A Travellerspoint blog

Arrival in Romania

Train journey and Bucharest


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I'm sitting up in bed in my 4-bed dorm as I type this, fresh from an extremely welcome shower and feeling absolutely knackered. There's only one other person in the dorm and they're not actually here at the moment, so it's just me. I'm too tired to go back outside now, so I'm going to get an early night and (hopefully) plenty of sleep before a busy day tomorrow looking round Bucharest.

Even after the train started moving, it remained very hot and sticky in the cabin, so in order to cool down I had to move into the corridor and stand directly next to the window. After a couple of hours I had used up most of my water and was craving a cold drink. As luck would have it, soon after that we stopped at a tiny place where there was no platform. We stopped for a while and I noticed a pump at the side of the track next to a road. Water was streaming out of it. One or two other people had clearly noticed it too, because they asked the guard if they could run over to it and fill up their water bottles... we ran over the track as quickly as possible. The water looked crystal clear so I took the chance on it being OK to drink.

There was no more drama on the rest of the journey. As well as reading my book, I looked out of the window a lot. I loved all the fields of sunflowers, both in Bulgaria and Romania.

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At Ruse, the last Bulgarian town before the Danube border crossing, border police came on board and checked passports; then in Giurgiu (the first Romanian town on the other side of the river) Romanian border police did the same. They stamped some people's passports, but not mine. There were no baggage checks.

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On arrival at Gara de Nord (the north, main train station) in Bucharest I couldn't find my way to the hostel, so I tried to get a taxi - but the driver tried to not use the meter, offering to take me to the hostel for 20 lei instead. I knew for a fact that this was wildly overpriced, so I refused to get in. I gave the hostel a ring instead and they offered to pick me up, so I accepted. Turns out a taxi should only have been about 5 lei, and it's illegal in Romania for taxis not to use the meter, so I was glad I hadn't been taken in.

I haven't seen much of the city so far of course but two things I've noticed so far that are different, apart from the language and currency of course, are firstly the sight of traffic police actually directing traffic, and secondly people walking past cars at traffic lights trying to sell trinkets.

Off to sleep now - lots of sightseeing to do tomorrow!

Posted by 3Traveller 00:15 Archived in Romania Tagged trains hostel romania bulgaria bucharest

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