Friday I walked 8 hours around Bucharest. I wish they had better public transit or more Cafes so I could stop for coffee. In fact, there is a severe lack of coffee, food, and shopping in Bucharest. Or maybe I was somehow lost on all the side streets devoid of commercial activity. Whatever the case the weather was surprisingly mild for February (overcast of course) and it was interesting to walk along the streets. The architecture had Parisian and Turkish influence and buildings show past elegance. Sadly, the city has not received proper attention and buildings appear to crumble as you walk by. There was quite a lot of rebuilding being performed on the small ornate orthodox churches that are scattered across the city. Almost every church tucked between larger buildings were being renovated. My guess is that the churches have faithful congregations that are committed to the upkeep of their building.
We did find great food for dinners. Lots of sausage, sheep cheese, marinated sheep, pork schnitzel, potatoes, stuffed turkey, polenta…basically vegetarians would starve. The only downfall to dining out in Romania is that smoking has yet to be banned from restaurants. And it’s safe to say that people smoke a lot. When you’re not used to eating in a smoke filled room…well it’s unpleasant. Some places had non-smoking sections but ventilation systems appeared less than optimal.
Up next we leave the city behind for the mountains of Transylvania!
Small church in Bucharest’s old city center. A lone Romanian grandmother welcomed tourists into the church. She had a small desk to sell postcards and pamphlets.