This is going to be a trip report so if reading stuff like this is not your thing you can stop reading now. Also, I will be posting these after we returned. I tried to write them as we traveled but had to wait to return to have access to my pictures.
Romania trip report index
We flew from Perugia airport on Wizz Air. Despite the name the flight was on-time and fine. The odd habit of people in parts of Europe to applaud when the plane lands was performed enthusiastically.
We took a cab and it was rush hour. Wow what traffic. We are glad we are not driving. Our cab driver spoke Romanian and French. This turned out to be the norm. Who knew the second language in southern and eastern Romania was French?! The time is an hour later than in Italy so we got to our hotel after seven. We are staying in the K+K Hotel Elisabeta. We had booked a restaurant called The Artist for 8:30. It was too rushed for me. We walked on the advice of our hotel. We got a little lost and finally arrived about ten minutes late. But we were glad we went.
The food was really good. The service, less so. It is a small restaurant with about 13 tables. It is in the old town which is chock-a-block with eateries and drinking venues. They have an interesting idea to let you try a bite of each course if you want. It’s called Spoonfuls. We tried that with the appetizer. It was great! There were also some “gifts” from the chef, one of which they poured a liquid into the dish and it steamed like dry ice. Pretty nifty. Another was a tall glass of gingery palette cleansing liquid. My entree was pork “ravioli”, really one big sandwich. A nice dinner.
Our first day we had a most excellent breakfast and headed off for a walking tour. Bucharest, having been the most repressive communist country, is a city in transition 26 years after the fall. It has gorgeous Orthodox churches, modern buildings next to decrepit crumbling ones. There are horrible communist buildings that are very ugly but there are also many old houses that survived communism which are beautiful if in need of a lot of TLC. Ceaușescu tried his best to raze the city but a lot managed to remain. I think it will become gentrified eventually.
After our long walk we headed back to the old town where we had lunch in a touristy place. I had a basic caprese salad. Back to the hotel to kick back for a while before dinner at Bistro GUXT. It turned out to be nice. The owner was very enthusiastic about wine, food and beer. I liked that it had a few Asian inspired dishes. So, I had a nice half portion salad with Gorgonzola and pears, and for an entree I had spicy prawns in coconut milk with rice. Lovely after such a long time without anything like it.
So that ended our first day. Here are some selected pictures. I hope it gives sort of an overview of the differences throughout the city.