From Florence to Gura Humorului: impressions on the journey to the most remote village of Romania

Almost 30 hours from Florence to Gura Humorului. But the time is not lost and I don’t mind about it, if the important is the journey itself. From Florence to Rome, then the airplane to Bucharest. The night in the airport of the Romanian capital city is unconfortable, but to not sleep stimulates us to talk and to know each other. We departed in 5, unkonwn people, from different parts of Italy, for this experience. An European project of intercultural exchange in a foreign country, to discover new cultures and face importan themes, but also and above all to live the adventure of a travel.

binari neveThe direct train Sofia-Moscow, which we take after bus and metro, at 6.20 am from Bucharest, will bring us to Suceava, in the north of the country. Just climb on the train, in the cold of this night in mid-February, I feel absorbed in a different world. The conductor is a Russian man that more typical is impossible to find: the frozen mustache and the black busby on which the light snowflakes are settling, protect him from t cold when he overlooks from the door of the train with the whistle, to restart this convoy which crosses 4 nations, linking peoples and cultures in the east Europeo.

During 7 hours only snowy steppe, rarely interspersed by some farm and little packs of stray dogs. This part of Romania, so barren, white and cold, is dreary and magic at the same time. On this train I cannot avoid to dream to undertake, some day, the legendary crossing of Russia on the Trans-Siberian. I always had a passion for the journeys by train: unlike the other transportation, train permits to you to discover the places in a more true and deep way. It facilitates the dialogue with other people and it makes contemplatives in solitude.

The little train from Suceava to Gura Humorului travels miraculosly. Locomotive and an only wagon. More rust than iron. Deafening noise of strident metal and polar cold. To have eaten a kebab sandwich in the dirtiest place of Romania and to need urgently the toilet on this train wasn’t a wise choice.

The price of taxi is to be negotiated, some Lei more ore less. But you negotiate even the life, considering that you drive on completely frozen mountain roads without chains, on a Dacia Logan which, if it could speak, it will say Scrap me, please! I don’t want more to slide against the firs out of the road!. On the mountain top, our hotel stands, out of the world. Even if we are not exactly in Transylvania, I understand why the legend of Dracula was born in Romania.

A day and an half travelling led me to live a week of “Youth in action”, which will reveal as an unique experience. But people and places are part of experiences of true life when the travel is adventure, when to go in a place is not moving but discovery, knowledge, growth. The fastest way often makes you lose those details which give poetry to the life, of which you can understand the relevance only living every step, every round of the wheels on the binary, as unique and fundamental.

Andrea Cuminatto

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