Travel Day: Bucharest to Brasov, Romania
Brasov Travel Blog› entry 69 of 95 › view all entries
Before we travelled to Brasov, we decided to walk around the city of Bucharest. First we walked down B-dul Unirii, Bucharest's homage to Champs Elysees. This street led us to the Palace of the Parliament. Apparently, this is the second largest building in the world next to the Pentagon, wow. We walked up to it, and sure enough it was large, but we did not go in. There was a huge line to get in, and we were not that interested in the first place. Next we walked through a lovely park by accident. The park was free to walk in, and many Romanians were happy to waist the day away here smelling the roses.
After the park, we went to Piata Revolutiei, which was an important site of the 1989 Revolution. Nicolae Ceauşescu was the communist dictator at the time. His economic and development policies (including grandiose construction projects and a plan to reduce the national debt by exporting food) were generally blamed for the country's painful shortages and widespread, increasing poverty. Also, the public were becoming increasingly weary of the Securitate, Ceausescu's security police. On December 21st, while addressing a crowd from the balcony of the Central Committee building, which he had allowed to organize, it turned badly for Ceausescu. A riot ensued, with many protestors getting killed or injured.
We had lunch nearby inside the old Securitate building. The basement now holds IO cafe. Adourning the walls of the cafe, are pictures from that fateful day, when many protestors were killed and the security building was destroyed. I had the IO toasty for 13 Lei, and it was pretty good. After lunch, we explored the surrounding area searching for bullet holes in the walls of buildings and an occassional marker commemorating a fallen revolutionary.
Then we took the train to Brasov. Once we arrived at the station, we were immediately solicited for places to stay. We had heard about The Rolling Stone hostel, so we decided on it when the owner introduced herself to us.
For dinner we went to Keller steakhouse. The steak was excellent, but very pricey at 100 Lei. I also had brocoli cheese soup, which was also excellent. After dinner we had some drinks at the Old Scots Pub. They had a delicious array of imported ales. They also had velvet for 15 Lei, which is one of my favorite beers.