London To Bucharest Cycle Ride
Setting off at the end of April, Alex Alexandrescu and Silviu Chirila decided to set themselves a challenge: a cycle trip from London to Bucharest in aid of the FARA Foundation.
The pair, who have known each other since high school, decided to take on the challenge in May 2016, spending a year fundraising, training, and planning their incredible 3000km route. After growing up in Bucharest, both attended university in the UK- hence their chosen route from London to their home of Romania. Their fundraising page states that in the face of changing “public sentiment regarding open borders and free movement”, they knew this could be one of their last chances to tackle the adventure.
Wanting to make this journey meaningful for others too, they decided to team up with us at FARA, asking friends, family and supporters of the charity to sponsor their cycle ride. Alex and Silviu wanted to support a charity that operated in Romania, and FARA was their first choice. Recognising the importance of education as a “prerequisite to unity and agreement across Europe”, they felt the work of FARA in both education and social support in Romania aligned perfectly with their views. Their initial aim was to raise £1500, smashing that target by the end of their trip to raise over £2600. Along their journey to Bucharest the pair aimed to meet as many people as possible, updating their friends, family and donors of their adventures through their Facebook page.
Getting off to a bumpy start cycling from the Houses of Parliament to Dover, the pair crossed the channel by ferry and cycled up through Belgium to Bruges; “Belgium is at a totally different level in terms of cycling to anything we’ve seen so far. Dedicated cycle lanes, cycle roads next to all canals, and considerate drivers”. They didn’t have much time to enjoy the wide range of beers on offer in Bruges, however, as the following day they planned to cycle the huge 150km to Rotterdam. After another day of beautiful villages, picturesque windmills and friendly passers-by, the pair arrived in Rotterdam and stayed with friends overnight.
After leaving the Netherlands, Alex and Silviu spent the next ten days cycling through Germany, sightseeing in Cologne, Bonn and Frankfurt along the way. The pair highly recommend the route between Bonn and Rudesheimer, the most scenic part of their journey, to any fellow cyclists. Videoing the journey on their Go Pro, the pair continued to update their followers with videos as they entered Austria and followed the Danube through Slovakia to Budapest, before starting the final 900 kilometres to Bucharest.