my favorite trenul ride in Romania

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May 17th 2009
Published: June 4th 2009
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waiting for the trainwaiting for the trainwaiting for the train

Mangalia Train Station
Sunday, May 17th...I had to create a seperate entry for this special train ride back to Bucharest because it was so great. We left Vama Veche by way of maxi taxi bus to another sea side town called Mangalia. And from Mangalia we took an hour and a half train ride back to Constanta. In Romania there are 4 different classes of trains. P-Personal, A-Accelerated, I-Intercity and R-Rapid. As you can guess, P is the slowest and cheapest, A is a little faster and the I and R trains are very nice, fast and sometimes have dining cars. Tages and I would always take a P train if we could. I liked the beat up cars and seats (it gave it character), dirty filthy toilets (ok, that was pretty nasty) and the slower pace was fine with us. Also, hostel staff had warned us to be careful on these trains because "locals" were on them. Of course, for us these trains were always perfectly safe and yes, people would ask for money and food but there's no harm in that. And so on this Sunday afternoon, we rode the P train to Constanta and I stuck my head out the window for an entire hour straight. We had the whole carriage to ourselves so I could prop myself up and look out the window the whole time. The weather was beautiful and so was the countryside. And the entertaining part was the train conductor. He choo-choo'ed his train horn at everyone from farmers in the field, to cars waiting to cross the tracks, to bicyclists on country roads, to cows and horses too close to the tracks, families on wagons carrying all of their belongings, men drinking and smoking at small tables on train platforms, suntanners on the beach and women chatting in their backyards. And the beauty of it all was that everyone waved back and smiled and looked so happy and delighted that he was honking at them, almost like it was a regular thing, like they all knew each other. I loved it, it was so sweet!

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