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To bus or to train? 24/08/2011

Posted by allthingsro in travel.
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A word of warning – this information was correct as of 2007.

You’re planning to go to Sibiu, you tell acquaintances in Bucharest. With the bus, you explain. “What do you want to go by bus for?” they ask incredulously. “The train takes 3 hours, it’s air-conditioned. Hell, it might even have Wi-Fi.”

You arrive at Autogara Militari, and you suspect that your Bucharest acquaintances have a point. It looks like a bomb went off. Potholes, crumbling concrete, almost complete lack of signage.

Once in Sibiu, you tell your acquaintances that you’re thinking of taking the train back to Bucharest. “What do you want to take the train for?” they ask incredulously. “The bus is quick, it’s air-conditioned, and it might even have a toilet.”

When you get to the Sibiu Station, you suspect your local acquaintances have a point. Sibiu rail station looks as if a bigger bomb has just gone off – worse in fact than Autogara Militari: crumbling concrete, faded signs, potholes everywhere.

By contrast, Sibiu bus station is maintained with almost Teutonic efficiency by Atlassib. It’s well organised with electronic departure boards and a small snack shop. The whole area is hosed down daily in summer. Atlassib seem to apply the same zeal to keeping their “open gate towards Europe” clean as they do to checking tickets – be prepared for an inspection even on the 15-minute trip to Cisnadie.

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