Romania
University of Bucharest

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    • Day 39

      Our Bucharest Hotel

      June 3, 2022 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 75 °F

      We got in very late to Bucharest (it was the longest deplaning I've ever had). Our hotel is beautiful and has a fantastic breakfast. They upgraded us to deluxe rooms and we have a corner with a circular room. Can't wait to explore the city.

      Also: giant Kenobi billboard
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    • Day 18

      Oct 13 - Bucharest, Romania

      October 13 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      And now we are in our seventh and final country for this trip (excluding Frankfurt where we will be for two hours between flights on Saturday). Romania is a country at the crossroads of Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe. It borders Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, Bulgaria to the south, Moldova to the east, and the Black Sea to the southeast. It has a population of 19 million people (2023). Romania is the twelfth-largest country in Europe. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest. Bucharest was supposed to be our final destination after sailing to the Black Sea, but we could only go as far as Nikopol. Apparently, we are going to be getting a rebate to compensate us for the change in the itinerary.

      The modern Romanian state was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The new state, officially named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. During World War I, after declaring its neutrality in 1914, Romania fought together with the Allied Powers from 1916. In November 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and, consequently, in June 1941 entered World War II on the Axis side, fighting against the Soviet Union until August 1944, when it joined the Allies and recovered Northern Transylvania. Following the war and occupation by the Red Army, Romania became a socialist republic and a member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition towards democracy and a market economy.

      In 1965, Nicolae Ceaușescu came to power and started to conduct the country's foreign policy more independently from the Soviet Union. Thus, communist Romania was the only Warsaw Pact country which refused to participate in the Soviet-led 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia.

      During the 2000s, Romania had one of the highest economic growth rates in Europe and has been referred at times as "the Tiger of Eastern Europe". This has been accompanied by a significant improvement in living standards as the country successfully reduced domestic poverty and established a functional democratic state.

      Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania. It is a city with a significant influence in terms of education, tourism, research, technology, health care, art, fashion, sports, and politics. Bucharest is a major economic center in Romania, with a diverse and growing economy that includes industries such as IT, finance, and manufacturing. It is also one of the most populated cities of the European Union (EU) within city limits and the most populated capital in Southeastern Europe at 2.3 million people. The city is situated on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, which flows into the Argeș River, a tributary of the Danube.

      Partly destroyed by natural disasters and rebuilt several times during the following 200 years, and hit by Caragea's plague in 1813–14, the city was wrested from Ottoman control and occupied at several intervals by the Habsburg monarchy (1716, 1737, 1789) and Imperial Russia (three times between 1768 and 1806). It was placed under Russian administration between 1828 and the Crimean War, with an interlude during the Bucharest-centred 1848 Wallachian revolution. Later, an Austrian garrison took possession after the Russian departure (remaining in the city until March 1857). On 23 March 1847, a fire consumed about 2,000 buildings, destroying a third of the city.

      A major part of Bucharest's architecture is made up of buildings constructed during the Communist era replacing the historical architecture with high-density apartment blocks – significant portions of the historic centre of Bucharest were demolished to construct one of the largest buildings in the world, the Palace of the Parliament (then officially called the House of the Republic). In Nicolae Ceaușescu's project of systematization, new buildings were built in previously historical areas, which were razed and then built upon.
      One of the singular examples of this type of architecture is Centrul Civic, a development that replaced a major part of Bucharest's historic city centre with giant utilitarian buildings, mainly with marble or travertine façades, inspired by North Korean architecture. The mass demolitions that occurred in the 1980s, under which an overall area of eight square kilometres of the historic centre of Bucharest were levelled, including monasteries, churches, synagogues, a hospital, and a noted Art Deco sports stadium, drastically changed the appearance of the city.

      Bucharest has landmark buildings and monuments. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the Palace of the Parliament, built in the 1980s during the rule of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. The largest Parliament building in the world, the palace houses the Romanian Parliament (the Chamber of Deputies, and the Senate), as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The building boasts one of the largest convention centres in the world. Sadly though, 19 Orthodox churches, 11 churches, six synagogues, and 30,000 residences were razed to the ground to build the world’s heaviest building. The only building bigger than the Romanian Parliament is the Pentagon. Ceaușescu and his family were wiped out in the people’s uprising of 1989 that help to lead to the fall of the Iron Curtain.

      Another landmark in Bucharest is Arcul de Triumf ("The Triumphal Arch" - we drove around this one), built in its current form in 1935 and modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. A newer landmark of the city is the Memorial of Rebirth, a stylised marble pillar unveiled in 2005 to commemorate the victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communism. The abstract monument sparked controversy when it was unveiled, being dubbed with names such as 'the olive on the toothpick' as many argued that it does not fit in its surroundings and believed that its choice was political.

      The Romanian Athenaeum building is considered a symbol of Romanian culture and since 2007 has been on the list of the Label of European Heritage sites. It was built between 1886 and 1888 by the architect Paul Louis Albert Galeron, through public funding.

      The city centre is a mixture of medieval, neoclassical, Art Deco, and Art Nouveau buildings, as well as 'neo-Romanian' buildings dating from the beginning of the 20th century and a collection of modern buildings from the 1920s and 1930s. The mostly utilitarian Communist-era architecture dominates most southern boroughs. Recently built contemporary structures such as skyscrapers and office buildings complete the landscape.

      The ship moved to the Romanian side of the Danube about 5:00 a.m. I know because I was awake. We had to have our luggage outside our doors by 8:00 a.m. The staff then had to manually transfer all the luggage from our ship, across the railings of the ship docked beside us and up a long ramp to the waiting buses. Everyone helped – the butlers, the cleaning staff, the kitchen staff, and the bartenders. There is another ship load of passengers coming onboard this afternoon, so speed was of the essence to prepare the entire ship. That cruise will go back up the Danube, sailing away from the low water levels.

      Then we waited. The Romanian border patrol staff work on their terms and at their speed. So, instead of leaving at 9:00 a.m., we left at 10:00 a.m. It was immediately apparent that Romania is a much wealthier country than Bulgaria. The cars were bigger, newer, cleaner, and more expensive. The roads were better, although still woefully below North American standards. The houses were bigger and in better condition, with only the occasional abandoned building. After the fall of Communism, rightful ownership of some buildings couldn’t be and still hasn’t been established after they were wrested away from private ownership some 45 years previously with the beginning of Communism in Romania.

      Bucharest is a large city with never ending traffic chaos. The joke is that there are two million cars, and only one million parking spots. The other million cars just circle around. It took us until 1:30 p.m. to get to the downtown restaurant where we were scheduled to have lunch. The restaurant opened in 1879 and has operated continuously since then. It looks exactly as if it had been plucked out of the year 1879. It began as a brewery and a beer hall and still exudes that ambiance. We had a set lunch menu and finished up about 3:00 p.m. Our guide Andrei took us on a short bus tour through the city to see some of the contrasting architecture styles and some of the best known of Bucharest’s eclectic building collection. I couldn’t take pictures from the bus because of the glare, so I pirated a few from Wikipedia to give you a bit of an idea.

      Bucharest, unfortunately, has a major problem with graffiti. It began during the student revolutions in the late 1980s and is now totally out of control. Some business owners are now hiring the more talented "artists" to adorn their buildings so that at least they have attractive graffiti.

      We learned a bit about the Romanian language. It is based on the Latin alphabet (as is English), unlike Bulgarian that is based on the Cyrillic alphabet. Romanian bears some semblances to Spanish and Italian, so we were able to make out some of the signage, whereas in Bulgaria, we had no chance of reading any signs.
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    • Day 4

      L'Abbonamento

      February 14 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

      Tre ore a parlare con la signora per spiegarle che volevamo questi abbonamento ma alla fine ci ha dato per 8lei un 24h che siamo riusciti ad utilizzare solo per l'autobus.
      Un po' è stata una fortuna perché ci ha permesso di muoverci in maniera differente dal solito e tra poco si vedrà comeRead more

    • Day 2

      Giretto

      February 12 in Romania ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

      Nella seconda foto (dove c'è il tavolo pieno di cose alla lavanda) abbiamo comprato una candela per 10 Lei/2€ molto molto carina. Dati che non avevamo cash ci ha fatto pagare tramite Revolut, geniale

    • Day 1

      Cena al ristorante Colosseum

      February 11 in Romania ⋅ ☁️ -1 °C

      Siamo andati nel primo che abbiamo trovato ed era un ristorante italiano, cibo buono ma purtroppo stavo male quindi non me lo sono potuto godere al 100%.
      Il frappè di Oreo era bello da vedere ma sapeva di acqua amaraRead more

    • Day 39

      Lodging: Bucharest Capitol Hotel

      June 3, 2022 in Romania ⋅ ☁️ 57 °F

      Hotel Capitol is located close to the University of Bucharest and Cismigiu Gardens in a lively and central area of the city, and features an on-site restaurant.

      The property was built in 1901 and kept the original décor after various renovations. Close to the hotel there are diverse dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities.

      The spacious and elegantly equipped rooms are air-conditioned and feature cable TV, free WiFi, a minibar, and a bathroom.

      https://www.booking.com/hotel/ro/capitol-buchar…
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    • Day 10

      Bukarest #1

      August 18, 2022 in Romania ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Jedenfalls ging es nach Budapest nach Bukarest. Nicht weil es dort besonders schön wäre, sondern einfach weil das irgendwie cool klingt.
      Das erste, was einem in Rumänien auffällt, ist dass die Rumänen anscheinend überall parken dürfen. Bürgersteig? Nicht mehr! Eine dreispurige Strasse? Wer braucht schon 3 Spuren? Zwei reichen völlig. Überall stehen Autos. Das zweite, was auffällt, sind die vielen Tauben überall. Doch sie scheinen die Rumänen nicht zu stören. Im Gegenteil. Überall füttern Menschen die Vögel, stellen Bäder aus Petflaschen gebastelt für sie auf. Sie scheinen die Tiere wirklich zu mögen.
      Viel mehr kann ich über Rumänien nicht sagen. Die Menschen scheinen nett zu sein, aber wirklich beurteilen kann ich es nicht, da wir nicht viel Kontakt zur Bevölkerung hatten. Wie gesagt: Ich bin immer noch in der Abschaltphase, wenn es denn sowas überhaupt gibt.
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    • Day 5

      Ankunft in Bukarest

      August 26, 2019 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      Am Montagabend kamen wir in Rumäniens Hauptstadt Bukarest an. Die Gegensätze vom total verfallenen Häusern und wunderschön hergerichteten Innenstadtgebäuden ist extrem auffallend. Nach Camping gibt’s heute wieder Dusche und danach ein Guiness.Read more

    • Day 40

      Dinner, Treats, and Fountains

      June 4, 2022 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

      Amidst the remnants of its communist past, Bucharest is reinventing itself as a vibrant and cosmopolitan European destination. Stroll through the charming Old Town, where centuries-old churches and neoclassical buildings stand alongside trendy cafés and lively bars. Immerse yourself in the city's rich history and culture at the grand Palace of Parliament, the second-largest administrative building in the world. Explore the fascinating museums, such as the Village Museum, which showcases traditional Romanian architecture, or the Art Collections Museum, home to impressive European art. Bucharest also boasts beautiful parks and gardens, like Herastrau Park, where you can relax by the lake or rent a boat for a leisurely ride. As the sun sets, the city comes alive with its vibrant nightlife scene, offering a blend of traditional folk music and modern beats.Read more

    • Day 257

      Bukarest

      June 24, 2019 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      Noch ist Bukarest keine Top-Destination für Städtereisen. Wir können uns aber gut vorstellen, dass sich in ein paar Jahren unzählige Reisegruppen durch Bukarests hübsch herausgeputzte Altstadt schieben.Read more

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    University of Bucharest

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