13 hours by train in Ukraine under Russian bombs. The experience of a Romanian vlogger: “And that's what they teach us” VIDEO

One of the best-known Romanian vloggers crossed Ukraine by train and was surprised by everything he saw in the neighboring country.

Cosmin Avram visited Ukraine during the war

Romania is in last place in the European Union when it comes to the condition of the railway infrastructure, the trains and the times in which the distances are covered. In some cases, however, Romania is overtaken even by poor, corrupt and war-torn countries, as is the case with Ukraine.

The Romanian vlogger Cosmin Avram convinced himself of this. He traveled by train long distances in Ukraine, a few months ago, and noted that, although they are far from high standards, the trains of our northern neighbors are superior to those of Romania. In fact, something Cosmin noticed, in Ukraine, a country attacked and bombed daily by Russia, the trains are not delayed, although in some cases the railway network also suffered.

The clip posted on his You Tube page, 13 hours by train in wartime Ukraine – CFR: Neighbors teach us lessons!”, has collected 110,000 views, and the vlogger has 164,000 followers.

At the beginning of the clip, Cosmin prepares for a long journey to Kiev, via Liov.

“I am in front of the railway station in Chernivtsi because we are leaving for Kiev from here. The route will be very long because we decided to make a stopover in another city, Lviv. We have about six hours to go there, stay one night, and then continue our route. The station is very old, it was built in 1907. There are not many people in the station, and from what I saw there are four trains running. We do six hours and I paid 50 lei per ticket in first class. I'm really curious to see what it looks like inside. I don't think it's much considering that it's about six hours. If I were to go directly to Kiev from here, it would take around 11-12 hours, but this was the most advantageous option for me these days”he said.

Class I without socket

Boarding the train, the Romanian finds that he has no outlet, although he bought a First Class ticket. As will be seen later, the train makes up for this shortcoming in other ways.

This is what the cabin looks like. Here we have a bed, I see they are for 4 people. I said that I'm working during these six hours, that I'm editing, only that we don't have an outlet. I really didn't expect that. Class I without socket. The only outlet is here, by the bathroom, in the hallway.” he added.

If many of the trains running in Romania are dirty, things seem to be completely different in Ukraine.

“The train is clean. In 10 minutes we should be leaving and it's going to be an interesting six hours with no downtime. And I left on time, not a minute late. So far the train is very ok, a bit noisy, we have air conditioning, the only problem is that we don't have an outlet, and the lady I'm in the compartment with has 17 hours to travel, and that's under the conditions that she's not late. It goes all the way to Odessa. I'm avoiding these trains a lot now, I don't know if it's because of the current situation or it's just the way the route is. From Chernivtsi, instead of going directly to Odessa, you go around. You make a detour through Lviv, and from there another few hours to Kiev and from Kiev you go down to Odessa”he says.

He found the bathroom equally clean, which surprised him.
“Let's see the bathroom too. It's spacious, paper, soap, but honestly, it doesn't smell bad. We have ventilation everywhere. You sit on the toilet, you have ventilation. Look at the ventilation, very ingenious installation, directly outside. This is the first time I've seen this.”

He then continued: “We have air conditioning, fire alarm, light, I see hangers. Only now I understood why when the train stops at the station, the toilet is locked. I didn't realize until now. 17 hours to Odessa, do you realize? This in the conditions where we fly 13 hours to Asia. Looks like our train is about to get longer. Ten more wagons are coming. Now I understand why we do six hours. I think we've been in the station for over half an hour.

After five and a half hours, he reached a first destination. Here, heavily armed soldiers stood guard to prevent any Russian assassination or attack. “Done, I've arrived. Five and a half hours. As big as the station is, I didn't expect something like this. I will only film with my phone because in this situation, filming trains is a bit more sensitive subject. See how many people are waiting to get on the train. All these people go to Kiev, then Odessa. If until now the soldiers in Chernivtsi had no weapons, here they are armed to the teeth”he also stated.

Low prices

Cosmin stayed in a hotel near the train station, 35 euros per night with breakfast included, a significantly lower price than in Romania. Indeed, salaries are low, and poverty, as well as corruption, is high in Ukraine.

“It was as if I stayed in a castle. The price is low from my point of view, given that I made the accommodation on the spot, I didn't book in advance. I guess the demand is not that high, hence the low prices. Although the city is full, a lot of people outside.”

On leaving, he found the same bustle in the train station. “There is an indescribable crowd at the station. I think this happens because there are very few trains. People who were at the front and came back wounded, after lunch comes the rain. The station is very big and very important. Here we have a space for luggage storage. Thousands of people pass through this station every day. We leave at 15.50 for Kharkiv.”

The trains are all old but decent. “I did well to order my ticket online this time. Look at the tail. There are trains including to Kherson, to Donetsk. Let me show you the station. Here we are heading towards a platform. That's what it looks like. All the trains look old. I think that's also one of the reasons why you do so much by train. Besides the fact that the distances are long. However, we have 600 kilometers to go. We have a very long way to go.”

Free drinking water on the train

Surprisingly, there is free drinking water on the train.
“I got on the train. Looks new, looks like the other one, not much difference. It looks like we have an outlet here. We can get water from here, it's free. We can buy coffee and tea. The train goes fast, but the distance is very long, which is why we take 7 hours. The bathroom in this train is different. She is as normal as can be, she looks good. I can't work on this train either because the socket we have in the compartment doesn't work”,
he added.

In the end, he reached his destination in Kiev without any delay. A lesson for CFR, given that trains that travel long distances, for example Cluj – Bucharest, are always late.

“I arrived at the station without a bit of delay. Not even a minute late. 600 kilometers went perfectly. A lesson for CFR. Go 600 kilometers and not be a minute late. That's the idea! Now I have to look for a hotel, I said I'd do it on the train, but so far I've had no signal. Seven hours without internet. This gives detoxification.”

The station impressed him again. Instead, taxi drivers have the same gripes as many of the people at the North Station and try to take advantage of foreigners, even if their country is only surviving on foreign aid.

“Finally a big station, it looks like it should look. It's a quarter past 11 at night and the station is almost full. A lot of people. Pictures of soldiers everywhere. Look how big the train station is. I can't find a taxi to take me to the hotel. The hotel is 3 kilometers away and Uber doesn't want to take the order, and the taxi for 3 kilometers asks me 50 euros. The Uber also got me out of the mess, with 6 euros it brought me. I'm close to the center, this room cost the incredible amount of 38 euros for two nights”; concluded Cosmin Avram.