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About Stara__Varos

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  1. Stara__Varos

    Is ''Transfagarasan Highway'' the greatest ride in the word?

    will do! Same goes for u also, if u r around, give me a heads-up
  2. Stara__Varos

    Is ''Transfagarasan Highway'' the greatest ride in the word?

    Transalpina and Transbucegi, if i say it correctly Romania has a lot to offer for on/offroad roads and is my favourite destination as my country is really close! See u on the road bro!!
  3. Stara__Varos

    Is ''Transfagarasan Highway'' the greatest ride in the word?

    The «Transfagarasanul» road, as its name implies, is the highway that crosses the Fagaras Mountains - DN7C (officially called National Road 7C) and is the most famous road in Romania, perhaps Europe and well-known in the rest of the world because of the landscape variations around it. Essentially, unites Transylvania with Wallachia, but it is not only that. It is the result of the megalomania of N. Ceausescu and the road that climbs to the highest altitude in Romania, at 2042 meters near Lake Balea. The route starts from Brasov and ends at Cartisoara, crossing the European highway Sibiu - Brasov. It is 151 km long. During the winter, from November 1st to June 30th, between Negru Peak and the Balea Cascada lodge, the road closes. This road is not for those who are afraid of heights, and in some places driving can become dangerous. There are large sections of road without protective barriers or next to cliffs reaching deep up to 300 meters. Also, due to heavy snowfall, asphalt is not ideal and requires increased attention. When planning a route crossing the Transfagarasan, you should spend as much time as possible since parts of the road use various vehicles (often large trucks and caravans) and animal flocks. So with the steep rocks on the one side and cliffs on the other, probably is not an easy pass. If someone is in hurry and travels aiming "from point A to point B", it is better to use the E81 road, from Sibiu to Minicu Vilcea. I crossed the highway from north to south, starting from Cartisoara. Its a good idea to refill your motorcycle's tank here. After a light meal in the tourist restaurants and some photos, I am moving towards the foothills of the mountain, looking forward to seeing the first turns. My wishes are coming true soon and I ascend through the dense forest. I was abstracted by the landscape around me, but other riders who greet me in the opposite direction, bring me back to my course. I want to stop somewhere for a few minutes and suck in the pictures that surround me, but the weather is closing and the temperature drops considerably. Soon I get to a point with a lot of people and traffic. Small wooden shops with works of folk art, souvenirs and food attract many tourists. I meet here two motorcyclists from Poland that later our roads cross quite often. For hikers there is also a path that leads to a point with a perfect view of the Balea Cascada waterfall. Ten minutes later I am on my way again and after a series of uphill turns, I enter the central plateau, the most photographed valley of Transgararasan. I try to photograph a part of it, but I believe that no camera can capture the splendor and the impact of the landscape on the human soul. I am now at a point where the clouds seem to be formed at lower altitudes than the road I drive. At the top of the mountain is Lake Bilea (or Balea), a glacier lake that has unfortunately been covered by fog for most of the year. During my visit I find Lake Balea in such a dense and frozen fog that I barely remain, as I can not even take a picture. Perhaps better because it has so many people there that I could not make a good shot. Here there is a restaurant and rooms where you can stay, especially if the weather is bad and you do not want to continue. Prices are quite high for Romanian standards, but justified because of the remote location. I read somewhere that many tourists come during the winter season near Lake Bâlea for climbing on ice, skiing or visiting the Ice Hotel that is being built every year by ice of the lake. A thick fog also fills the 887-meter tunnel that leads to the other side, close to the fire brigade station. Driving into it the minimal visibility, darkness and my effort to leave room for the vehicles that come to the other traffic stream, make me think I travel in time. Getting out of the tunnel the weather was completely different, surprisingly warm and the atmosphere clean. From this side of the mountains of Fagaras, with the successive downhill turns, I descend to Lake VIdraru. I overtake the Cascada Capra cascade that goes directly from the homonymous glacier lake at the top of the mountain, as I avoid the very touristic spots. From this point many cyclists start their route down to the dam, taking advantage of the downhill. Near the pretty spectacular Lake Vidraru, I meet other motorcyclists from Turkey and Poland, as well as 6-7 Greeks that I noticed earlier near the top. From the dam of the lake you can choose to navigate to its right or left side to reach the town of Curtea de Arges. I choose the most established route to the dam at the bottom of the lake. The road here is even worse and I see signs for Dracula's Castle. «Hats off» to the Romanians as they manage to connect everything with the legacy of the famous Count. Perhaps this ruined castle is the closest to the myth of the bloodstained ruler. Poenari Castle. I wrote it on my list of places I will visit in the future, although I will need to climb the 1480 concrete stairs to its acropolis. From now on the road to Pitesti, where I overnight, is relatively indifferent. The monotony is interrupted by shepherds, who drive their flocks in the middle of the road, by carts and wagons. Those images of rural life carry my thoughts to similar seasons of my country's past. If you have not been persuaded so far of the presenter of a well-known four-wheel English show to ride the Transgarasan Highway, I will not be able to do it. What I can add is that this is a road that every motorcyclist will surely enjoy. Personally, I focused on driving as much as possible, concentrating on my lines, to feel as close as possible to my road and motorcycle. There were times when I felt awe and fear for the road I was in, as if I were somehow inferior and the next moment the adrenaline flood in me after a quick exit from the corner. Also the self-confidence that I am driving perhaps one of the best motorcycles ever been produced. Although asphalt is of average quality at the highest points, the view is unique. The demands of driving on continuous hairpins do not allow you to observe the nature around you, so I suggest driving both directions. Firstly, north to south for the driving experience and after the opposite direction for some stops and photos. My complaint is that I did not take a lot of photos. However this can be a good excuse to come back! I believe I have had enough time to come closer to my real self. This trip really added something to my experiences and contributed to expand a little more my personal «treasure» of memories.
  4. I had this steep alpine Romanian road for very long on my bucket list. After all i have heard or read about it, i had to check to have my own opinion. So, is it the best road to ride as well-known british auto-moto show claimed? Rate from 1 to 10.
  5. Stara__Varos

    Transfagarasan road (DN7C)

  6. Stara__Varos

    Hei, from Norway.

    Welcome! maybe we meet next year as we 're planning Nordcapp. See you on the road
  7. Stara__Varos

    Enduristan Blizzard L & Base Packs 6.5

    thanks @Bearded_vstromrider !! they look awesome
  8. Stara__Varos

    Enduristan Blizzard L & Base Packs 6.5

    Nice gear! .. can you post some photos of them on your bike? Thanks
  9. Stara__Varos

    The XLADV Store

    Why not ,next to stickers etc, add to your store some quality dry bags (2-3 sizes) with your logo on it? The ones i buy arent of the major brands, but from shops with diving/marine materials, as all last about the same time/use. I think its something we all use and is inexpensive. just saying..
  10. Stara__Varos

    2015: The Georgian Caucasus trip

    thanks bro! ...im waiting your ''Alpine passes'' report asap
  11. Stara__Varos

    Greetings from Greece,XLADV!

    @Eric Hall ?? totally
  12. Stara__Varos

    Greetings from Greece,XLADV!

    Hello @a_lone_rider ? and welcome onboard! Αν και έχω βάσιμες υποψίες οτι ήδη γνωριζόμαστε, καλώς ήρθες και πάλι! Μακάρι να βολτάρουμε και μαζί μια μέρα! ????
  13. Stara__Varos

    2015: The Georgian Caucasus trip

    April 14th, 2015 was the day we left our hometown Thessaloniki, Hellas (GR) to chase our dreams. Aiming to visit Georgia, we firstly had to cross Turkey. Day 1. Thessaloniki - Bursa (Turkey). After 680 km and 8+ hours riding, everything felt like in slow motion. Day 2. Bursa, Turkey. This day's goal was to reach Sivas, located at the eastern part of the Central Anatolia region. I red somewhere that the route of the Silk Road and the Persian Royal Road run through Sivas. For us it seemed quite hard, as we had to cover 880km of not preserved asphalt on D200 road. Anyway, daydreaming combined with few hours sleep just made it worse. Day 3. Left Sivas (Sevastea),Turkey and heading to Batumi, Georgia. When i ride i always listen to music, usually old punk and rock n roll stuff. Turning right, left, changing gears, breaking and accelerating, my mind and body is getting in the "auto" mode and everything happens like i have no control of it. I remember only thinking about that we were not born just to pay f* taxes and then die. . Remember to breathe.. Day 4. On the way from Batumi to Mestia, Georgia. The road up the Greater Caucasus mt. that leads to Mestia, offers many opportunities for some offroad on abandoned ex-soviet military roads. First impression of Mestia, a village in the heart of Caucasus in Georgia. Mestia is the administrative capital of Svaneti, at an altitude of 1400m with old buildings and typical Svan towers mixed in among drabber Soviet-era structures. Svaneti. Impossibly wild, mysterious and beautiful. An ancient land hidden in the Greater Caucasus, so remote that it has never been tamed by any ruler. Even during the soviet period it largely retained its traditional way of life. Mestia. Walking among the Svan towers. Time stands still. Day 5. Left Mestia and Svaneti region with best memories ever and a promise to return. Now we have to choose which road to take: Armenia or Azerbaijan? Day 6. We decided to stay in Georgia and go north, up to russian borders on Caucasus mountain. There is the 《Georgian Military Road》, part of the E117 road. It surely is a highlight to any trip to Georgia, and one of South Caucasus' most scenic roads, steeped in trade, wars and legends. This ancient passage across the Caucasus towards Vladikavkaz in Russia is a spectacular adventure. The road is 198km long and runs between Tbilisi (capital city of Georgia) and Vladikavkaz (in the North Ossetia region, in Russia) across the Great Caucasus Range. It follows the traditional route used by invaders and traders throughout the ages. On the way to Kazbegi, at some point there is no road, so you are free to choose: mud, gravel, rivers.. My kidney just peel off its position. Eleven (11) km north of Kazbegi and along the Tergi river, we reached the spectacular Dariali Gorge. Much of it is across the Russian border, but as we lacked of visas we were turned away by border police. At least we saw the two flags (Russian and Georgian) to wave side by side. Day 7. Views over Tbilisi. After a long day, riding under heavy rain, we rest to the fascinating old city. "Kartlis Deda" (Mother Georgia), the 20m aluminium statue that dominates the Narikala hill, holds a sword and a cup of wine. It happens to be a perfect metaphor for the Georgian character, both welcoming and proud. Tsminda Sameba is Georgia's symbol for post-soviet religious revival. Unmissable landmark by day or night. Day 8. Got to leave Tbilisi and take the road back home. We passed the area near Tsalka lakes under freezing temperatures, visited Vardzia caves and head to Batumi again. I ride my BMW r1200 gs from 2005.. this is the exact place where i had my first "hard forced landing". Thank god only thing broke was my pride. After Vardzia on our way to Batumi , is Borjomi. Back in 1829 some soldiers discovered a mineral spring here and since then Borjomi was developed as a resort until the Soviet Era. After the Soviet collapse the city was left to its own fate.. After a long rainy day on the road, we finally reached to Batumi. The city is full of futuristic buildings, parks and ferris wheel, but this Stealth Bomber-like McDonalds & gas station really got my eye. Day 9. Got to leave Batumi, exit Adjara and Georgia. This day's goal was to enter Turkey and head as far in the mainland as possible. Here is the statue of Neptune situated in the most central place and in front of Batumi Drama Theater. It is a copy of the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza del Nettuno in the town of Bologna in Italy, indicating the city's wealth and development. Day 10. Riding by the Black Sea, we spent a night in Samsun. Finally we made it to Istanbul, just before the sunset. Last day of our trip, we were happy that we would soon be home, but at the same time sad because this roadtrip almost came to its end.
  14. Stara__Varos

    2016: Balkans, Russia and Baltics.

    hey @beemer bunny , thanks for the reply! Yes, Russia is awesome, even with those totaly flat and vast areas of nothing We also want to be back, heading this time to the central and east parts. The ''-Stans'' is a dream trip for me.
  15. Stara__Varos

    2016: Balkans, Russia and Baltics.

    Thank you Eric! Thinking of posting one more about Turkey and Georgian side of mt. Caucasus