|The Vaser Valley|
The Vaser Valley - with its length of some 50 kms - climbing from Viseu de Sus to the end of line near Comanu, is rather different from other valleys of the Carpathian mountains. With the exception of a few logging camps, the valley covers a vast area devoid of human population. It is accessible only by railway, along with a handful of logging roads that link key points on the line.
Starting from Viseu de Sus you will see a number of individual houses alongside a rough dirt road for a distance of approximately 8 kms. At the Novăţ Delta triangle junction the railway branches in two directions: to the right the line runs a further 7 kms into the Novat Valley; to the left the main branch continues beside the River Vaser towards Comanu, with the turning point for regular steam trains at Paltin, halfway from Cozia to Bardău.
If you continue on foot you will discover that the railway line passes through the most spectacular landscape of the whole route between Cozia, Bardău, Botizu and Făina: narrow, rock lined canyons; fast-flowing, sparkling mountain brooks; the colourful wildlife of the mixed forests; and no less than three short tunnels before Botizu station. Located above Făina station, you can visit a small church, built by Austrian settlers and dedicated to the famous Empress Elisabeth ("Sissi").
Some 5 kms beyond the camp at Făina, near Măcârlău station, the railway passes the remains of an impressively large retaining wall. At this point the Vaser River was retained by a temporary dam in order to raft the timber down to the saw mills in former times.
Each time you visit the Vaser Valley - whether as a day-trip on the forestry railway or a longer hike with tent and sleeping bag - is always an adventure. With dense, dark forests, sun-drenched mountain pastures, lonely railway stations, and bustling logging camps you will discover a fascinating and different world.