It sounds lovely after months of lockdown. A sunny day at the beach on Romania’s Black Sea coast. But how do you get there?
Many tourists will go by car to the coast which is in the easternmost point of the country, but others will take the train.
Only this year, with coronavirus restrictions in place, the train trip will look a little different.
CFR Calatori which runs the country’s public passenger trains announced it will start its summer season to the Black Sea destinations on June 12, a Friday.
All passengers will have to wear a mask and respect physical distancing rules.
Some of the train journeys will be extremely long. For example, the trip from Satu Mare in far northwest Romania to Mangalia, in the southeast will take 19 hours.
CFR Calatori says it will allow families and co-workers to sit together, but otherwise there will be unoccupied seats, due to distancing rules.
It says it has 900 train carriages in daily use, 100 more than last year.
Private companies Regio Calatori, Softrans and Astra Transcarpatic will also lay on trains to the coast.
Last year, there was a high demand for tickets, but this year there will be fewer passengers on trains due to social distancing rules, and also because some people may be reluctant to take the train over fears they could catch the highly contagious virus.
Depending where travelers live, the ride will be long. From Oradea in western Romania to Manglia, it’s 17 ½ hours on the train, and it’s 15-hour train ride from the southwestern city of Timisoara to the coast.
Another drawback is the line from Constanta to Mangalia is not electrified, so the 43-kilometer journey takes at least 90 minutes.
Since May 15, it’s been compulsory to wear masks in enclosed public places such as on trains.. Hopefully the trains will have air conditioning, otherwise the journey will be very uncomfortable.