After a fascinating last-minute night train experience from Vienna to Alba Iulia, the trip from Deva aimed to be a more relaxing affair. The aforementioned trip involved sitting in 2nd class on an overcrowded train for the whole night. The aim of this one was to sleep and travel in somewhat comfort. The comfort levels of the Cluj to Constanta train journey earlier in the summer would be ideal.
Determined not to end up sleep deprived before returning to the Austrian capital, we booked a sleeper at the first opportunity. This involved popping into Brasov train station to the international kiosk and arranging a 2 person sleeper.
As we were travelling with the dog, the only dog-friendly way to sleep on the train is to book the whole room. The staff at the railway station in Brasov were helpful and found us an available two-person room.
While at the station we needed to also buy a new pass to get back to England, the days on our outgoing pass would expire in Bratislava. After some confusion and a TIR Moment (This is Romania) of the office having no passes, all was sorted to collect before we travel.
We chose to travel from Brasov to Deva as a separate trip, to ensure the dog was on the trains as little as possible. This involved an overnight stop here and a chance to explore the city and visit the stunning Corvin Castle.
We had prearranged with our host in Deva that we would leave our backpacks in the room and collect just before we headed to the railway station for the next step of our journey.
Deva Train Station
The walk to the station was downhill all the way, great when loaded with a rucksack and a lively dog. On arrival at the station, we tried to figure out the platform required but the staff seemed pretty clueless.
We got chatting with a couple heading towards Germany on the same train so we could figure it out together. The train in true Transylvania style was running late and was my turn to need the toilet. The nice people showed me where it was and I was taken aback and transported to an alternative reality. I was now Euan McGreggor in the movie Trainspotting. The only thing to change was the sign should have said Romania’s worst toilet.
After braving the train stations WC, I cracked open the hip flask for a Tuica shot and persevered waiting for the late train. Eventually, those waiting moved behind a train pulled up as our night train was arriving imminently. The gap where we were standing was not very wide so gripped the puppy and hoped for the best.
The train comes hurtling into the station and this is a pretty scary moment. There was not much room between the train tracks and felt very close to the incoming train.
The Deva-Vienna Night Train
The night-train to Vienna passes through a few major towns and cities in Romania, starting off at the capital, Bucharest. Brasov & Alba Iulia are also pickup points on this journey through Transylvania.
After securing a dog-friendly sleeper for 2 people we hoped for just a bed and privacy on this trip. The hope was to have a full day in Vienna with some form of energy levels, I was also hoping it was not raining,
After locating the correct carriage after a figuring out the tiny carriage numbers we boarded the train. Finding the room was pretty easy and on entry was suitably impressed.
The room was clean, beds were made with crisp white sheets and the room was rather cosy. Tradition meant that the hip flask comes out and a Tuica was chugged for the road.
The facilities included a tiny space to put the dog’s bed underneath coat hangers, a shelf to park the bags when done and the room had heating.
There was a bathroom as expected by had an inbuilt shower, this was fantastic I love to feel human and wasn’t looking forward to awaiting check-in at Hotel Odeon at 2 pm for a shower.
The bathroom come with complimentary CFR Calatori toiletries and a bottle of mineral water for teeth cleaning. The shower was hot and very nice, the bathroom was like a wet room and everything did get wet. I recommend leaving the towels outside while taking the shower on the train.
Leaving Deva was painless we had refreshments and settled into the quiet room with ease. Nightcaps were had and the alarm was set for the time we were due to arrive at the Romania side of the border for passport checks.
The train stopped in Curtici for the Romanian officials to do their business and check passports. This run smoothly, once checked took the dog for a late potty walk on the platform. There were many people out having a cigarette and he found a post and did his business. He did some international relations and made friends with anyone that spoke to him.
The train then did the short trip across the border to enter Hungary at Lökösháza for much of the same. Passports were checked but the border officials were not so keen on letting people off for some fresh air. One official took pity on the dog and pointed him to a post and sad not to venture further than that.
Now for the sleep across Hungary, melatonin supplement washed down with the last can of Ursus, I was asleep as soon as head hit the pillow.
I woke to hear the sound of a very fast train and noisy rails at the train was approaching Budapest. This kept me awake for a while bit was sleeping again when the train stopped in Budapest.
The final leg was sleep until we got the knock at the door for the 30-minute warning of arrival in Wien Hauptbahnhof. I jumped straight in the shower to freshen up, opened the can of Pepsi Max as a coffee replacement and got ready.
Bags were packed despite the puppy wanting his bed and toys back and causing mayhem. The train slowed and we had arrived back in Vienna. The first job of the day was to get outside to let the dog turn around and empty himself.
Next was to navigate the underground back to the Hotel Odeon to drop the bags off before having a day out in the city.
Interrail & Travel Resources
Resources that we found useful for this journey included the Interrail Planner App to make decisions although not useful in making dog-friendly reservations.
The CFR website was very handy in terms of discovering how late the train is running. The site also estimated the times that the train was due to arrive in the two border crossings. This enabled us to nap and be awake when passports needed to be shown.
Old faithful Google Maps get us to and from stations with ease, as well as monitoring progress is waking through the night.