Mountain area of Banat by train and the white village of Garana/Wolfsberg
This day is about exploring the Carpathians in the southern area of Banat, not by car, but by a famous historical train.
We will drive from Timisoara to Oravita, where the first train station on the current territory of Romania can be found. This town is also famous for the starting point of the mountain train that leaves from here and still functions since 1963, built especially for the transportation of coal throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The route is nicknamed the “Semmering of Banat” because of its similarity to the railway”Semmering” in Austria, built between 1845 and 1854. A parallel may be drawn, taking into consideration the technical characteristics of the two railways, the age and the mountain landscape they cross. Several viaducts, tunnels, narrow paths and spectacular views of nature take you along for a two hour long ride on a vintage train, stopping in the town of Anina.
From Anina, we will drive up to the city of Resita, where after a lunch break we will visit an open air railway museum, featuring 16 steam locomotives. The city is famous for being the main producer of such locomotives at the end of the XIXth century.
We will leave Resita behind and we’ll drive to the white village of Garana, also known as Wolfsberg. A beautiful village, isolated in a mountain range, built along the valley has attracted more and more youth in the past years. In the present, it is the host of Garana Jazz festival, organized every summer, but in the past it was a totally different community that lived here. The village’s white and green houses tell us about the German colonies that came from today’s territory of Bohemia and developed a strong community in the Carpathians. Their story is similar to other German communities in Romania, after the end of communism, most of them moving to Germany, leaving their homes empty and their villages deserted. Today, we witness a transformation of the village, turning a sad deserted village into a center for art and music.
We will spend some time learning about the history of the places and exploring the village.
In the evening we will return to Timisoara.