Romania was a white stain on my European map. Actually one of many since almost all of Eastern Europe is still pretty unknown to me. It was time to change that with a visit to Bucharest. Because what better way to discover a country than by starting with its capital. We booked ourselves into the Venis Boutique hotel which is not really in the center. Albeit it is in an area with lots of bars and restaurant within walking distance. And as an added benefit it is a two minutes walk from the airport bus number 783.
We started the city trip of Bucharest with the obligatory free walking tour. There really is no better way to get ‘the lay of the land’ so to speak. Much of the current cityscape goes back to the former president Ceausescu. He got his ideas after a second trip to North Korea. A good deal of the former old town has been razed to the ground to make way for a wide boulevard from his planned palace to the horizon. His megalomaniac tendencies show of course in the presidential palace which is like an iceberg.
This colossus has a height of 84m but also goes eight floors down. It is the heaviest building in the world and Ceausescu never saw its construction finished. After his death the Romanian people wanted to stop the project but it was actually cheaper to finish it. It now houses the Romanian parliament and it is the most expensive administrative building in the world. In one word: “Wow”. If you think now that we visited it, you guessed wrong. While we were there it was prepared for the presidency of the council of the EU, which Romania currently holds. So this is the best picture I have from the People’s Palace aka Parliament of Romania. It’s from the start of the tour and the palace is all the way in the back.
But of course this was just the starting point for the tour. There is still a bit more to see in Bucharest. Like this church which was in the way of the new boulevard and therefore found a new place in the back.
The Old Court Church was beautifully renovated while the rest of the Old Court was still under construction. You could only take a peek inside to see a bust of Vladimir the Impaler.
The Stavropoleos Monastery is from the 18th century and was so beautiful to look at.
Absolutely lovely was the covered arcade Pasajul Macca-Villacrosse. It was really nice to walk through and since it was a bit windy would have been comfortable for a coffee. We learned though that it is mostly frequented by teenagers and therefore abstained from sitting down. There were so many other places to relax after all. Yours, Pollybert