Time to get out and about

Bucharest Travel Blog

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Casa Populari

First thing was to raid my survival kit to revive myself, and have a quick browse through the guide book and reference to the good map I now had. Plan made and time to set out.

Walked up from the hotel and down the side of the Casa Populari to the front of it. It's a struggle to get a picture of it trying to fit it all into the one image :-O. Again, as all through my stay in Bucharest, you are just struck by the sheer scale of it and it's ugliness but still captivated by it in a strange way.

Headed along the Boulevard Unirrii where there is a tree lined walkway that is quite pleasant but then you are back in the Piata Unirri which doesn't improve in the daylight.

Bulevardul Unirii
The drab overbearing buildings that surround it,topped off with their neon signs,surround what is one of the few actual squares in the town. I wondered to myself if these signs had been here before the revolution or if someone thought this was a good way to show freedom was to have commercial signs flashing all over the place, or did they replace sites where communist propaganda was displayed ??? The fountains were off and bits of it looked more like a bit of spare ground .

Crossed over and headed up the Bulevardul I.C. Bratianu, and there was a small church. To the other side was a street that just looked awful and in no way inviting,it wasn't to be the only one. Looking back down was the building that was more like and electronic advertising hoarding.

Back to the parliament
Carried on up to Universitate which is marked as one of the main 'squares, but is really a massive traffic junction. It is in fact so big there is no pedestrian crossing at in and you have to use the Metro underpass to cross.

Here was the National Theatre, with it's facade that has been stuck over the original building, done on the order of Elena Ceau┼čescu when she was Minister of Culture.  At the front of the theatre is a sign marking 0km for Romania, but I will have to ask Wiel about the rest of the translation which looks more to do with the revolution. In the middle of this busy junction are a series of simple crosses marking the deaths of demonstrators during the revolution.

Squeezed between the theatre and the hotel is the National Opera which isn't an inspiring building at all.

Walkway Bulevardul Unirii

A further 10 minute walk up to the Piato Romano, which again turns out to be nothing more than a traffic junction. I knew where I was wanting to head though and went down the Bulevardul Dacia and was almost immediately in amongst some nice buildings and a small park. Carried along and up the Calea Victoriei and found the George Enescu Museum. From here though it was from the sublime to the ridiculous as you come to the Piata Victoriei, another traffic junction but one I'm still trying to figure how you would drive round it. One side of it has a big government building,while two sides of it have the drab concrete monoliths  with their obligatary flashing lights atop.

The northern side though had a tree lined boulevard and that was where I was going.

Piata Unirii daytime
First thing you come to is the Museum Of Natural History and then the Muzeul Taranului Roman ( what ever that may be). Across the road from this was the Geological Museum with it's cool sign :-D. Carried up the road and through the Kiseleff Park, and came across a bicycle sharing storage area. 

Out of the park and back on the road I found that almost all the building were foreign embassies, all except the British one. I had wanted so much to find it so that I could go in and demand they did something for me, as is my right as a British Citizen :-D

Finally I got to where I wanted to be, the Arcul De Triumf, a smaller version of the Paris original. My mates had already been in touch to say they had arrived, so I didn't head into the parks here, and I was starting to feel the cold.

More Buildings with signs
Walked back down the other side of the road and into the small park here where there were some strange small statues that had caught my eye. Also further down came across a monument to the Slavia Infantrie that I hadn't seen mentioned in my book on Bucharest (still need to look up the info on that one as well :-D ).

Was back in the Piata Victoriei and heading for the Metro station when again something caught my eye and off I headed back up the way and came to what turned out to be the Piata Aviatorilor which had a big monument in the middle of it. There were also some information notices which looked as if this place marked the beging of flying in Romania.

My curiosity satisfied I headed back and down into the Metro system and had a look at my book.

Unirea Shopping Centre
I had wanted to find the Russian Church and so I had to head back to Univeritate. Unfortunately the University building was being renovated and had a big tarpaulin draped over it, but there were some interesting statues in front of it. Had to cut down one of the side streets and found the church, which is now dwarfed by the buildings they have stuck up round about it.

Strolled down through the old town part following what ever caught my eye and ended up,eventually, back at the  Piata Unirii. All through the day there had been a constant drizzle so I headed back to my hotel to get changed,and heated up, before going to meet my mates. Coming back out and heading through the park at Isvor to the metro the Casa Populari was all lit up.

My mates were staying in the Howard Johnston hotel so I had to get the Metro up to Piata Romano.

Piata Unirii garden(?)
Sat in the bar there for a bit, but relatively it was expensive, and the boys had been in one earlier where it was 5 Lei for a drught beer. Some debate about going out as some were wanting to watch the Inter Milan/Real Madrid game, but Fara and I decided to go and do a recce and when we got there they were showing the game so sent the rest of them a text and round they came. There was one old guy at the bar, a place called In Box, that was keen to engage us all in conversation, and we were taking the piss insisting he looked like Omar Sharif. When it was time to go the boys just had to go round the corner, and it must have been mentioned earlier that I was staying down by the Parliament as the old boy was insisting he would give me a lift. I politely declined mainly on the grounds that he must have had even more to drink than I had.
Church

Set off intent on walking it and just down past the Piata Romano there ar stalls that are open all day and night selling flowers. Here there were 3 gypsy kids, two girls and a boy, and one of them asked me for money to which I said no, but they followed me down with one of them pleading and begging and the other two tagging along.  Then the older girl went in front of me and as she whined on the boy came in behind me and tried to get into my outside jacket pocket, probably because there was a bulge in it but unknown to him it was only a packet of sweets. I caught out the corner of my eye anyway and he never got into it, but they still stood there as I told them rather more forcefully to go away and as I went on they were going to carry on following me until I went to puch one of them and that seemed to get the message across.

Eyesore

Decided it may not be the best thing to carry on walking, as there was still a fair distance, so when I got to the InterContinental there were taxis lined up outside and I got one back to the hotel. A few more Bears were staying here now and I joined them at the bar for a nightcap before going to my room. 

   

 

aotw says:
Thanks for sharing your experiences in Bucharest, I'm going there at the end of the month..
Posted on: Nov 09, 2009
nathanphil says:
Seems you had some of the mixed feelings I had about Bucharest... so what grade would you give the city overall?
Posted on: Nov 08, 2009
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Casa Populari
Casa Populari
Bulevardul Unirii
Bulevardul Unirii
Back to the parliament
Back to the parliament
Walkway Bulevardul Unirii
Walkway Bulevardul Unirii
Piata Unirii daytime
Piata Unirii daytime
More Buildings with signs
More Buildings with signs
Unirea Shopping Centre
Unirea Shopping Centre
Piata Unirii garden(?)
Piata Unirii garden(?)
Church
Church
Eyesore
Eyesore
Building Advert
Building Advert
InterContinental Hotel
InterContinental Hotel
National Theatre
National Theatre
0km Sign
0km Sign
Revolution memorial Cross
Revolution memorial Cross
Opera
Opera
Piata Romano
Piata Romano
Other side of Piata Romano
Other side of Piata Romano
Literature Museum
Literature Museum
Statue Ion I.C. Bratianu
Statue Ion I.C. Bratianu
White Church
White Church
Hotel Moxa
Hotel Moxa
George Enescu Museum
George Enescu Museum
Enterance Lions
Enterance Lions
Rooftop Carvings
Rooftop Carvings
Yet another church
Yet another church
Calea Victoriei Apartment Block
Calea Victoriei Apartment Block
Piata Victoriei
Piata Victoriei
Government Building Piata Victoriei
Government Building Piata Victoriei
Aparments Block Piata Victoriei
Aparments Block Piata Victoriei
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
Muzeul Taranului Roman
Muzeul Taranului Roman
Scoala Nr.11
Scoala Nr.11
Statue Hakim Omar Khayyam
Statue Hakim Omar Khayyam
Parcul Kiseleff
Parcul Kiseleff
Bike Sharing
Bike Sharing
Russian Embassy
Russian Embassy
Arcul De Triumf
Arcul De Triumf
taxi in front of Arcul De Triumf
taxi in front of Arcul De Triumf
Soseaua Pavel D Kiseleff
Soseaua Pavel D Kiseleff
Statues in Parcul Kiseleff
Statues in Parcul Kiseleff
Hug Statue
Hug Statue
Slavia Infantrie Monument
Slavia Infantrie Monument
Base Of Monument
Base Of Monument
Geological Museum
Geological Museum
American War Memorial
American War Memorial
Piata Aviatorilor
Piata Aviatorilor
Flying History Info
Flying History Info
Turret House
Turret House
Nice Building
Nice Building
Piata Victoriei Metro Station
Piata Victoriei Metro Station
Statue opposite University
Statue opposite University
University
University
University facade
University facade
Russian Church
Russian Church
Buildings Surround Russian Church
Buildings Surround Russian Church
Lipiscani area
Lipiscani area
Lipiscani (the nice end)
Lipiscani (the nice end)
Church in Lipiscani
Church in Lipiscani
Its A Bank :-O
It's A Bank :-O
History Of Romania Museum
History Of Romania Museum
Along the river to Piata Unirii
Along the river to Piata Unirii
Church off Piata Unirii
Church off Piata Unirii
Park View of Casa Populari
Park View of Casa Populari
TV Station
TV Station
Night Lighting
Night Lighting
At the In Box bar
At the In Box bar
Bucharest
photo by: tm16dana