What is the fastest you have ever visited multiple countries in one day? Our record is now 4 countries in 6 hours. We had a long really unique trip a short time ago that led to this.
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How Do You Travel 4 Countries in 6 Hours?
Our plans were to travel from the Ukraine down to Varna on the Black Sea in Bulgaria.
However, we checked the flights and while they are only one and a half hours long they were incredibly expensive for a short flight like that.
Our flight from Kiev to Odessa was $59 each but, they wanted over $180 each for the trip to Varna so we checked alternative travel modes.
Going through Romania by train was around 20 hours and still over $100 each.
We boarded the bus and set out, little did we know that the trip would eventually take over 21 hours to complete.
Just before heading out an official from the Ukranian government boarded the bus and stressed that you were only allowed 2 packages of cigarettes when leaving the Ukraine.
We did not understand the message but before the end of the journey, we would.
The first part of the journey through the Ukraine was horrible.
We left Odessa and headed to the border with Moldova which is only about 250 KM and should take three and a half hours. They had had a really long hard winter in the Ukraine and the road had been marked with potholes everywhere and our speed was only around 15 to 20 KM per hour.
We did not arrive at the Moldova border until around midnight. The three-hour trip had turned into an eleven-hour trip.
Finally, we arrived at the border. We pulled into customs there and a guard boarded the bus and gathered up everyone’s passport. After around 20 minutes they came back on board and gave all the passports back.
The bus driver then called out between 20 and 30 names and told those passengers to get off of the bus and take all of their belonging with them. He also had them remove all of their stored luggage from under the bus. These poor guys and girls were all but strip searched by the guards who were looking for contraband cigarettes and alcohol.
Turns out the cigarettes in Ukraine are $1.50 a pack but due to taxes, they are upwards from $8.50 in both Moldova and Romania. Since both countries have socialized medicine anything that is bad for you medically is taxed as high as possible to keep you from using them.
Finally, everyone was loaded back on the bus. Once again 5 more names were called and they were taken inside for further questioning. We waited forever and after almost 3 hours we were allowed into Moldova.
The funny part, we are only in Moldova for less than two kilometers and less than 5 minutes and we pull up to the Romanian border. Again a border guard grabs all the passports, 30 minutes and they were all returned.
This time everyone on the bus had to get off with all of their belongings both inside the bus and in the luggage compartment. We all formed a single line and started getting searched by one of the two guards. Took forever.
The guard would ask “Got Any Smokies?” of course I said no and started to open my first bag and he laughed and just waved me by. Laurel was next and he just smiled at her and waved her through. Sometimes it is good to be an older American tourist.
The people who were behind us were not so lucky. They had had multiple pieces of luggage. The guard opened every one of their bags and every box, envelope or sack inside of each one.
We assumed that anyone who makes the trip a lot is looked at really hard as a possible smuggler. We lost three passengers who were detained. Then we were then allowed into Romania. The roads in Romania were great.
Around 6 AM we arrived at the border for Bulgaria. Our passports were collected and returned in around 30 minutes and we were off to Varna.
One of the strangest 6 hours of all our travels but we did do 4 countries in 6 hours.
Tip Of The Day: If you make this journey, it helps to have a lot of patience and NO CIGARETTES!!
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