Transfagarasan Road, Romania

Discussion in 'Other / Global Motorcycling Videos' started by Goran Phuket, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Transfagarsan, Romania’s most spectacular and best known road is the second-highest paved road in the country after the Transalpina. It stretches 90 kilometres between the highest peaks in the country, Moldoveanu and Negoiu climbing to an altitude of 2,042 meters.

    Built mainly by military forces between 1970 to 1974, the road had a high financial and human cost. Road construction orders came direct from communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who wanted to create a strategic route across the Fagaras Mountains to ferry troops north should Romania be invaded by the Soviets. Work was carried out in an alpine climate, at an elevation of 2,000 meters using roughly 6000 tons of dynamite, and employing junior military personnel who were untrained in blasting techniques. Many workers died; official records state that only 40 soldiers lost their lives, but unofficial estimates by workers put the number in the hundreds.

    It is a winding road, dotted with steep hairpin turns, long Sweeping curves, and sharp descents. It is both an attraction and a challenge for hikers, cyclists, drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts. Due to the topography, the average speed is around 40 km/h. This road is not for the faint hearted and is a scary driving experience at certain stages. There are large sections of non barriered road with sheer drops of over a 1000 ft. Sadly, there are documented reports of motorists involved in fatal accidents, brake failure being a common cause.

    The road is usually closed from late October until late June because of snow. Depending on the weather, it may remain open until as late as November, or may close even in August when freak snow storms offen occur. Transfagarsan has more tunnels and viaducts than any other road in Romania. Near the highest point, at Balea Lake, the road passes through Balea Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in Romania at 884 asl. Along the southern section of the road, near the village of Arefu, is Poenari Castle. The castle was the residence of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Count Dracula book and hollywood blockbuster motion picture.

    The Transfagarsan was featured in a segment of the British TV show Top Gear, in the first episode of Series 14 (November 2009). Host Jeremy Clarkson famously proclaimed: "We were wrong, this is better than the Stelvio, this is the best road in the world!" Following the highway over to the other side of the Fagaras mountains there is quite spectacular lake Vidraru. When it was inaugurated in 1966, Vidraru Dam was the 5th largest in Europe and the 9th in the world. Its height is astounding, 166 meters. Highway passes over the top of the dam, which is 305 meters in length.

    Better than Stelvio Pass? You be the judge....footage of our ride over Stelvio on August 12th 2015.

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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Whoa there, that certainly looks unbelievable, but you got to ride it.
    Great stuff. I didn't know you could rev a BeeEm so high. You certainly hooked into it.
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  4. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Thank you, Goran. Spectacular, what a road. Fantastic video editing and excellent music, I really enjoyed watching that. Very, very, professional, matey.
    Looks like the Transfagarasan is a "must ride" road for European bikers. I bet you had a smile on your face all the way.... haha. The lack of trees indicates it is pretty cold a lot of year and probably very windy too. So, it would seem you picked a good time to ride it.

    It reminds me a bit of riding from Kathmandu to Lhasa, some years ago, similar bleak but stunning scenery.

    What is the music, by the way, it's really suits the dramatic scenery?.

    I think I'll have to watch that again........ and forward it to mates....
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  5. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah Ian, I had this road on my bucket list for ages, finally made it this year.

    It is fantastic route, jaw-dropping scenery and weather was good too. Transfagarasan is well known for harsh climate, sometimes snows even in August.

    The audio tune is "Pipe Choir - A Dark Blue Arc Instrumental", glad you like it. First time I heard the song was month before riding up on Transfagarasan, immediately knew I would be using this tune as video background music.

    It is an American alternative rock project from Cleveland, Ohio.
    You can download all their instrumental numbers here:

    Free Music Archive: Pipe Choir - SGONS Instrumentals
  6. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    Yep, Transfagarasan beats the Stelvio. More dramatic I reckon. Looks like on a lot of the Stelvio, you're riding between man made rock walls. On the Transfagarasan you're between mountainsides and open air.... much better. Add in more danger, road closed for weather half the year plus Vlad the Impaler... and it has to be the winner..
    Oh... and the music is far better..... hahaha..
    Cheers matey..
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