Travels

What to visit in Bucharest

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The truth is that reading this introduction of the Lonely Planet, if it weren't for the cheap flights achieved a few months ago, we would never have considered spending a few minutes in Bucharest. While it is true that this guide maintains that it is the traditional vision of the city, to later affirm that it is only partial and sectarian since the Romanian capital today is dynamic, vital and vibrant. Let's find out ...

We open our eyes with the first rays of light that enter through the window of our small and rustic Natural Pension (ALL THE INFORMATION HERE) from Brasov, where we fell last night. Jump from the bed, quick and quick shower we get on the road ... although we will not be able to avoid another session of "tunning" the car, again trapped in a layer of snow. Paula, are we going out?



As we leave the old area, we remember the reading we went to bed with last night, which talks about more than 6,000 black and brown bears throughout the country, of which some have been found hanging around the city's garbage containers lately, and there has even been some unpleasant incident with some clueless tourist.




The mixture of fog and snow remains the dominant landscape. It's funny, but since We landed in Otopeni on DAY 1, has not left us that gloomy fog that gives a mixture of bucolic and dark.

We go down to the capital, but Isaac has a small whim to fulfill, which is to approach Lake Snagov, in search of more stories and legends of Vlad Tepes, in addition to those described yesterday DAY 2 of the break in Bran.

The trip is very quiet, again crossing those Carpathians, those Navacerrada curves of a thousand and one revolts and the beautiful town of Sinaia that received us so well on the first day. We even allow ourselves to stop to see the roadside stands That the first day we set aside.




In just 2 hours we are already on the banks of the Snagov Lake, although it has cost us to ask a little.

INDICATIONS FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS: There are two ways to get to Snagov (referenced who goes up from Bucharest on the E60). Updated 2015

1. Now it seems that there is a bridge that leaves you on the island from Siliştea Snagovului, so neither boats nor anything. It seems to be a 1km walk from the lake

Isaac's illusion was to cross the lake and end up in a small Monastery island where the remains of Vlad Tepes are supposed to rest. A place where it is said that his body was never really found

That we meet? The most bleak of the whole trip, a kind of abandoned complex, as if it were a zombie movie, lifeless and completely silent. We got out of the car and quickly several wolf dogs surround us. They are small, but in the distance we begin to see one, another and another. Our intention was to approach the wharf desert, but for a moment we were even afraid of what those stray dogs, taken from the worst horror movie, could do.

It is said that in the summer of 1996, several tourists were able to observe a strange phenomenon. On a wonderful sunny afternoon, it began to snow suddenly in just 25 m2, precisely on the ground where the Turks killed Vlad in 1476. In the rest of the entire region, not a millimeter of snow fell. Legend or reality?



Maybe next time. Course to return the car (We have decided to add gasoline -202.14 LEI- leave it at the airport and get off by bus to get to know Bucharest -8.60 LEI both). There are two buses, one of them transfers with the train that takes you to the main station of the city, and the other, 783, takes you directly to the center (we stop at the Piata Universita).

Going down we can observe the first monument of the city, the ARCH OF TRIUMPH, built in 1935 (replica of Paris) that commemorates the reunification of Romania in 1918. It is about 27 m high.



Today we have decided to prioritize the central location of the accommodation over the economic issue and we have registered in the K + K Hotel Elisabeta (€ 85), right on the back street of Piata Universita and next to the NATIONAL THEATER. It is a modern hotel, which includes a very complete buffet breakfast and has the option of transfer to the airport the next day so… we don't waste any more time (ALL THE ACCOMMODATION INFORMATION IN THIS ARTICLE). The route we are going to do is approximately the following:

One thing that we are delighted about Romania is its traditional products stands In any corner. Here is leaving the hotel and passing by in front of the beautiful building of the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE and meet the famous cheeses, wine and others ...




But our first destination of the day could not be other (and therefore we have chosen this accommodation) than the HISTORICAL HELMET of the city, here called Barrio de Lipscani. In it you can see how a great effort is being made to revitalize it, with newly finished works, cobbled streets and architecturally exquisite buildings. It's like that its NATIONAL BANK, the multitude of churches that appear in each corner (BISERICA STUDENTILOR It is an example, Orthodox), the multitude of taverns and restaurants in the area (we see a lot of Irish again), etc ... Here also stands a statue of Vlad Tepes and the old court (visited) where he is supposed to have lived (CURTEA VECHE), just like him NACIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM. Of course, we start to tighten the stomach, so we decided to eat in one GIO a warm soup and some pasta (29.80 LEI !!!!). In addition, those who know us already know that we are not much of museums.




We keep going, leaving aside the Piata Unirii (with department stores) to overcome the Dâmbovita river that disappears under the square. It seems that it was channeled some time ago, between 1880 and 1883. It is not a river too important to comment on it, as in other European cities, besides having a rather dirty and neglected appearance.



Now we arrive at Boulevar Unirii and we begin to intuit in the background the star visit of Bucharest, the PARLIAMENT.

This colossal and monumental building was built in the 80's and represents a chapter of history difficult to digest, since it was nothing more than the whim of an egocentric Nicolae Ceausescu above a town that was starving, without industry , without medication, full of hardship and evils.


Still unfinished, it is considered the second largest building in the world (after the Pentagon) and the third largest, including an antinuclear shelter 20 meters below the building. The !! sixth part of Bucharest !! was razed for its creation. It is curious to see also a luxurious limousine in its vicinity, which contrasts with poor cars around it, symbolizing that although much remains to be changed




The Parliament allows visits (of only 5% of its stays) finishing on the terrace of approximately 45 minutes (25 LEI each and 30 LEI to take photos) and, although we have arrived on one of the last guided tours, we do not we are going to lose. At other times of the year it seems that it requires a reservation at least 1 day in advance.



Walking between spectacular pmarble splinters, with gold pieces, luxurious rooms and rooms of different uses We arrived at one of the rooms used as a theater ... simply! COLOSSAL !!


Another anecdote that we read, which denotes the magnitude of such a building, is that in the 80s, when it was illuminated, it used in just 4 hours the electricity supply of all Bucharest. Meanwhile, the Romanian people had to save in order to survive. !! No wonder with such "lamps"! Not to mention that of the Chamber of Human Rights, which weighs only 2 t.




It is said that more than 700 architects and 20,000 workers worked 24-hour shifts for 5 years, giving rise to this mamotreto. How did this man end up? Well too bad, as it was to imagine. In 1989 trying to give a speech began to raise voices against him. Shots and deaths began. The town had tired, and in the Piata Universita they faced barricades. That day more than 1000 people died before the astonished gaze of Western journalists. The next day, new demonstrations ended with Nicolae fleeing by helicopter to be captured later, judged anonymously and executed.




We finished the visit in the terrace, that although the "tourists" are deceived, nobody ever gave any speech, not the Nicopollo this, nor Michael Jackson as they try to make believe with history that one that was wrong saying "Budapest" instead of "Bucharest". Something has to sell ... Whatever, the views of the Boulevard are beautiful.


We left Parliament, with some sense of anger at the injustices that we are seeing and we continue walking through its streets, crossing the Dâmbovita river again and thinking for us, Little Paris? The country of the east? Bucharest is NOT much less as the introduction of the Lonely Planet says but it still has a long way to go, as it has done in other aspects:
- It is not much less filthy, nor full of dust, although yes careless, or without European capital care mindset
- It is not much less cold what does the guide say
- Nor do we feel overwhelmed by people (maybe in summer if with tourists in mass, but we have barely seen the entire trip)
- Dogs? Look we have seen all over the country, but today ... !!none!! By the way, we already have the answer to so much hobo dog ... another brilliant idea of ​​Nicolae Ceusescu, which will go down in history as a whole Romanian intellectual. In 1987, he undertook a program of "rural urbanization" (a project that was left unfinished) destroying more than 8,000 villages leaving homeless a very large number of dogs that today still wander around the country, increasingly mixed.
- The idea of East Paris or Little Paris was nothing more than a mirage from the beginning of S.XX when the great neoclassical constructions that the bombings of World War II and the 1989 Revolution left on the ground were born.




But neither one thing nor another, since Bucharest is a city with many good things. It has the 3 largest public transport system in Europe, corners in any street worthy of photography, especially the multitude of beautiful Orthodox churches ...



… And manicured gardens, such as CISMIGIU GARDENS in which we have just entered.




Here the pond is an ice rink in winter and trees with snow give this place a special atmosphere



The walk takes us to the PIATA REVOLUTIEI where Ceausescu delivered his last speech (and less bad). There he erects the MONUMENT IN MEMORY OF THE REBIRTH (an obelisk rather feote) and some symbolic statue.




It starts to snow again, so let's get closer to see our last cultural date of the day, the ROMANIAN ATENEO, the heart of Romanian classical music with a beautiful dome over 41 meters high and with a lot of history that we are not going to tell you, because it already arrives for today.


¿Isaac, that coffee? Valeee valeeee ... but make it a better hot chocolate (22 LEI). Said and done, on the way to the hotel to regain strength we get warm and think of ideas for the night.

Quick we agree, we will return to historic helmet that we already loved during the day ... and we are right! If by day the ancient Bucharest had a certain halo of sadness, the night has completely transformed the neighborhood. Places to eat, traditional restaurants, beautiful illuminated buildings and much, much atmosphere of people walking and looking for a place to dine.



And we have also found ours, which could not be other than the oldest brewery in all of Bucharest, the CARU CU BERE, that although it is already a tourist attraction, it is an ESSENTIAL place for any visitor to the Romanian capital because it is an experience in itself



Upon entering we see a very picturesque "belle epoque" atmosphere, with a multitude of rooms with small tables, bars for drinking, terraces, dazzling stained glass, ... Surely in another time you have to book to be able to dine here, since when we arrived almost all the tables were full although there should be a lot of movement and waiting It must not be long. We end up in a little balcony.




The letter ... !! endless !! It looked like a poster to hang at home (yes, in Romanian). All kinds of traditional foods as well as beers, wines, ... Also, inside it is very hot with what we were better than at home. Ah they make beer there.



Among other dishes, there was one that stood out above others and we saw many people passing by the tables. A "non-Segovian" piglet species accompanied by a rare garnish.


Do you dare Paula? !! Of course I dare! So we have fat for a month, hahaha. Said and done, salad, piglet, side dish, beer and coffees for 113.40 LEI (about 13.50 eu per head)



But it doesn't end there. From time to time a music of songs from very animated old movies and waitresses and waiters dressed as peasants, Romanian gypsy dances they liven up the "cotarro" even taking people out to dance.



There are more piglets for the next table. How's that piglet going? We did what we could, haha



This magical traditional place of Bucharest night made us lose the concept of time. It was almost 23'00 when we entered back through the K + K Hotel Elisabeta that lodges us

We will try to sleep something after such an intense day. Tomorrow it is time to travel back and resume the routine. Our flight with Easyjet leaves at 12'00 but we don't think we have time for much more. It is what airports have and the anticipation to travel. At least we can get a great breakfast at last, hehehe

Although in the next few days we will put the conclusions, if anyone has the possibility of finding good flights to Bucharest, do not hesitate. Not only because of the city, we believe it is for a couple of days (especially nights) but for a good getaway through southern Transylvania. While we will continue thinking about future destinations. See you tomorrow, or as they say here "Noapte buna" (good night)


Paula and Isaac from "Little Paris?", Bucharest (Romania)

EXPENSES OF THE DAY: € 85 and LEI 263.80 (approx € 62.66)

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