Transfagarasan/Switzerland Road Trip

Talibanator

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Eckersweiler, Germany
Car(s)
RSX Type-S; 2011 Subaru WRX STI 5 Door
I am planning a road trip to the Transfagarasan in Romania and Switzerland as well (18 June - 6 July time frame) and need some assistance with the Transfagarasan, Romania, part. I've been looking for some information on the area and have been coming up short. Any assistance would be great.

My questions are:
1. When does the snow melt? I know the road is closed for a good portion of the year due to snow on the road.
2. How much traffic is usually seen on the road, and is there an off season when it is usually quiet....other than when it's closed.

Those are the biggest questions I have right now and any help would be great. If anyone has some advise for Transfagarasan I am open to them. Also, I'm looking for anyone else who might want to road trip there from the Rhineland Phalz (Baumholder) Germany area to the Transfagarasan.
 

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
1. When does the snow melt? I know the road is closed for a good portion of the year due to snow on the road.

Generally the road is fully opened some time in May-June, and it closes as soon as the snow starts settling up there (October-ish), although this varies from year to year. July-August is a sure bet for the road to be open.

2. How much traffic is usually seen on the road, and is there an off season when it is usually quiet....other than when it's closed.

I'm guessing weekdays, but generally it's not exactly a crowded piece of road. There is some traffic, but not an exaggerated amount and usually not enough to spoil your enjoyment of the road. There are other preferred alternatives for crossing the mountains, down the Olt valley or from Ploie?ti to Bra?ov, those are far more crowded with traffic. The road in question here is a scenic route. :)


However, there's one major warning I'm giving you: POTHOLES. Watch for the potholes, because there's a lot of them on the roads around here, and some of them are severe enough to easily snap suspension arms / springs if you hit them the wrong way. Try keeping to the major roads and you'll avoid them (generally), but the Transf?g?r??an is a 2-lane road at its ends which passes through villages, so expect bumps, dust, potholes and everything. Once you go higher into the mountains, the road is generally good. I can also advise you on the route you have to take once you enter the country, if you're interested.



EDIT: Press release from the autumn of last year says that the road will be reopened on June 30th.
 
Last edited:

Talibanator

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Eckersweiler, Germany
Car(s)
RSX Type-S; 2011 Subaru WRX STI 5 Door
I can also advise you on the route you have to take once you enter the country, if you're interested.

Yeah, any information I can get would be great; routes, roads to avoid, dangers, dealings with police/speed traps and other sights would be great too! Are you from Romania?
 

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
Yup, I'm listing my location like I am doing because I feel it fits with our current situation. Will edit with a good route in a minute.



EDIT: Okay, here goes. First of all, coming from Switzerland through Austria/Slovenia and Hungary, you'll have two main points where you can enter the country, both of them close to major cities. It's probably the same distance from Budapest, let's say, to your goal both ways, but the one I'll be recommending you also has another mountain pass.

You'll leave Hungary at ?rt?nd and enter Romania at Bor?, which is about 15 km from Oradea (one of the country's major cities). Head through the city and follow all indications which lead you to the road to Cluj-Napoca (where I currently live). It's about 170 km from the border to Cluj-Napoca, and there's about 20 km up in the mountains. Before Cluj-Napoca, at Gil?u, there's a stretch of motorway heading off to the right, if you want to abbreviate your journey slightly it's very useful. However, it's only about 40 km, and you'll come off it south of Turda and exactly on the road you need to take. Turn right off the motorway (watch out not to turn too far to the right, as you'll be heading on a county road into the Apuseni mountains) and continue to head south towards Alba-Iulia. You'll have a choice there of going via the ring-road (I wouldn't recommend it inthe state I last saw it) or through the city itself.

Head south to Sebe?, and you'll have to turn left somewhere in that city and head towards Sibiu; that intersection is where the two possible main paths rejoin, in fact. After Sibiu, you'll have to head for a few km on the road to Bra?ov, and don't turn onto the road onto the Olt valley, it's out of the way, it doesn't concern you, and is also littered with speed traps and falling rocks. At one point, there will be an indicator telling you that the Transf?g?r??an is to the right... and you'll have to turn right there. It's about 10 km through fields and villages, but then you hit the mountains and the fun begins. :p



Speed traps on the path I gave you? Not really sure, because the police either use mobile radars mounted in patrolling cars or move the stationary cars with radars in them from village to village. Take note of the speed limit, but take notice also of the fact that if you stray over the speed limit by less than 10kph, you'll get away with it. Try and keep to the speed limits, because traffic policemen are very unpredictable: some can be very friendly, some very pissed off and looking to nail you at any opportunity, especially if they see foreign number plates.


Sights? The main cities on the way, especially Cluj-Napoca, Alba-Iulia and Sibiu (which was even declared European Capital of Culture for a year recently). There's quite a lot to see close to the road I gave you, I don't have time to list absolutely everything right now.
 
Last edited:

Talibanator

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Eckersweiler, Germany
Car(s)
RSX Type-S; 2011 Subaru WRX STI 5 Door
Beefy! Thanks for the info! I do have some questions about Romania if you don't mind. I speak zero Romanian but I can fumble my way around with a pocket phrase book. How much English, if any, is used in the area of Transf?g?r??an? And you don't use the Euro, correct?
 

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
We don't use the Euro.

You should be lucky to find someone who speaks English, or maybe even German, if you ask someone younger for directions. Especially in the Sibiu area the odds of finding a German-speaker are pretty good.
 

Talibanator

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Eckersweiler, Germany
Car(s)
RSX Type-S; 2011 Subaru WRX STI 5 Door
So English is not very common, but I should be able to find some German. I can do that. Thanks again for the information. I really appreciate the help!
 

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
So English is not very common, but I should be able to find some German. I can do that. Thanks again for the information. I really appreciate the help!

It's not a matter of not being very common, if you ask someone in a city something in English you should normally get a reply. The issue is exactly in the Transf?g?r??an area, it's extremely rural and villagers normally only speak Romanian.
 

Cowboy

My name is Sheridan
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
9,827
It's not a matter of not being very common, if you ask someone in a city something in English you should normally get a reply. The issue is exactly in the Transf?g?r??an area, it's extremely rural and villagers normally only speak Romanian.

Gypsies? :p






*ducks*
 

Talibanator

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Eckersweiler, Germany
Car(s)
RSX Type-S; 2011 Subaru WRX STI 5 Door
But they're recognizable, and they're to avoid for any foreigner. :)

Being the American, I'll have to ask. Why do I avoid Gypsies?

Somehow I think I just walked into a firestorm on that one...
 

Ice_warmer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,740
Location
eastern ieurope
The transfagarsan opens 1st of July this year. The road leading to it isn't very good, there is no highway, expect it to be crowded. I'd say reserve a full day for the road from the border to the Transfagarsan. If you want enthusiastical driving, learn the road by day, and floor it by night.
 

Talibanator

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Eckersweiler, Germany
Car(s)
RSX Type-S; 2011 Subaru WRX STI 5 Door
Thanks. Where did you find out the date it opens? All I could find was a general time frame?
 

maxtortheone

Chicken Fiddler
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
11,890
Location
Bucharest, Romania
Car(s)
2006 Renault Clio 1.4 16V
It's great that you want to visit our country. There's also something you shouldn't forget about: the road tax when you enter the country. I'd also advise to stay within the speed limit on our roads because you wouldn't want to face the police, especially as a foreigner.

The Transfagarasan is "open" even now, the physical barriers at the beginning and end aren't in use any more. The main barriers until June, when it opens, are the snow and the tunnel in the middle of the road, which is closed.
 
Last edited:

Talibanator

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Eckersweiler, Germany
Car(s)
RSX Type-S; 2011 Subaru WRX STI 5 Door
the road tax when you enter the country. I'd also advise to stay within the speed limit on our roads because you wouldn't want to face the police, especially as a foreigner.

How much is the road tax? And how are the police towards foreigners?
 

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
7 Euro for 30 days.


And I mentioned it earlier, watch your steps and the speed limits on the road, some traffic policemen are likely to pull you over and try and humiliate you for a very minor thing just because you've got foreign registration plates.
 

Talibanator

Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
21
Location
Eckersweiler, Germany
Car(s)
RSX Type-S; 2011 Subaru WRX STI 5 Door
some traffic policemen are likely to pull you over and try and humiliate you for a very minor thing just because you've got foreign registration plates.

I can deal with humiliation. Just don't touch my wallet..or arrest me. :p
 

Cowboy

My name is Sheridan
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
9,827
Also, when meeting any eastern European people ,cops in particular ,always throw some Borat quotes into the conversation and make sure to include the accent :p they will love you for it :p
 
Top