Our "home" in Bucharest
Overlooking the pool. The apartment is top LHS with the white umbrellas.
Friday 29th June 2012
Mostly a smooth day, we had our breakfast, checked out of the hotel, walked to the bus terminal in town where we caught a bus to the station. When we went to buy our ticket we found our desired train was full! Woops, should have bought the ticket yesterday. Never mind the next train was only an hour later. We found a quite spot upstairs where Rags read and Judy perused some student drafts and wrote some feedback to be posted when she was next online. Then at 12.35pm it was on the train and back to Bucharest. We arrived at about 1500.
So that we wouldn't need a large meal back at the apartment we had a late lunch/early dinner at Central station before catching the Metro and local bus. By the time we deposited everything back in the newly cleaned (Gabi had been there whist we away) house Rags was ready for a swim.
Saturday 30th June 2012
Today was a day of washing our clothes and planning where to go from here as we leave on Wednesday. Judy also had an on-line conference with other tutors and her
Judy working with her students.
students so Rags did his “house-person” duties.
He walked to the Mega Market, the nearest supermarket, about a 3 kms round trip and stocked up with some food, drinks and water. This time he used the shopping trolley we noticed the “home exchangees” had, making it much easier than previous trips, especially helpful carrying the 5litres of water containers we need to replenish supplies.
The rest of the day was spent in a similar vein to previous days with reading, relaxing, researching, swimming, watching a movie, eating and drinking all featuring. Rags booked a hotel for our next destination, Rousse, using bookings.com. We have used this site several times now and haven't been disappointed.
Sunday 1st July 2012
Today was the last day that the Parliament Palace would be open to the public for the next 2 weeks, there being an international conference on Wetlands being held there, so we set off early to be there by the opening time of 1000.
It was a bit of a rush, but as we had done it before we now knew to get off at the Metro stop of Piata Unirii (Union Place) and walk straight
You have to go closer and enter to appreciate the enormity of this place.
to it. When at the ticket office we were first told that the next English speaking tour wouldn't be until 1145, but then, at half the cost as it was only the Standard Tour, the woan at the info desk offered to let us join a group just leaving, also with an English speaking guide. This we promptly agreed to!
The Palace of the Parliament – The Peoples House or universally known as Casa Poporului, is Romania's most famous building. Construction commenced during the darkest days of the Nicolae Ceausescu regime and completed after the 1981 revolution. It features in the Guinness World Records as the second largest building after the Pentagon. The guide reeled off statistic after statistic but Rags did remember that the building has a floor area of 365000 sqm.
We were only shown a small part of the 12 storey building during our 1 hour visit but every chamber we were taken to was resplendent in different Romanian marble, wood panelling and carpet. Some of the carpets were so large, they were actually made in the rooms where they now lie. Ceausescu allowed power to go to his head, wanting this to be his
Overlooking the square. Michael Jackson made his appearance here, no politician has dared to!
shrine. He even planned for the skylights of the largest hall to be strong enough to support the helicopter which he would arrive in!
We were taken out onto the balcony at the front of the palace from where he intended to speak to the adoring masses in the square below. No-one from any government has used it, only Michael Jackson when he toured Romania!
As it was now about 1130 we walked into the Old Town area looking for Caru' cu bere, the cafe we had the delicious Romanian food at last time we were here. We had a rough idea where it was, very rough it turned out as we walked around for about 30 minutes before finding it, only to find it was about 30m away in the next street from where we entered. Another delicious meal followed of chicken crepes, roasted pig shank, mushrooms, and a dish of roasted potato with bacon and red onions washed down with a couple of large glasses of local beer. As a healthy side dish we did add a salad consisting of shredded lettuce covered in lemon juice.
To help digest the meal we walked along the
Peasants' school room
The Peasants' Museum - Bucharest's best?
Calea Victoriel for some way, taking in the old buildings, museums and the few ugly glass constructions that have appeared. Our goal was the Peasant Museum on Piata Victoriei, quite some way up the now warm street. When we finally got inside it was a bit of a relief from the heat but that was about the only good thing we could say about it. The local tour book we have says it is "the best museum in Bucharest and one of the best in the country". It may have been representative of the peasant culture in Romania but we found it very poorly presented and displayed. Judy actually said that it had put her off wanting to go to any more museums this trip! Rags agreed with her, he is very happy not to have to go into another museum, cathedral or church for a long time.
A nanny nap and pop flop were in order when we returned, as we were totally drained from the heat and walking. The rest of the day was spent doing our normal things.
Monday 2nd, Tuesday 3rd July 2012
These two days were spent at the apartment, relaxing,
Another enormous building
and tutoring work, as well as planning and preparing for the next stage of our journey.
We walked to the supermarket again to stock up on our foodstuffs as well as starting to replenish essentials like loo paper and 5 litre water bottles left for us by our hosts. Using the shopping trolley they have made it easier than carrying them by hand, although with no pedestrian paths it was a little nerve-wracking walking up the road.
Rags was suffering ear problems. He had a build up of wax in one and despite using special drops to dissolve it, complains he has lost most of the hearing in that ear. He had an operation on this ear years ago, a legacy of many years of diving. It seemed to be improving, time will tell.
Tuesday was spent quietly, Judy having actually getting ahead with some prep in readiness for the marking that starts at then end of the week. Rags again made a trip to the shops fro fresh bread and more water!
Its been good having the apartment even if the location isn't the best without your own transport. We had a base to come
back to after Brasov, and a quiet place to get our breath back between busy days. We look forward to reciprocating the hospitality to our home exchangees when they are able to come to Western Australia.
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