planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
Subaru club Romania

planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway

Hello fellow Subaru brothers & sisters!

I am planning my dream road trip through your beautiful country. My plan is ready, having several awesome roads & views.
I would arrive through Hungary, and would enter Romania around town called “Gyula”. The exact planned route is below.

I have some questions for you local Subaru owners, as I am arriving with my newly built and checked 2006 Forester XT (with STi pieces like 6 speed manual/turbo/intercooler/conservative tune for family fun-wagon, etc.) and I would like to consider possible risks.

As I will be starting the Romanian part around 6 am at the border, my drive takes around 11-12 hours with stops, views etc. until the 1st night's location. I would arrive around 6 - 10 pm at the feet of the Transfogarasian highway.

Q1: I read it is closed during the night, do you know if that still applies? If I would be arriving late, would I just miss my hotel reservation? Are there any way to get in after it's closed?

Q2: what gas stations are recommended for ~100 octane fuel? I know it’s kind of a religious question, but what do you guys use for your STi-s and why?

Q3: I’ve seen several videos where bikers are speeding through these areas around 100 km/h where no pedestrians, carriages, any risks around IN TOWN where 50 km/h is the law. As I don’t plan to hurry (cuz little one will be at back) I would be fine keeping the limits by default, but I am afraid from such overtakes. Any recommendations otherwise than hugging the right kerb to let them pass?

Q4: Are not there any police radars / checks that keep such guys at bay? What about the serpentines through the mountains, are those checked frequently to avoid such maneuvers? How often are crashes from oncoming traffic from speeders coming into the other lane? (I know some turns do not have barriers, I am fine with that and the 90 limit up there).

Q5: Could you recommend some good & trusty services along this route if anything unexpected would happen? Like who to call (and speaks English :) )

Q6: any other general recommendations for a car guy like me? (I know… tire pressure, oil changed beforehand, brakes & transmission, diff checked & flushed, spare wheel ready & inflated, insurance payed for, etc.)

My route would be:

Gyula >
  > Castelul Corvinilor (Corvins' Castle) >
  > Transalpina 67C (wohooo #1) >
will sleep in Corbeni
  > Transfogarasian 7C (wohooo #2) >
  > Brasov >
  > Bran Castle >
will sleep around here.
  > Peleș castle >
  > Sighișoara Fortress >
will sleep around here.
  > Hotel Castel Dracula >
will sleep there. Leaving towards home through
  > Săcueni >
  > Hungary, etc.

this is it:
https://goo.gl/maps/oR4XoqddFjoCXDn69

Thank you so much for your answers in advance!

Andor
2006 Forester XT (built XTi fun-family wagon; never reaching but converging towards STi status :D )

andea79

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Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2019, 15:47:06 PM »
just avoid Transalpina & Transfagarasan during weekends (friday to sunday) because of high traffic -> 2-3 hours waiting or just crawling with 20km/h

andea79

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Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 15:52:36 PM »


weekend traffic :)

Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2019, 16:11:35 PM »
some pics from the car for motivation to answer   ;)

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1leoj9fWRimRcYHFZqptEBJPlx2PP4JQt?usp=sharing

... of course the tires got changed since I bought the car to something better for such Mountain rides:
Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5; 225/50/r17 98 Y XL  :angel:
2006 Forester XT (built XTi fun-family wagon; never reaching but converging towards STi status :D )

Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2019, 16:14:20 PM »
just avoid Transalpina & Transfagarasan during weekends (friday to sunday) because of high traffic -> 2-3 hours waiting or just crawling with 20km/h

Oh God... I knew it's crowded but this much? If plan goes OK, we would travel 7C on Monday from South to North. If I remember the curves ok, the pic is from N->S and on the "upcoming" traffic from my POV.

What do you guys think, does it worth a reschedule? We would travel Transalpina on Sunday by current plan :o
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 16:15:28 PM by hobeandor »
2006 Forester XT (built XTi fun-family wagon; never reaching but converging towards STi status :D )

MihaiFlorescu

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  • Life is too short to drive a boring car!
Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2019, 17:04:49 PM »
Hi and welcome! Nice FXT!

There are plenty of good gas stations: OMV, MOL (which you should be very familiar with), and even dare mention Rompetrol even if it has 98 octane fuel, my old WRX had the least amount of knock corrections with it.

General recommendation: get a good ready to use spare wheel. Never know when you hit a pothole. On such roads the most common issue is with coolant. So, make sure you have good radiator hoses and the preferred coolant with you as this is not something you will find at every car parts store.

Try to go through the mountains early morning to avoid traffic. Don't reschedule. Schools are starting earlier this year, so traffic should not be that bad.

Don't worry about bikes. It's not that bad and the mountain roads should be police free.

One good service we could recommend, is in Brasov. It's called Autokino.

Post here if you need help.

Have a great trip. Don't forget to pay the road tax when you enter the country.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 17:11:55 PM by MihaiFlorescu »
A redline each day keeps the mechanic away. #SaveTheManual

Fostele: 05 Impreza, 08 Outback, 01 WRX

MihaiFlorescu

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  • Life is too short to drive a boring car!
Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2019, 17:16:36 PM »
Oh, brake fluid tends to boil on those roads if not fresh and you're having some fun. Change it with something like motul rbf 660 or similar.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 17:17:11 PM by MihaiFlorescu »
A redline each day keeps the mechanic away. #SaveTheManual

Fostele: 05 Impreza, 08 Outback, 01 WRX

Forester

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  • The other right!
Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2019, 23:09:29 PM »
Welcome, and congratulations for the nice Forester you got there! That is a very nice tour you have planned!

Now:
Q1: if you are sleeping in Corbeni, you don't need to worry about Transfagarasan being closed overnight. I am not sure it is closed, about a month ago I traveled in the same direction in the evening, I have reached the top tunnel around 8:30 p.m. and it was open, of course!
Q2: I also recomend Rompetrol 98, my stock 2006 FXT works best with this one. Unfortunately, there aren't so many stations ( I would avoid those that have written "partener Rompetrol"). You can check the stations network at this link:
https://www.rompetrol.ro/personal/statii-rompetrol
Q3: Just keep your lane, drive to enjoy not to race and you will be fine. There are occasionally dickheads cutting curves, usually by car, but if you are not speeding you will be able to avoid any unpleasant event. A month ago I have met only one retarded like this.
Q4: Just stay sharp for the oncoming traffic, even try to drive defensive if you see people in a hurry. This is an unpleasant reality, Romania has a high death toll on roads, but this doesn't mean it's a jungle...
Q5: Unfortunately there aren't many such services (they aren't in the entire country, let alone nearby your route... :) ), but as Mihai already mentioned, one of the best available is in Brasov, Autokino. Some expertise you may find also in Sibiu, hopefully you won't need either of them.
Q6: You seem to be prepared, I cannot think of anything in addition.
I find Mihai's statement a bit exagerated about brake fluid, if you are not racing the roads you are just fine. I have regular brake fluid and didn't have any problems on Transfagarasan. Indeed, I was just cruising in the beginning, but when descending on the other side, because it was late, I was speeding a little and still didn't have any issues (I don;t remember exactly, I think I have ATE DOT 4 brake fluid).

In the end, I wish you good weather and to enjoy the entire trip! When exactly do you intend to have the trip? I am  from Bucharest, but starting with September 9th, I will be nearby Transfagarasan (on the north side of the mountains).
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 23:10:03 PM by Forester »
Forester SG 2.5XT 2006
Ex Forester SG 2.0x 2008

Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2019, 20:02:17 PM »
...
When exactly do you intend to have the trip? I am  from Bucharest, but starting with September 9th, I will be nearby Transfagarasan (on the north side of the mountains).

Thank you for all the answers and the nice words, it helped much!

We plan to arrive after lunch, to drive through Transalpina on September 15th Sunday.
Transfagarasan is planned for Monday, starting from south at the morning.

One more question :)
In my country, if we see such table (30 speed limit) it is valid until the next crossing. Then the "default" rule applies, 90 km/h. How is this at Romania? Like here, this 30 how long is to be kept?
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.4671005,23.6292764,3a,75y,279.59h,86.83t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1spzVEZg9Leiahf77ERiobFA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 20:09:13 PM by hobeandor »
2006 Forester XT (built XTi fun-family wagon; never reaching but converging towards STi status :D )

MihaiFlorescu

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  • Life is too short to drive a boring car!
Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2019, 20:28:20 PM »
It's the same anywhere you are in Europe with minor changes.
The end of restrictions in Ro are also accompanied by this sign:



The sign you are showing has yellow background, which means it applies only to a section of road that is under construction and another sign will tell you when that section ends.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 20:28:59 PM by MihaiFlorescu »
A redline each day keeps the mechanic away. #SaveTheManual

Fostele: 05 Impreza, 08 Outback, 01 WRX

Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2019, 21:24:51 PM »
...

The sign you are showing has yellow background, which means it applies only to a section of road that is under construction and another sign will tell you when that section ends.

Great, thank you!
I knew about the "end signal" just seen that rarely utilized.
Never seen those yellow backed signs, that was new for me, I mean that the background has such meaning :)
Cheers mate!


note for history and to google to index the search ;)
Tranfagarasian highway is not closed during the night (according to one of our booked places :) )
« Last Edit: September 02, 2019, 21:27:34 PM by hobeandor »
2006 Forester XT (built XTi fun-family wagon; never reaching but converging towards STi status :D )

MihaiFlorescu

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  • Life is too short to drive a boring car!
Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2019, 17:28:59 PM »
How was it?
A redline each day keeps the mechanic away. #SaveTheManual

Fostele: 05 Impreza, 08 Outback, 01 WRX

Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2019, 15:53:20 PM »
Hello,
I still did not finished "visual grep-ing" through all the photos we made (around 4-5000) but I can already tell that it went awesome  8)

There were no issues about traffic on Sunday at Transalpina, but there were a few cars that we overtook to be able to enjoy not the scenery but the driving itself too. Transfogarasian on Monday was silent, seen only like 1 car and 1 tourist bus that kept us up for a short time.

There were no
- flats
- issues with the car
- a single hit animal (despite the shockingly numerous loose dogs)
- police checks that would have selecting us
- vomits  >:D

There were
+ fun border guard guy who admired the car after checking the papers with sentences like "nice strong engine it has" and "If I could I would be driving a round with that"
+ 2 police checks, but neither were selecting us (seemed trivial roadside checks, only one speeding-related)
+ awesome 3 lined roundabouts in Brassov, without traffic lights. I was amazed that how well those are working
+ in general I was surprised how well you guys are driving in your home country, everyone gives the right of way according to the rules, everyone stops before pedestrian crossings, so the driving morale I was experiencing is way better than in Hungary where I was coming from.
+ seen cows, sheep, goats, cats & dogs, donkeys on and around the road, which was kinda expected as I read about such hazards, but it has it's charm when you see the still donkey eating next to the Transalpina road :)
+ awesome beautiful castles, Peles was the best for me and we surely will visit it again. The craftsmanship displayed at each castle is breathtaking, just as the surrounding scenery.
+ we bring our own food, but I tasted kefir & sana, which were different by every try :D At Hungary we have kefir & "natural" yoghurt; and they don't differ too much by the brand. While sana & kefir in Romania was very-very different by the brands I tasted.
+ we bought some exceptionally good honey from the roadside "Szekely" people, which we looked up way before our travel, but sadly we were unable to buy more because we left the area sooner than we though. Next time we will also buy cheese and mooore of this awesome forest-honey.
+ awesome twisty roads, each day I enjoyed driving occasionally more than 500k per day. We finished with 2323km at the clock home-to-home.
+ really scary dark pine forests, which we crossed unintentionally because waze though that's the fastest way around. So we tested the AWD well there, climbing on 20x30cm rocky road with a small stream coming against us in the wheel's way.

Note to self:
1./ it worth to get the new summer tire (Goodyear eagle F1 asymmetric 5) as we used all the grip we had at some turns  :angel:
2./ it worth to buy the RockBlokz mudguard set as we used it while going unpaved roads for ~50km (at road renovation) & that 20km forester-trailing

I could upload many pics, but I will try to select only a few.

To sum things up, we will definitely will be returning for similar trips, and we plan to drive shorter distances each day to see more from your beautiful country. Many times we were like: "we would need to stop here and spend 10 mins taking pics, or just sit down and enjoy the views. 5 mins later, repeat... four 150km long  ^-^

Thank you for all the advises, they helped me much!
Will upload some pics soon.
2006 Forester XT (built XTi fun-family wagon; never reaching but converging towards STi status :D )

kjz

Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2019, 16:15:09 PM »
Glad you enjoyed it! I expected you to like it, but I am very surprised to hear you think our drivers are any good  ;)
'14 FXT

Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2019, 18:44:13 PM »
Glad you enjoyed it! I expected you to like it, but I am very surprised to hear you think our drivers are any good  ;)

Yea, honestly I was also surprised because when RO plated guys are crossing HU to get the used cars to their country (just as many HU guys are doing) they are not showing this kind of etiquette. I suppose I've just seen only the bad drives outside of RO and seen the normal pattern that week. Anyways it made me happy in a good sense.

Pics are here, only a few selected with most also showing the car since this is a car-enthusiast forum  ;)
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wI3ZcReito7iDlEO3IXVHrPe048SVN_t?usp=sharing

1) YES the kid really was sleeping while we were going around 70-90 and cornering hard on the Transfogarasian
2) the milk & coke story... that is the forester road that was though waze to be "good" enough. I was telling my wife (before the road gone unpaved) that I will buy her a coffee. Now when things got worse, I was pulling out this coffee break in the middle of the forest while watching out for any bear (dead seriously). The coke bottle has the coffee  :)
2006 Forester XT (built XTi fun-family wagon; never reaching but converging towards STi status :D )

Muttley

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Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2019, 18:57:04 PM »
Thanks for sharing ;)
WRX SW 2002

MihaiFlorescu

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  • Life is too short to drive a boring car!
Re: planning the dream road trip in Transalpina & Transfoarasian highway
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2019, 23:36:12 PM »
Happy to read your feedback. Come back when it snows. You will enjoy that too.
A redline each day keeps the mechanic away. #SaveTheManual

Fostele: 05 Impreza, 08 Outback, 01 WRX