Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Beautiful Bucharest

Our expectations of Bucharest (Bucaresti) were mixed. Rick Steves says "Bucharest, Romania's capital, has little to offer". However Lonely Planet tells us to "stick around more than a day – as some visitors flee at first sight – and you start to get it. Bucharest has something going on."

So we arrived (on a Saturday as usual) with low expectations but suspected that we would like Bucharest as we have been in the country for 3 weeks now and know Romanians are nice folks with whom communication is easy as many Romanians have very good English and the Latin roots of Romanian allow us to speak some pidgin with folks who have no more English than we have Romanian.

One gets the feeling that Bucharest is a proper capital when arriving at Bucharest North (Bucaresti Nord) Station. The splendid sprawling monumental Art Deco building fits the bill for any station in any world capital. Not so for the stations in our previous stops of Tirana, Belgrade or Sarajevo.

We walked a couple of kilometers towards the Old City a took room in a small pension near Piata Romana where the owner's father, a French-speaking Russian, welcomed us with a big smile and cup of coffee. And when my high school French, which I thought was lost forever, began to jump out of my mouth, we became instant friends. ;-)

Bucharest is a great place to wander around. We did not see any of the "packs of feral dogs" mentioned by some. The architecture is varied with plenty of between-the-wars-Modern, the parks are big and green, there are too many "live" theaters to count, there are tons of restaurants, and the various neighborhoods seem to be up-and-coming and developing their own characters...We agree with LP.

Bucharest North Railway Station.
Bucaresti Nord - Bucharest, Romania

Bucaresti Nord - Bucharest, Romania

Bucaresti Nord - Bucharest, Romania

The Palace of Parliament - the 2nd largest building in the world.
Bucharest, Romania

Various shots of the city.
Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

My favorite building was this Modernist gem - TEHNOIMPORT. The small red circle marks it as unsafe during a major earthquake.
Bucharest, Romania

Or maybe this Streamline Moderne one: ArCUB - Arta Si Cultura Bucurestiului.
Bucharest, Romania

A Food Lion? No, a Mega Image which is owned by the same company that owns Food Lion. ;-)
Bucharest, Romania

Piata Romana - near our hotel.
Bucharest, Romania

The Art Deco Hotel Ambassador.
Bucharest, Romania

Many of the large buildings are obscured by banners like these on the Cinema Patria.
Bucharest, Romania

And these at United Nations Square.
Bucharest, Romania

A memorial to a person killed in the December 1989 Revolution.
Bucharest, Romania

Dinner at La Mama.
Bucharest, Romania

More Architecture.
Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

The Telephone Co. building.
Bucharest, Romania

The Art Deco former Union Hotel.
Bucharest, Romania

Renovated streets with concrete posts to prevent cars from parking on the sidewalk.
Bucharest, Romania

Sunday in the park.
Bucharest, Romania

And Sunday in the Old Town District.
Bucharest, Romania

Seen at an EU street fair.
Bucharest, Romania

Inside the Great Synagogue.
Bucharest, Romania

We saw many intrepid cyclists on the busy streets; most without helmets. Here are two with helmets.
Bucharest, Romania

Modern Corner Building.
Bucharest, Romania

Finally, dinner and a beer Babadochia.
Bucharest, Romania







2 comments:

Kathy said...

Looks interesting. Will move it up the list.

Crash Eddy said...

Blows my mind! I look at Bucharest on GM and what do I see? A damn circumferential expressway! All USA's bad ideas are copied. Bucharest looks like Raleigh's Cliff Benson Beltline, Atlanta, or Houston. At least, Bucharest doesn't have a second such like Raleigh and Houston. Atlanta lags here having only one, poor Atlanta.