Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mocanita din Viseu - Part 2

Last weekend I took a trip to the Vaser Valley to visit the mocanita train. Saturday morning at a few minutes before 8:30 we arrived to the CFF station in Viseu de Sus (the address is str. Cerbului nr. 5, for the map location see part 1). From a few hundred meters away we could already see a small steam locomotive getting ready for the trip.

Mocanita at Viseu de Sus station

While we walked that distance, it arrived to the station and coupled to the passenger cars, so by the time we got there, the CFF 764.421 "Elvetia" steam locomotive was already waiting for us, ready to take us into the valley of the river, into the land of forests and rocks.

Mocanita at Viseu de Sus station

We quickly purchased our tickets (a ticket for an adult costs 35 RON (8-9 Euro) and there are lower cost tickets for students and children). The train left at 8:30 sharp.
First we traveled through the village, close to the peoples' houses and gardens. We stopped more than once for a short brake. The little narrow gauge train's speed must have been betwen 10 and 20 km/h.

After leaving the village, we followed the river's course uphill deep into the valley. Sometimes the trees were so close to the windows that you could touch them, other times you had to pull your had inside in order not to be hit by the rocks. The river was also very close, sometimes the water was no more then half a meter away from the train tracks.

Mocanita heading up the Vaser Valley

After about two and a half hours of traveling uphill we reached our end station, Paltin, where tea, hot chocolate and other goodies wre awaiting us at a merchant's table.

Mocanita at Paltin

The line goes much further into even wilder places, but since the flood in 2008, when the water washed away large sections of track, the company does not feel that it's safe for tourists to travel further. It's a pitty because shortly after Paltin a tunnel follows and the land is said to be even more beautiful.

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