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.

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