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Jassinja - Into the Woods
The drive was fantastic: beech forests were covering the gentle slopes of the hills and the sun kissed the small wooden houses, which dot the countryside. The radio played some Carphatian music with lots of trumpets, violins and deep voices. I had enough time to enjoy the scenery, as my average speed was well below 50 km/h. A red Lada was just changing the tyre beside the road, a common scene, in a European country with the worst road network I have experienced in the 21st century. I am not just talking of the backroads but also the main highways were normally built during Soviet times without any upgrade nor maintenance until today. Even if someone has experienced the main arteries of the country, it is hard to imaging the state of the minor roads connecting the remote villages of the Carphatian mountains without going there, and yes, I did. The Routa T0728 left the Tisza river on the Romanian border and degraded with every kilometer travelled north into the valley. Not that the road was good in the beginning and actually I was surprised that this road could even get worse after every village. In the meantime the potholes were outnumbering the navigable parts of the road by far. The villages here were stuck in a time-warp. People were chatting in front of their Wooden houses, working in their vegetable gardens and preparing fire wood for the hard winters. After about 50 kilometers and 2 hours traveling time the road ended at a gate and an old officer in an army uniform came to me smiling. „Guten Tag ! Wohin ?“ His German was quiet good, not unusual in this area, where German was centuries ago the main language. My answer „Mizhhiria“ forced him back to Russian and I could understand his answer, due to my former travel experience in Siberia. „Doroga ochin plochad“, „Auto sofort kaputt“. Again no surprise, when I saw the steep ascent of the track towards the forested mountains. I turned the car and try to motivate myself with the imagination that I now could experience the wonderful scenery on my way back once more.