Because it is beautiful, unknown and intriguing

Date:
08 June – 18 July 2008

Participants:
Lucyna and Igor Czajkowscy

Distance covered by bicycle:
2230 km

Why Crimea?
Because we had been told it was a beautiful place.

Why Moldova?
Because we hadn't heard anything about this country – a blank spot on the tourist map.

Why Romania?
Maybe out of curiosity? Maybe to challenge Polish stereotypes about this place?

The 2008 expedition was also to be a test for Lucyna, or her health, to be more precise. After recovering from a serious disease in 2007, she didn't know how she would react to travelling by airplanes, and how her organism would respond to daily effort in hot conditions. The test was completed successfully, and we fell in love with Moldova. Three places in Crimea (Atlesh Rocks, Balaklava, Mangup Kale) made it to our private list of the most amazing places on Earth, and we also got rid of our prejudice against the "Romanianness" of Romania.

We covered a distance of 2230 km in just under 6 weeks:
-crossing dozens of small passes in Crimea,
-facing hot winds of the Crimean steppe,
-struggling against Ukrainian drivers who were on the verge of pushing us to the ditch,
-tasting Crimean and Moldovan wines,
-visiting a Polish village in Moldova,
-cycling up to the top of two Carpathian passes (Pasul Mestecanis 1096 m and Pasul Prislop 1416 m),
-manoeuvring between Hungarian roads on which bikes were disallowed.