Sunday, 26 August 2012

Broadband Forum met in Bucharest this time. Jacky and I arrived in Bucharest at 5PM, after 18 hours in airplanes and airports. Foof! That gets to be a long time.

It was hot — 35 degrees — and sticky, but we went out as soon as we had sorted out our room at the Radisson Blu hotel. Looked at the map, guesstimated which direction was the old town, walked that way.

There is a lot of interest here, but much of it is not maintained very well.

The old town is chock full of sidewalk cafes, and as the sun went down and the day cooled off, all of them were occupied. We wandered back and forth until we found a place — 1812 Vecchio — whose sidewalk area wasn’t clogged with smokers. That is to say, it was at the edge of the old town, and mostly deserted. The food was fine, although we didn’t fall in love with the local beer.

Someone had told Jacky that Romania was nice, but not Bucharest. Our expectations were fairly low after hearing that, but this is all right. Not bad at all.

This is one of a dozen figures on a whimsical statuary group. There was some kind of rally, maybe a protest, under way nearby, and massive numbers of police not far away on side streets, but we don’t know what the issue was, and at least while we were there, everything was peaceful enough.

Back to the hotel and into the sack. A very long day!

Monday, 27 August

Meetings didn’t start until 10, so we went out first thing — in the coolth — to explore a little. There’s a good-sized park half a dozen blocks from the hotel, where we found some interesting trees.

A lot of people here working, gardeners and sweepers. Well, I suppose they call it working. We were reminded of their presumed communist past, in which they pretended to work, while the state pretended to pay them. A few were actually doing something, but most looked as if this was a form of outdoors leisure while they drew welfare payments.

As well as these unusually coloured peafowl, they had some albinos. There were also half a dozen black swans.

I went to meetings while Jacky explored. She reported later that the city’s riverbanks were bike paths, but there was really nothing there for the promenader.


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