Hello fellow cyclists!
In two weeks we (me and Marta), both from Poland, are going to cycle from Odesa, Ukraine to Poland (Przemyśl). The draft route is smthn like this http://tinyurl.com/c2w75ch (google maps)
As you see we want to go through Moldova and Romania. We have never been in any of these places and thus would be grateful for any info that pops into your mind.
1. Is it safe? I have heard a part of Moldova still wants to join Russia and I was advised not to go there. Any experience?
2. Currency. An ATM card to take out money is enough? Or currency strongly advised? If so, are Euros sufficient or should one have dollars?
3. Availibility of food. I've read that the shops in Ukraine do not have much to offer and one needs to check the expiry dates on all products. Moldova is apparantly Europe's poorest country - how is the food there?
4. What to see on the way? Best places to camp?
All information is much appreciated!
You will find ATM in big cities only. Dollars..... Euros.... just use your card to have enough local currency before the next ATM.
The bigger the city the bigger the store, the bigger the choice but food availability is not an issue.
a few tips,
do not talk about borders, it is a sensible topic, they changed recently.... therefore Dracula is Transylvanian.
do not talk about politics, "socialism" have a different meaning there.
common sense will dress you simply and will hide your valuables.
I'm also planning to ride to Odessa this summer - from Germany and going through Kiev - and, hopefully, then take a ferry to either Georgia or Bulgaria, depending on my mood and what is available.
After a lot of research, I long ago decided not to try to ride through Moldava. It is not worth the risk of major hassle.
Romania is fine, even a bit boring now, because it is so westernized. However, I did have trouble using my, US, bank card there on this trip. You probably would be OK with a Polish bank card.
Ukraine is more challenging but also more culturally interesting - to me - than Romania. Last summer was my second time in Ukraine and my third or forth time in Romania. I only used cash in both countries, changing dollars at the border. Ukraine does not have much tourist infrastructure and that can be a problem.
I never went hungry there but my food and lodging options were often limited and far apart. It is a great country for wild camping and I felt very safe there. Check out my crazyguy pages and get back to me if you have questions.
Thank you for all the information. It is ss very useful!
Don't miss to visit Lviv. One of the most interesting places in western Ukraine.
In Romania, look out for stray dogs. In some small villages children enjoy themselves with throwing stones on passing cyclists. Be careful to show you expensive belongings in small poor villages.