Here is a last little collection of photos from Romania ….

Romania has many little villages …

… and it is a pleasure riding through them … spot the stork …

… it is a long winter and we wonder if she thinks she has arrived too early … we are told some of them have to be rescued as it is still very cold.

There are plenty of spots to stop and picnic.

We often see shepherds and their flocks.

And almost always we are aware of those impressive, snowy peaked Carparthian Mountains.

We are keen to ride the Transfaragas Mountain Pass Road, famous for its switchbacks, built by dictator Ceausescu and ride up and up to meet it …

… but it is still closed, that long winter again …

… and make our way, all the way, back down again.

Here and there we see old Soviet infrastructure like this old collective farm …

… and this old abandoned factory.

In the larger towns Romanians live in apartment buildings, some run down like this …

Others are newer and better maintained, like this …

… and this …

But life in apartments is compensated for by beautiful parks that are wonderfully utilised.

And public squares are equally enjoyed by young and old.

A great place for a daily natter …

The sight of Babushkas always saddens. They were relatively well looked after in Soviet times, but not anymore.

The central squares in larger Romanian towns are beautifully renovated. This is Timisoara.

In front of this Opera building in Timisoara, the 1989 revolution for democracy in Romania began.

This is the equally beautiful renovated central square of Sibiu.

And this is a wonderfully renovated alleyway in Bucharest.

But apart from the centre squares, the rest of the cities look more like this. Large Soviet style apartment blocks and grand old dilapidated buildings side by side.

Imagine this renovation nightmare …

… and this one.

Street fare is very satisfying.

And I can confirm that Romanian red wine is exceptionally good. Fereasca Neagra, the Black Maiden.

And what a relief, the language is recognisable …

… which we cannot say for all the other countries around it. Would you like to order from this menu.

We enjoyed the Four Seasons of Vivaldi in Sibiu. A town of 150,000 people with a full orchestra.

We managed to attend a midnight Easter Mass in Brasow. The Eastern Orthodox Church works with the Julian Calendar so Easter is on 8 April, a week later than with us.

The Church survives Communism by being submissive to the Regime. The Orthodox Church is sacred to Romanians.

We also visit a Synagogue in Bucharest that commemorates Jews exterminated before and during WW2. It was cared for by 4 charming elderly Jewish ladies and gents.

Romania had 800,000 Jews before WW2 and today they only number about 7,000; most elderly.

And we got to stay in a Soviet style apartment block in Bucharest too. On the 9th floor, a unit on the right.

Our bikes are squeezed into a parking lot, overlooking two residents tending to spring tulips in a tiny garden.

Harry super chuffed that there is an elevator to cart up all our stuff …

… even although it is very tiny.

We open the steel doors to find these wooden doors …

.. these wooden doors have clips at the top that need to be opened and closed before we move up or down.

Barely enough space for Harry, what about our stuff.

There we go up, one piece at a time.

Our apartment is small and nice with a great view ….

… of the Ceausescu opulent Parliament building on the left …

… and the homes of the rest of the people of Bucharest on the right.

There, at the end of our stay, Harry reclines with our many pieces of luggage that come down by elevator one at a time.