As we didn’t quite make it to Orsova on Thursday, our day started with a long, steep climb up the hill to the west of the city. Once that was out of the way, the road into Orsova is one of the nicest roads on the whole trip – it’s basically one long, steep descent all the way through the town and down to the riverfront. Every cyclists dream.


Unfortunately, the road out of Orsova is one of the worst. It’s a high traffic main road with and endless stream of lorries and other vehicles all speeding past. There are no cycle paths and no signs (more on that in a minute) and it’s no fun. We put on our brightest clothes and our bike lights but when you’re on such roads you just have to keep pedaling and hope.

Most of the day was like this. Instead of beautiful river views and quiet villages we had loud cars, fast lorries and a endless chain of near-death experiences. So what about the EuroVelo 6? Surely it should have some minimum standards. Right? Apparently not, so I’m curious: How can non-EU Serbia has managed to provide thousands of EV6 signs (they are on every junction) together with some relatively well maintained paths, while EU member Romania can fail to put up a single sign or provided any cycle paths. None, not a single sign or 1km of dedicated pathway. If the EU provided any money for EV 6 in Romania, I’d like to know where it went.

Anyway, after grumbling our way along some fast and dangerous roads during the day, we crossed a small bridge in the afternoon and our whole world changed. We were now on a picturesque island with open plains, huge fields of sunflowers and gentle rolling roads. We stopped to buy some water and I pose for photos with a dude in a white suite (obviously some kind of village bigwig) and then crossed the road that runs out of Romania.

Proof that you don't need to look cool to be happy

Proof that you don’t need to look cool to be happy

As the route winds back and forth over the river, we had the choice of staying in Romania or going back to Serbia and then Bulgaria – which is the option we chose.

After joking with the Romanian border guard who was asking if we had any heroin or cocaine (a pleasant change from West European border officials who don’t like jokes) we arrived at the Serbian border two minutes later and interrupted the officers computer game.

10km later we were in Negotin and 15 minutes later relaxing in ‘Pension Delux’. At 109km at was another record-breaking day for me and I was ready to eat a horse.