11 January 2020 | Romania
“Choo…choooo!” A huge amount of steam coming out from the locomotive. The kids are shouting in excitement and copying the sound. Then the journey through Vaser Valley in the suburb of Northern Romania, Viseu de Sus, has started.
Traveling by train is a common thing, but how about an old-fashioned steam train? It’s quite a different experience, I suppose. A lot of people including us, coming to a small town named Viseu De Sus to try it. The steam train tour offers an insight to the mountainous landscape of Romania. It’s enjoyable in any season. Make sure to check the schedule in advance though, especially in winter.
Despite the freezing temperature in January, the Viseu de Sus station is still busy. We get the second departure train ticket. We pay extra for the lunch voucher too. Our train is an hour apart from the first train. We take the opportunity of watching its departure. The snow falls quite heavy. As soon as the first train leave, we go to a small cafe to get warm.
This steam train tour is started from Viseu de Sus Station to Paltin Station. It lasts about 5 hours including an hour stop for lunch break and few stops for fueling and light snack. The route was used for transporting logs to the city, but now it is for touristic purpose only.
Posing with this old but lovely locomotive
A small Romanian flag looks contrast on the front side of the black locomotive. Behind it, there is a brown wagon full of the small logs. These logs are then burnt for the fuel. Then, six dark green wagons follow with the capacity of about 24 passengers.
There is no seat number so each passenger can sit wherever they like. The walls and seats are made of wood. A flat and thin cushion add a little bit of comfort for the seat. The heating is just a small fireplace in the middle of the wagon. All of these build a traditional and old-fashioned vibes.
The dark green wooden wagon of the steam train
The interior of the steam train
A passenger is immersed into the beautiful view outside the steam train
The train runs slowly through the Vaser Valley. This area is a part of Carpathian mountains. The view outside the window is wonderful. On the start of journey, we pass through simple wooden houses with big yards. Then, it soon changes to a dense snowy forest and a half frozen river flowing on its side. With snow falling at the same time, all of these looks so magical!
On the way to the Paltin station, the train stopped for moment. Some crews stock the logs for refueling, others prepare the snack. Meanwhile the passengers go down and take the moment for selfies with the beautiful scenery. We also get in line for our warm bread and tea.
The beautiful view of the steam train in the Vaser Valley Romania
The passenger of steam train are in the line for free snack
One of the crew is refueling the steam train
A portrait of working crew in the steam train
The train drop us for an hour at Paltin station. There, we are served with lunch. There are several menus like sausages ( mici, carnati ), grilled chicken or pork, and salad. All of these are included in the meal voucher we buy together with the ticket. But, it also can be bought on the spot.
The dining area is an open area. Soon after we finish our lunch, we gather by the fire to get warm. Some locals are dancing to the Romanian traditional music background. I am invited to join the party too. Then, the smoke rises again and the familiar whistling sound from the locomotive soars loud. That is our cue to go back to Viseu de Sus.
The overview of Paltin Station where we stop to eat lunch during the steam train tour
The smoke rises and the train is ready to go back to Viseu de Sus
EXTRA PIC: The beautiful traditional house in Viseu de Sus, Romania. We stay here during the visit. I just can't resist to post it here because I have no more post about Viseu de Sus on the blog.