Gordon: Stray dogs are one of the dangers and annoyances described by the Lonely Planet guide for Romania. As recently as 2011, there were allegedly 100,000 stray dogs in the capital alone. More than 16,000 people reported a dog bite in Bucharest in 2012. These numbers have declined sharply since 2014, when euthanasia was legally authorized, but stray dogs remain a concern for cyclists and the population generally. There is also a risk of rabies in the country. In every community we have visited we have seen the same disturbing poster of two apparently rapid foxes fighting. There is a national campaign, aided by the EU, to vaccinate foxes, which are a natural reservoir for rabies. As a result of the possibility of rabies any dog bite leads to a trip to a medical clinic for a series of shots.
Most of the dogs that we have encountered have been chained up, or good natured. However, we have had a few unsettling encounters. One of these occurred today at a remote dwelling near the top of a pass. Two dogs ran out under a gate towards us, one of which was quite large and very frightening. I was ahead of Ruth, so after I passed they turned their attention to her. I am reluctant to dismount when confronted by an aggressive dog, but Ruth frequently does so, on the basis that it is the motion of the bicycle, and the strangeness of the cycling human, that provokes a chase. This was the action she took in this case. While I stopped some distance ahead to find a suitable stone, I heard the most ungodly noise. It was Ruth roaring to discourage the dogs. And it worked. The large aggressive dog put his tail between his legs and ran away. He was actually whimpering. Ruth was so stoked about her new found super power that it was all she could talk about for the next hour. I think she wants steak tartare for dinner.
And for Neil, a picture of a nuclear power plant, the first we have seen in more than a month. (The one we saw in Slovakia doesn’t count, as a decision was made to discontinue construction when it was only partially complete.)