Time to get out and about
Bucharest Travel Blog› entry 4 of 8 › view all entries
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.
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.
Here was the National Theatre, with it's facade that has been stuck over the original building, done on the order of Elena Ceauşescu 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.