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Published: October 7th 2019
The drive from the Danube to Bucharest passes through mainly agricultural areas with some poor housing. Nearer the city there are signs of recovery from the Communist era and new houses are being built. In the city itself there are poor dilapidated housing on the outskirts and some palatial houses lining the boulevards and by the parks. We had a tour round the Palace which was built for the leader before Ceausescu but who died before it was finished. Ceausescu and his family moved in when he came to power. It is a lavish building with beautiful Persian carpets sent by the Shah of Iran, ornate French furniture and Flemish tapestries. It is no wonder that the poor people were both amazed and horrified when they broke in at the end of Communism in 1989. Now it is a museum and tourist attraction. We also stopped to look at the "offices" he built. This is the heaviest building in the world because it is also a nuclear bunker and apparently is slowly sinking! For lunch we found a busy place in the Old Town which did superb spaghetti with prawns, plenty of chilly and garlic.
After the tour we checked
into the Radisson Blue hotel which is a typical large business hotel but with nice large rooms. In the evening we had our last dinner organised by Emerald, a buffet with lots of wine. We were meant to have one glass but the young lads serving kept pouring for us.
The following day we were on our own so strolled down towards the Old Town and visited the National Art Gallery. They do reduced price for Seniors and either a single ticket for the European collection or a combined for the Romanian collection too. After a stop for late morning beers before further walking to the old town to find a restaurant for lunch. We went down the same side street as the day before which is opposite the Cek Bank and went to Cacu cu Bere. This is a very ornate building which is hugely popular so there is a long wait for a table. We managed to get a seat at the bar and have a huge glass of wine while waiting. I had duck legs with chips which was gorgeous and the others had burgers. The prices are very reasonable and there is an excellent atmosphere.
I left earlier than the others in order to visit the Romanian bit of the Art Gallery which is not too exciting.
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