A long ass weekend

28th September 2016

I left Belgrade in the direction of Ukraine. Between Serbia and Ukraine is Romania and Moldova so I had planned to also see them on the way. I had plans to see a few cities in Romania but ended up traveling about 1000km across the country.

Timisora

Getting to Timisora, Romina was super easy. I got there to find out there are no hostels or cheap hotels available. There were two alternatives; stay in an expensive hotel or go somewhere else. So sitting outside a coffee shop in the town I weighed up the options and decided to go elsewhere. A hotel costs more than a sleeper train most of the way across the country, close to the Moldova border.

Whilst I was in Timisora I made the most of the few hours there. The city center was nice to chill and have a beer. After filling up on food from a bakery I headed back to the train station to sort the situation out. Leaving Timisora to travel across Romania was annoying. I want to travel east but the sleeper train to Cluj gets in at 5am which isn’t ideal. In the end, I chose to skip most of Romania and get the 16 hour sleeper train to Iasi, a small city right by the Moldovan border.

An rusty old train at the Serbia/Romania border town of Vrsac
An rusty old train at the Serbia/Romania border town of Vrsac

The sleeper train

Timisora to Iasi is about 850km, takes 16 hours and only costs about £30 which I thought was a bargain. It wasn’t until I got onto the train that I found out why.

Previous experiences with sleeper trains have been awesome. Prague to Krakow was good sleeper train. I got to the compartment on this train only to find out the beds were triple bunks. My bed just so happened to be on the top with no space to move even for the smallest of people.

I wasn’t going to spend 16 hours sitting on a shelf. Double decker sleeper beds are fine, but a triple decker is way too cramped for anyone taller than 6 foot. As soon as the ticket bloke came round he upgraded me to the middle shelf which was margianly better. What made this train journey worse is that the train had no food cart. I made the mistake of getting on the train without any supplies, making the journey even longer.

Despite all the complaining, I managed to sleep at least 5 or 6 hours woke up almost in Iasi. The train ended up arriving less than an hour late which is good for a 16 hour train journey

Iasi food festival, Romania
Iasi food festival, Romania

Iasi

I arrived into Iasi and got to the Airbnb easy enough. The hosts were super nice and offered to show me around the city but I just wanted to chill, see the city for and go to sleep. I headed out into the city drank a load of coffee and walked about. Sleeping on a cramped train is tiring.

Iasi is a cool little city, there isn’t much there but I enjoyed walking about seeing the last of Romania. It sucks to only have seen a bit of Romania but it’s close enough to the UK that I can return again on another time. This post is boring but the whole weekend was relatively boring. I got to see some of Romania which was awesome, a country I definitely want to see again one day.

Iasi palace, Romania
Iasi palace, Romania