Bouncing in Bucharest (part 1)

Elly has been in Bucharest since very early on Tuesday. I flew out to meet her yesterday (Friday). My flight was due to take off at 19:00 but took off after 19:30, after a sudden gate-change from 4 to 18, because the place was at gate 17. A 3 hour 30 minute flight landed me in Bucharest Otopeni airport around 1am Romanian time. Here’s what happened since…

There was a short wait for steps to be brought to the plane, then a long and stuttery journey in a packed CoBus to the terminal. Despite there being at least 8 gates at passport control, it took about 30 minutes to be seen.

About 30 minutes of fast taxi-ride got us to central Bucharest, where we are in the Relax Comfort Suites Hotel. Here’s a cyclemeter map of that journey plus a lot more meandering because I forgot to stop it until much later that morning. Duh! There is graffiti all over Bucharest. Here’s my favourite example so far.

I rather like the local architecture, and these statues outside the `National Theatre, near the University metro station.

Much sleep later, we took the metro to Piaţa Victoriei, so we could then meander towards Casa Ceaușescu. (We were booked on a tour starting at 3pm). We had time to kill and a hankering for soya milk, and Elly had not yet had her DM-fix. So we got back on the metro and went one more stop to Aurel Vlaicu, then walked to a very posh shopping centre where we fulfilled all those desires. Caffeine-fixes were also taken on at Manufaktura. This was near George St, Bucharest’s competition to the Edinburgh original.

Our meander towards Casa Ceaușescu took us past Cimitirul Eroii Sovietici. At first, it appeared we were locked out, but a rather bored-looking attendant indicated a gate was open and that, contrary to warnings on the internet, we didn’t need a permit from the Russian embassy to come in. The central statue was a bit overblown:

Our meander was also along Lacul Floreasca: quite pretty but almost entirely deserted. Everything is forbidden there apart from riding plastic pigs.

Casa Ceaușescu was crazy-huge and full of decoration. Why do leaders of workers’ parties so often go bad?

Lunch as at an all-vegan restaurant that offered a lot of raw food. Their zucchini are to live for, as in their white bean borscht.

This took us to about 5pm. We took the Metro back to the hotel, slobbed for a while, then went in search of comestibles at Stadio. Quite a few calories later, and having tried Pălincă for the first – but not the last – time, zedding is about to happen.

Noapte bună. Somn ușor. Nu lăsați mușcăturile!


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