On the last day of the interminable Romanian school holidays (the school year ended way back on June 21) we this morning finally honoured Son of Bucharest Life’s ongoing wish to reclaim our Bucharest Metro Challenge record.
As you may remember, we first did the challenge (to visit every station on the Bucharest metro in as short a time as possible) back in 2010: it took us three hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds.
We held the record for less than a year: a local photographer, Cosmin Iftode, managed to do it in three hours, 20 minutes and 13 seconds in August 2011. This was impressive, not least given the fact that two new stations had opened (Jiului and Parc Bazilescu) since our original challenge.
With nobody else mad enough to do it, Cosmin’s 2011 record was – as of this morning – still the time to beat.
Alas, we can report that despite our best efforts it remains the time to beat.
We took the usual route (from Pantelimon to Berceni), but got off to a very slow start: our Pantelimon-Republica shuttle sat in the tunnel just outside Republica station for almost ten minutes. From that moment on it was always going to be difficult to set a new best time, although by the time we had made it round to the M4 we were more or less back on track. Disaster unfortunately struck again at Basarab station, however, where on the way back from Parc Bazilescu we had to wait almost 15 minutes for a train. That was more or less curtains.
Our final time today was therefore a thoroughly disappointing three hours, 31 minutes and 29 seconds: slower even than our original record (which was set on a Saturday).
Will we be having another go? Yes: but not, we imagine, for some time.