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Our Budget

1 308,60 EUR in total or 62,31 EUR/day for the three of us

Our Itinerary

21 days (14 August – 3 September 2022)

On the 30th day of our trip, we crossed the border to Romania. We found a lovely camping in the North. Camila, the owner greeted us with huge portions of homemade cake! She was so nice and gave us many tips about the region. Our stay in Romania seemed off to a good start.

The next day, we drove through countless little villages (Coruia, Danesti, Surdesti, Cavnic, Budesti) all the way to Sapanta where the “Merry Cemetery” is located. The colourful tombs all have naïve paintings showing scenes of the lives of the people buried there. We also visited the Sapanta-Peri Monastery, the tallest wooden church in the world – 78m and with the agreement on the nuns, we slept on the grounds.

“The Merry Cemetery”

“The tombs in Sapanta”

“The Sapanta-Peri Monastery”

The following day, we arrived in our little paradise in the Maramures region. It was a mini camping (read, we could park next to the tiny swimming pool at a small pension) in a tiny village, Cornesti. We felt at home right away thanks to Basilio and his wife, Michaela. That evening, we experienced the first huge storm of what was going to be a series of them during our stay in this country. When this happens, everybody gets alerts on their phones.

Our couple of days at this camping were blissful. We swam, played pool, relaxed. Lilia played with the owners’ 5 year old daughter all day, even though they couldn’t speak the same language. The daughter even took us to the local shop to buy ice cream. It was quite an experience.

“Our little piece of Heaven”


Unfortunately, when we wanted to leave the next day, a semblant of déjà-vu hit us…the campervan wouldn’t start and the same error message was displayed. Panic!

Not a second time in barely a month! We will never make it through the year if we break down every couple of weeks!

The insurance couldn’t even reach us because we were in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, Basilio stepped in and took Majid to buy a new battery and they changed it together. That did the trick.

We still had time to drive to Viseu de Jos because we had the old steam train booked for the next morning. We had a good night in the parking of the train station.

Next morning at 9 we were on the Mocanita, a more than 100 year old forestry steam train. It goes up the forest in the mountain every morning and brings back logs for the village. It is now also used for tourists. It goes 21 km and then comes back but it is so slow (and there are a couple of stops) that the round trip takes 5h30!! The scenery was beautiful and it was quite an experience which was all very nice apart from the fact that I had apparently eaten something bad the day before and was sick the whole way back! Again, the locals were all so friendly, handing me tissues and asking me if I was ok several times.

“Not again!”

“The Mocanita”

“The steam train in action”

The kind man at the garage who had sold us the new battery told us to come back after the train to check it was all ok, which we did. We then thought that we would just go back to Basilio’s camping as it was nearby. A few kilometres from there, we stopped at a petrol station. Suddenly, we saw a woman running up to us, waving. It was Manon. We had been speaking on Instagram a few days earlier but were miles away from each other. What a coincidence!

We started chatting and ended up going back to the camping together, where we also met another family (the Liberty Family). We had a lovely evening and all the children were happy to play together.

In the morning, Basilio showed us round the wooden church of the village. Then we all said goodbye and we started heading East, to the Bucovina region.

“Our new friend Basilio”

“Manon, Bernie et Leo”

We ended up at Vladimir’s camping. Vladimir is a very nice old man, very smart and speaks a countless number of languages. There were only 3 other groups in the camping: a couple of Italian retirees and two Romanian families. In the evening, we all had dinner together on a long canteen like table. It was a very merry experience.

The next day, another storm and another alert message on our phones. The Romanian family sleeping in the tent next to us came to offer us drinks. This is where we met Marcel, Daniela and their 16 year old son, Alex. We ended up having a lovely day with them. Luckily, Alex could speak excellent English and spent the day translating.

“Haircut with a view”

“Marcel, Daniela and Alex”

“View from the camping” (photo credit: Marcel)

After leaving the camping, we visited the Moldovita, Sucevita and Humor monasteries, three of the famous Painted Churches of Moldavita, 8 monasteries on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Moldovita Monastery”

“Moldovita Monastery”

“Moldovita Monastery”

“Sucevita Monastery”

“Sucevita Monastery”

“Sucevita Monastery”

During our time in the Bucovina region, we also visited the Cacica Salt mine. You have to walk down steep, slippy steps for 15 minutes and underground there is a chapel, a football pitch, people playing chess…It is supposed to be good for your lungs to be down there so some people come and spend all day for a week down there, only going back up every evening to sleep at their hotel.

“Going down the mine”

“An underground game of football anyone?”

We also got a nice message from Marcel and his family saying they would like to see us again before we leave the region. We met near a river at Voronet. They took us in their car to a really nice park. You had to cross a wobbly bridge to get to it which was fun and we spent a lovely day walking round, eating ice cream and chatting away. Then when we got back to our campervan at the spot by the river, the Liberty family where there. What a small world!

We had dinner with them and Lilia was happy to find her friend Soline again.

We decided to stay the next day so that Lilia and Soline could play together in the river. It was nice to have a relaxing day swimming, sorting out photos, eating pancakes and basically doing nothing.

“At the park with our friends”

“Our spot by the river”

“The Liberty Family”

After a short stop at an alpine coaster (we use our 5 year old as an excuse but we also love it), we walked round the colourful streets of Sighisoara, a really cute medieval town.

The next village was Viscri. It is so small but so authentic, we loved it!







We then spent a couple of days in Brasov. We walked around the lively streets, went on the tourist train (lol), went up the cable car (not really worth it in our opinion). We also met a lovely English family in the camping. Their car was broken down and they were waiting for it to be repaired. They are traveling for a year around Europe and Africa, it was really nice meeting them!


Our next spot was quite peculiar: at the foot of Bran castle, aka Dracula’s castle. It was an interesting visit but nothing really exceptional. I think it is all a bit hyped up really.

“Dracula’s castle”

“Dracula’s castle”

We then drove the Transfagarasan, a really windy road through the mountains. One of the highlights of Romania was seeing a bear in its natural habitat, it was really impressive.

“Our encounter with Mister Bear”
“On the way up”
“On the way down”

We slept in Sibiu to be able to visit the town the next day. But during the night it started pouring it down.

In the morning it hadn’t stopped so we though it wouldn’t be much fun to visit the town.

We decided to drive the Transalpina, a road through the highest mountain of Romania.

So we did that, which was 3 hours of windy roads under the rain but with impressive views.

We were very tired so found a spot for the night just over a bridge near a river. But the rain was getting heavier and heavier and we weren’t really super relaxed.

Anyway, we had dinner and I was just putting Lilia to bed when we got alerts on our phones warning of risks of flooding and to be prepared in case of evacuation. The river was really violent and we weren’t sure how solid that bridge was so we thought it would be best to move.

We drove 15 min to the next spot but it didn’t exist anymore.

We started driving to a third spot but when we had to turn there was a sign that said you couldn’t go through if you were over 2m70, which is our case.

So we started driving round, we were going down a really steep road and suddenly the road disappeared and there was just a gravel path. Luckily Majid slammed on the breaks otherwise we would have gone off the road and been stuck. So Majid reversed up the hill but the tyres and the engine overheated. So we had to wait again for them to cool down.

Majid managed to reverse back to the previous road, so about 1 km. All this took about an hour.

Then we decided to drive to the next village. We found another spot but it was super isolated and not really very reassuring.

I spotted a big hotel so we drove there and I asked if we could sleep on their car park. They said that there was an event the next morning early but we could go on another car park further up. But it was like an industrial place and again not reassuring. We decided to drive an hour to the next city and if we see somewhere on the way we can stop. We saw another hotel so we enter the car park. There seemed to be a party or something but we quickly left because Majid spotted someone with a gun.

In the end we arrived at the city at 3 o’clock in the morning and went to the football stadium. But with all the adrenaline we were restless. There were also cars whizzing past all night so we didn’t sleep much. I slept with Lilia in the back and Majid just slept on the couch. And all this under the pouring rain which wouldn’t stop.

So in the morning we decided it was time to leave Romania so we drove to the border and went to Sofia in Bulgaria and had an early night.

Our highlights

How kind and helpful the Romanians were with us. Special mention to Michaela and Basilio, Marcel, Dana and Alex, Vladimir, Camila
Meeting other families who are traveling long term like us: @thelibertyfamily, @familydecouvertedumonde and @kate_4564
The amazing scenery!
Relaxing Maramures and Bucovina regions
The Transfagarasan and Transalpina roads
Seeing a bear in its natural habitat

What we didn’t like so much

CRAZY drivers everywhere
We saw more dead animals on the road in these three weeks than in our whole lives
The number of stray dogs
The amount of rubbish thrown on the ground

We were definitely taken with this country. We didn’t really know what to expect but we loved it. Despite the state of the roads, the precarious way some people live in and the fact that we would not want to live here, we felt so welcome and met incredible people who would do anything to make you feel happy. We spent three amazing weeks in Romania and it has made it to the status of our favourite country so far.

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