In my previous place of residence, I house shared with a couple of guys from Romania and I sat and chatted with them about what the country was like. I was intrigued and decided that I wanted to go to Bucharest. I booked my tickets for November 2017 and it turned out I wasn’t able to go due to BA changing the flight times. It would have meant I would need an extra day off work and I had no annual leave left. I had to cancel it but I was determined to get to Bucharest.
Fast forward to April 2019 and I got to realise going to Bucharest. I managed to convince the young un to come along with me. I don’t think he was overly impressed or keen on the early morning start we were going to have to do. Our flight was at 08:20 and I live about 90 minutes from the airport.
I set an alarm (which I thought was for the same time we left Peterborough for our trip to Lviv) and it turns out I set it an hour later than it should have been. I commented on the drive that we didn’t have as much traffic when we went to Lviv. I then checked my calendar (because I schedule EVERYTHING – much to the chagrin of Jason. Haha) and realised we left an hour earlier. Still, we made it in time and also had time enough to eat breakfast. We were still upset that BK was closed! Grrr. We were looking forward to that.
The take off from Stansted was way better this time round, but the landing in Bucharest was awful. It was so windy and the plane was rocking for most of the descent. I wasn’t overly keen on it but Jason found it somewhat amusing that I was so scared. I know… rude much!
We landed and managed to find a kiosk to book a taxi. I wasn’t really feeling the whole public transport thing. We tried for about 15 minutes before we were able to book one. We saved about 45 minutes doing it this way. I would highly recommend doing it this way. Though… the drivers are mad crazy there. No lane discipline. Horns galore. Roads are crazy. Several times I thought our number was up in the taxi.
We made it to the hostel safe and sound. However, the hostel was somewhat of a hippy paradise. I take no responsibility for this one as I let Jason choose. It wasn’t a bad choice and it was close to the tram. I just wasn’t a fan of the new age, hippy vibe it was giving off. We even were asked to take off our shoes and use the house slippers. No thanks. We just wore socks indoors – thankfully not a lot of time was spent indoors!
The first day we were here consisted of getting settled and somewhat unpacked and then finding food. I had to change into shorts as it was nice and warm. It must have been warm as Jason even wore shorts and didn’t whine and moan (ok, maybe a bit strong of a phrase to use but sorry not sorry) about it being cold. Haha. I think he did it so he could try and entice a tan!
We found the tram stop quite easy and went to Unirii Square to have a bit of a look around. When we got off the tram and crossed the road, I noticed the Palace of the Parliament in the distance. So surreal to be here after seeing it in pictures. We had a wander around and decided we wanted food and we chose pizza. I borrowed the young uns phone to have a look and started walking – only to realise I was walking in the wrong direction. He corrected us and we didn’t even realise but we were sitting not far from a pizza joint. It was not good though. She said her English was good and we asked for no olives on the pizza but they came on the pizza regardless – after we said it wasn’t good she realised she forgot to say no olives. I had McDonald’s for that meal.
After we were done we had another wander and then headed back to the hostel. Jason chilled and I went for a wander. I found a church and had a look round the grounds. I went to go in to look but there was a service going on. I decided to head to Unirii square and walk around there. After I was done with that, I got the tram and just travelled on there until I found something I wanted to check out. I got off at Park Carol and had a quick look and kept it in mind for somewhere to go back to with Jason.
I went back to get him for dinner and we found a cafe for hot chocolate and then went for some KFC.
This ended the first day. Below are some of the pictures from today.
Our second day consisted of cold weather and a walk to the old town and a look around. It was less run down than we thought – though we did find a street that was a bit run down and we both said that this is what we expected.
It was really cold walking around – I didn’t bring a coat or wear jeans. We walked around for an hour or two and found a church to have a look at. Jason was less impressed this time round than he was on the last trips. He asked if I had my fill of churches and if it satisfied my itch to visit a church. I told him it did, but we did end up going to a couple more churches on the trip. We came across a really weird statue too (as you will see in the pictures from today).
We had food and then headed towards the Palace of the Parliament to have a look at that. We spent about 30 minutes doing this and went for food and then headed back to the hostel so Jason could chill. I tried to chill myself but went out on the tram for about an hour. I did message Jason and tell him that I was super lost as I couldn’t get my bearings. I’m pretty sure he was tickled at that especially since I pride myself on being able to navigate.
I went to the end of the tram line and then headed back to pick him up so we could go to Park Carol. We spent about 90 minutes to 2 hours in the park just walking around and putting the world to rights. Sometimes it’s needed to redress the balance! After we were done, we went to KFC to get some food before retiring for the evening. I did say to Jason that we would do the walking tour on the next day. I’m pretty sure if I looked at him I would have seen the blood drain from his face at the thought of walking around for a couple of hours. You see – he hates cardio! I keep telling him if I can do it, then someone as young and fit as he is can do it too!
Below are some of the pictures from today.
Today was the day of the walking tour and i’m pretty sure I heard Jason cry out about the thought of all the walking. Haha. We went to KFC and had some breakfast before meeting the tour guide in the park on the square.
The guide himself seemed quite knowledgeable and his English was really good. I said to Jason it’s nice to have someone with me doing a walking tour as I usually do them by myself and it’s not as fun. We both said we would stay towards the back of the group as we didn’t want to be the focus – I don’t like that myself so it was good that Jason felt that way too as it meant I didn’t have to tack along up front.
The route consisted of walking around the old town mostly and having some history lessons about Bucharest and Romania. He talked about where Dracula comes from. He told us he is loosely based on Vlad the Impaler and his son. He also told us about the uprising and revolution that led to the downfall of the communist government. I felt so old as I remember the fall of the Iron Curtain and the loosening of the communist grip on Europe and here I was with someone who wasn’t even a twinkle in his parents eyes! Man, I have never felt so old in my life!
Jason got a treat during the walk around as there seemed to be some sort of Miss Europe/Miss World walk around going on too. Everyone was distracted by the women. I was more distracted by my hunger if i’m honest!
We spent about 3 hours on the tour and ended it by the university. We both decided we were hungry but we didn’t know for what so we headed to McDonald’s and had some food before going back to the hostel (I know, i’m sensing a theme too. The young un likes to chill and I generally don’t.) to drop Jason off to chill and then I headed out on the tram. I decided to go on a tram line that I hadn’t been on to see what I could find. I found a cemetery that I spent 45 minutes in. More on that in the next tab.
Once I was done, I went back to the hostel to pick up the weary Jason so we could go out for food and a look at another church that was close to the tram stop.
We walked up the hill and went in the church. It was really strange. Jason had a really uncomfortable reaction to it. He is an athiest and is not a fan of any religion at all. I think it was the praying and chanting that made him uncomfortable so we beat a hasty retreat to go find some food. I’ve not seen him react like that to other churches we’ve been in but I totally understand it as it’s not something he has seen before. I’m fine with it as i’ve seen that stuff before so it wasn’t new to me. Hopefully it won’t stop him from seeing other churches on other trips we go on.
We went and found some dinner and then headed back to the hostel for the night as we had to leave the next day.
Below are some of the pics from today and the walking tour.
As the youngster was having his Siesta (I know, he’s in the wrong country for that like) I hopped on the tram and found the cemetery.
I got off the tram and headed towards it and walked around it for about 45 minutes. I didn’t know where to look as the headstones were very ornate. It’s not like any other cemetery I have been to.
I got lost in there and couldn’t find the exit and I needed to get back to pick up his royal highness for dinner. I had to pull out Google Maps to help me find the exit. I managed to make it back to the hostel right at the time I said I would be there. I was impressed with myself.
Below are some pictures from the cemetery
As this was our last day we decided to have a bit of a lie in. I think I actually slept longer than Jason this time. I woke up to a text from him that simply said ‘Hahaah’. I asked him why he sent it and apparently I was talking in my sleep. I apparently told him I was sorry. I had a dream that we were walking down a street that was lined with gangs and he got stabbed and I couldn’t stop it. I know. Very strange.
We woke up and checked out and left our luggage and went and had some breakfast and a quick wander round the old town before heading back and picking up our stuff and a taxi back to the airport. The driver was as crazy as the one on Monday and he forgot to put the meter on – result for us. Haha. Jason was kind though and gave him 50RON
Below are the last of the pictures from Bucharest
We got to the airport and struggled to find screens to tell us where our gate was. I took us to the wrong part – who’d have thought we needed to be through passport control! Haha
The flight home was ok until we got to Stansted and it was windy and i’m almost certain we had to do a side landing because of the wind. The plane was swaying so much. Jason, yet again, got a kick out of seeing me struggle with it. I mean, what kind of friend does that like! Tsk tsk!
Turns out this time at passport control I had the issue and Jason got straight through. It was so good to finally get in the car and get home and to my own bed.
Bucharest is definitely worth a visit and you can tell it is a communist city.