On one trip, many years ago, we met a rather pompous government official who assured us that all the roads in Romania had tarmac.

This was not true, and I could name many roads with just a mud surface. He didn’t want to know.

On another trip, a few years later, we travelled to the north of Romania. We found the most atrocious road we have ever seen. The engineer responsible explained what had happened. The roadmenders had not been paid for the work they had done, tearing up 5km of road on one side of the road only - so that traffic could continue of the other side. So what did they do? They ripped up 10km of road, on both sides, in protest. We travelled at about ten kilometres an hour for 3 hours. At the end we had a wonderful view.