Winter in Romania 2015 - 7: Moldovita Monastery (50 p.) is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Winter in Romania 2015 - 6: Moldovita - to the Wild Boar (50 p.)

Link to the video:

February 18 2015

After the opulent wild boar meal with some hard booze we find ourselves entering Argel village.

The crew of 764-431 was just loading more firewood, which in Moldovita was not transported on an accompanying wagon but on the loco itself. As the route is shorter and flatter than Vaser Valley not that much is needed.


Refreshment after a job done.

While shooting this image my jacket got caught on the fence - not this nail but on one of the downward-pointing "teeth" of those decorative fence-roofs. In the meantime my jacket has been mended by a savvy tailor in Vienna who used a piece of cloth from the lining to cover the spot.

At the s-curve behind the restaurant the line turned nicely into the afternoon sunlight.

We continued along frozen over Moldovita River. I found the hillsides dotted with barns above villages to be quite picturesque.

764-404R in a gap between passing cars. However, since those usually were travelling much faster you only had to wait a short while until a shot was possible. Second hand cars from Austria also passed by.

At this lovely tree we waited for both trains.

The goods train emerged from the shade.

The next creative spot was located between trees just for a small spotlight on 764-431.

With 764-404R I tested this forest perspective for a proper forest railway.

Subsequently the valley opened up with a view at this river crossing. The tracks in front came from locals, not our group.

Shadow play in the low sun.

We climbed a steep snowy slope for a panorama of this newly erected bridge on one of the few sections of line not running along a road. After flood damage a large portion of the railway had to be rebuilt, behind Argel it is not yet operational.

After both trains had passed by we were sliding down merrily in the snow.

764-404R "Hutulca" ("Hutsulca") in wonderful afternoon light.

The interior of a former ÖBB-coach.

764-404R chased us with the goods train at a distance.

View at the loco through a maze of fences and barns.

The final uphill photo spot of the day with 764-431, to the right the typical racks for drying hay.

For the goods train I dared getting on the river ice next to Georg Hocevar below a wooden bridge. You can spot the renewed riverbank, not very pretty but necessary to counter further flood damage.

We arrived at the temporary terminal Argel-Zigreva.

Loaded Dacia and one of the typical wooden gates.

The locos had to be shunted.

764-431 next to 764-404R in the last daylight at this spot.

Shunting had not been completed yet as the steamer in better condition - 764-431 "Bucovina" - was supposed to lead.

Photo stop at a lit road curve.

We engaged the "horse whisperer" of our group to hire a horse-drawn cart for some photo trot-pasts.

A heavy load was approaching in the distance.

A shipment of long logs was transported down valley.

A panoramic variation - once more the engines did not stand level at all.

Shadow of the decorated horse.

One final time.

The last logs of firewood were used.

Relaxation after a long, hard day of working on the loco.

We still had something on schedule although dusk was already setting in: a historico-cultural sight as Moldovita Monastery - the westernmost of the well-known Churches of Moldavia - could not be missed.

The UNESCO world heritage site is enclosed by castle-like fortifications. Main attraction is the 16th century central church covered in frescoes on the outer walls and inside.
More information can be found here:ța_Monastery

Iced cross and well.


Church Slavonic is used as writing also in the Romanian Orthodox Church. To the right the outer narthex (front hall) of the church.

Frescoes at the entrance.

Inside the monastery church frescoes have been conserved in restored condition with all faces of figures in tact - rare in Romania - here inside the inner narthex.

Cemetery in evening mood.

Typical of Romanian Orthodox monasteries are candle cases, one for the living, one for the dead. Obviously the latter were more in demand...

Inside the surrounding monastery building a smaller church can be found featuring more modern paintings at ground level. The iconostasis in the background.

One of the most prominent frescoes on the outer church wall depicts the siege of Constantinople. The partly century-old carved names are also interesting.

Image of Ottoman soldiers, Orthodox angel depiction to the centre right.

More interesting findings on the outer wall.

We bade the monastery farewell...

... and started our three-hour-bus-ride back to Viseu. Better cast a veil of silence over it - I simply hate riding the bus. Towards the end of the long hours it was that warm, airless and cramped, it almost deteriorated into torture. Our driver did his best and properly put the pedal to the metal, passing one village this merited a short stop by the police. Around 9 p.m. we finally reached our menu at the dining car, we already had been thoroughly missed.

Next time we will board a different kind of rustic vehicle - back on the Vaser Valley Railway! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

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