5th July – Plovdiv to Craiova (Romania)

Crossing the Danube into Romania

7 Days until we arrive in Abingdon.

Today we have approximately 380 km drive to Craiova in Romania, plus we need to cross the border at Oryahovo which means a ferry across the Danube River.

We head out of town at the usual 8 am and drive onto a motorway, however at about 9:15 we are diverted off the motorway by Police. We have to drive in a huge arc around two sections of motorway before we can re-enter it.  Our diversion takes us on a windy country road through farmland and small villages.  We only stop for a quick 15 minute tea break in a national park.  The traffic is a lot heavier than usual due to the motorway being closed in both directions.  As we drive parallel to the motorway we pass the scene of a multi car, truck & bus pile up with one car on it’s roof a twisted mess, so we now know the reason we were taken off. We rejoin the motorway 2.5 hours after we left it and we discover that there are 40 vehicles involved, miraculously no one was killed, however 2 people are in a critical condition. The speed limit on the motorway is 140 kph and apparently at 6 am this morning the area was in fog and smoke from a fire so visibility was poor.

Driving in Romania we pass fields of sunflowers.

We stop for lunch near some cafes so everyone has the option to buy lunch or just a drink.

This means that we don’t arrive at the border crossing until 3 pm, much later than planned.  Leaving Bulgaria is straight forward just a matter of a stamp in our passport, we didn’t even get out of the car.  We line up for the 4 pm ferry and after the trucks are loaded all the cars are then loaded.  There appears to be a problem with a water hose and it’s closer to 5 pm before we take off.

We don’t have far to go across the river and we then pass through the Romanian border which is a quick process. It does take us quite a bit longer to pay a road tax fee of 7 Euro and a motorway etag fee of another 3 Euro and change some money.

We drive through some lovely scenery in Romania.

It’s 7 pm by the time we get to our hotel. It’s been a long hot day so we decide to eat in the hotel restaurant and listen to a saxophonist playing jazz music in air conditioned comfort.

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