We may have had an indifferent summer here in the UK but in the south of Europe it has been another record breaking, very hot and dry summer. (Today, as I type, forest fires are raging through Greece and have claimed the lives of 44 people). So now, with Mark cycling through Bulgaria, as well as having to imagine how hard it must be to cycle 100 miles in a day in a country where again the Cyrillic alphabet makes signs difficult to read ( see posting on Aug 18th), we have to think of the added problem of the temperatures. This is where he was this morning....
I admitted to knowing very little about the geography of the Ukraine and Romania and I know only a very little more about Bulgaria. I know, for example, that there are mountains in the south and west of the country where I once skied and I know that there are resorts like 'Sunny Beach' along the Black Sea coast where a large contingent from last year's sixth form are bound in just a few days!
A closer look at Google reveals that Mark is cycling through the hilly, wooded terrain inland from the beaches..
Tourism places huge demands on water supplies in southern Europe (laundry, swimming pools, showers, golf courses etc) and so it is not surprising to see on the photo above that a river has been dammed to create a reservoir. It doubtless provides water to some of the resorts beside the beaches which show up clearly on the Black Sea coast.
Inland, the terrain and the views are similar to these images of the region I found on the Internet..
Originally posted on 25th August 2007
The first bit of video footage from Mark (recorded when he was in Belgium ) can now be viewed on the BBC website. Click here to link directly.
Mark should reach Istanbul tomorrow having completed 21 days of cycling and having covered 2,042 miles. That means there are just under 16,000 to go!