local gamma-males meet and try to dominate over other gamma-males. The primary sexual mark of these males seems to be a huge belly - the bigger one you have, the higher you are in the rankings. Secondary status indicators are - surprisingly - shorts and sandals. Childish simplicity in contrast with macho power! The conversation of these males is desperately unproductive, so typical of all the locals of this world. The status of the alpha male is unavailable for them, even the qualifications for beta-males are out of range. The alpha male does not need to show primacy because he has it by definition and can not be taken away by a gamma male. He could be challenged by a beta male, but there are not many of these - there is only one, and only on him must alpha male pay attention. When beta is mastered, all the gammas are under control.
Over Danube back to Romania.
From Novi Pazar to Ruse I treated myself with some Bulgarian culinary peculiarities, such as „šobska“ salad, kebabs (which is a kind of long sausage with a leopard pattern), burek and boza. Before Ruse, I found a room in a hotel with a pool (in the local language "hanče"), where a big party is being prepared. I assume it's a wedding, as some 500 people gather, everyone in white shirts, sprinkled hair and perfumed waiting in a long line at the entrance to the restaurant. In Ruse I spent the last levs for pies and coffee, and then crossed into Romania over a long bridge across the Danube. And I'm already on the highway for Bucharest, which is only 70 km away. Flat road, fairly quiet traffic and hot. While riding, it was up to 43 degrees, but in the hotel in Bucharest it was a real hell; if the elevator broke down, I would have been baked in ten minutes.


The last day in Bucharest.
8 August 2017
The last day of my last tours was marked by the whims of metaphysical forces. Let's see how it was this time! First I watched the European athletic championship on TV. It is interesting that it's relatively easy to understand sports commentators in either Romanian or Bulgarian. It's more or less just the numbers and names of the performers - if you know the words for the numbers, you practically understand everything. Then I bought yoghurt and wrapping foil at the supermarket to pack a bike. I also changed a few more euros. Then I rode across Bucharest and ate a pizza in the air-conditioned restaurant. After this, as usual, I ran out of ideas and I rode early to the airport. Before that, I took a piece of cardboard in Lidl supermarket and put it on the rear rack. Before the airport, I stop at a hotel and had a beer. From the hotel, I went to the airport and laid on the ground, because there was not a single chair in the whole terminal where a man could rest his old bones. What a disaster! The Romanian democrats have taken away the last human right: to sit on the chair freely. Chairs are available only in restaurants, where consumption is ten times more expensive than in Bucharest. I estimated that it was better to go back to the hotel, then to lie here and waist money for expensive drinks from the machines. But on the way back, when I looked at the sidewalk by the road, I noticed – WHAT? My little, yellow backpack!!! At the airport I did not even notice I lost it! The cardboard from Lidl had loosened the tension of the elastic cord and the backpack slid off the rack. And God knows what would happen if I did not return from the airport. So this is what metaphysical forces served me this time! Now I finally uncovered them: the way back from the airport was in fact the trip along my universe trail. For a short time, I was a privileged traveler from the fifth dimension!

And a little cycling summary
Dates: 25.7.2017 to 6.8.2017
Route: Bucharest – Pitesti - Curtea de Arges – Fagaras – Brasov – Buzau – Slobozia – Constanta – Varna – Topola - Novi Pazar – Ruse – Bucharest.
1347 km cycled.
12 days of cycling.
73h 34 min on the bicycle.
8125 m of ascent.
Maximum speed: 55 km/h.
Maximum gradient: 12%.
Maximum temperature: 46 deg C.
Minimum temperature: 9 deg C.
1 fall (in a tunnel).
3 punctures.
1 tire changed (on the first day).
11859 cars passed me.
2 (wild) campings.
10 nights in hotels.
169 words of Romanian used.

Per day:
Average distance: 112 km.
Longest day 150 km.
Shortest day 79 km.
5 h 45 min on the bike.
601 m of ascent.
Overall average speed: 19.3 km/h.
Spent 29 eur per day.