Posts Tagged ‘Bucharest’

Bucharest II

August 31, 2012

Friday, 31 August 2012

Over the course of the week, Jacky explored Bucharest and I joined her during the evenings to find good, dark beer (Ursus Black, for example) and various eating options in the old town. None of the restaurants were exceptionally good, but none were exceptionally bad, either. The inescapable cigarette smoke was the most unpleasant aspect.

We saw the ruins of Vlad’s castle, with a bust of Vlad himself. In response to a question, I told someone that I (we) were a few years beyond the stage of being interested in the Dracula legends. As for Vlad himself, he was disgusting enough that he ought to be consigned to the dustbin, not turned into a tourist attraction.

As things wound down on Thursday, I joined Jacky for a walk to the large park north of the central city. It’s perhaps a walk of 3 or 4 km, much of it through cool and treed boulevards past the embassies of any number of countries.

The park itself contains a historic village, a collection of buildings relocated here from around the country, and effectively a large museum. Jacky had already visited it, so we didn’t go there again. We just wandered the park, eventually coming down to the lakeshore and walking some distance around the lake before getting hungry and turning back.

I don’t know who this guy is, but he looks pretty distinguished.

The aviator’s monument is said to be in recognition of the allied pilots from world war II.

Well, but where are the small animals? I was reduced to taking a picture of a grasshopper!

But we finally found about a zillion red and black beetles, some of them apparently larval. Ok, that’s more like it.

And we found one beautiful bug that made the whole trip worth it, halfway around the world and all.

Jacky had seen a restaurant called Thalia on her wanderings, and thought it would be a good place to try. They told us all the outdoor seating was reserved, wanted to seat us inside. But when we started to leave, they discovered that one of their reserved tables wouldn’t be needed for an hour and a half. We can work with that.

Again, good, but not outstanding.

Lufthansa will be on strike tomorrow, so we are paying attention to flight itineraries and cancellations. As of now (Bucharest airport), Frankfurt is a problem, but it appears that we will be okay as we go to Munich today and spend the night with Friedrich and Petra.

Bucharest

August 27, 2012

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.