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mistybleu Bucharest - A travel report by Amanda
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Bucharest,  Romania - flag Romania -  Bucure¶ti
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mistybleu's travel reports

Escaping for the weekend

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The Bank holiday weekends brings so much exciting and the best way to spend it is to climb aboard an aircraft and visit somewhere foreign. I think best weekend getaways are where the flights are no more than three hours.

Bucharest travelogue picture
A relatively new addition to my bucket list, Romania is the perfect place to spend the weekend. The nightlife in Bucharest is really awesome, however following a fire which occurred last year has kind of curbed the revelers.

This vacation wasn't about really sightseeing but taking the time to enjoy the environment. Taking time to have a coffee and watch the world go by can be just as much fun.

On the cards this weekend is Bucharest, a city steeped in history but a little unknown; I wanted to get a better understanding of the Soviet influence and the new addition to the EU.

Getting around the city - I was told that the metro system was created to get workers to and from the factory and therefore I would have little need for it as it didn't hit any of the tourist spots. I have to say they were right, the only time I made use of it was to use the subway to cross the street. But owing to the size of the city walking is far better then taking public transport.

The only bus I took was from the airport. The 783 bus runs every 10-20 minutes, to and from the airport and takes around 40 minutes to get there. The final stop is in Unirii Square which is one of the largest squares in downtown Bucharest. The square is a major hub for transport but is also links to the people's Parliament.

Favourite spots:
The King and his castle
The King and his castle
I booked a tour to enjoy a my last day in Romania without having to think. Today was about sitting back and letting someone take me where I needed to be, perfect for the way I was feeling. I opted for a hotel pick up, at 8am to discover two castles in one day (60-75 euros).

We drove for around 2 hours finally reaching Peles castle the residence of the former king. This castle is well worth a visit, with wood paneling, and its décor - it was really amazing. However the day I visited a royal banquet was been prepared so I didn't get to see the dinning room; I think I missed out on that one.

We then headed to Brans Castle to visit,which they now deemed to be, the home of Dracula. Whist there is no concrete evidence that he actually stayed there, it seemed plausible given the strategic location for the castle. So the story of Count Dracula continues with all the commercialism around it. I now realised that I have seen more of Transylvania then Bram Stoker - who knew.

What's really great:
The People's Parliament
The People's Parliament
On the top of every list you will see the Parliament building - Parliament Palace; and it really is awesome. It is a legacy from the communist days, with 9 floors above ground and 9 below ground which makes it the second largest building in the world. (The first is the Pentagon in the US).
There are many communist landmarks around the city like the Revolution Square (former headquarters of the Communist Central Committee , university square, the headquarter of Union of Architects of Romania, Victoria Palace, house of the free press, TVR. This Romanian public television had an important role in the 1989 revolution as it broadcast as it captured the change in regime live on air.

The old town is compact and easy to maneouvre around, I joined a free walking tour and it was pretty cool to get a personal account for the city. Far more exciting then reading it in a book.

Comfort Suites
Comfort Suites
I'm not sure whether this is traditional for hotels in Romania, but my hotel claimed to be a four * hotel while situated next to two sex shops and two bakeries. But the rooms were very large with really high ceiling which impressed me. The rooms has wood every where matched with blue soft furnishings. The staff were very friendly and helpful, and I would stay here again if I ever came back to Bucharest. However just across the road was the intercontinental. May be that would be my choice. The area is great, five minutes from the metro. The bus from the airport stops just across the road and only 5 minute walk to the old town.

Bucharest travelogue picture
The night clubs around the city is really cool and can offer an amazing night. However I've been told that following a fire in a night club last years numbers have shrunken slightly

I also think I was just luck this weekend for things to do in the evening.

On Saturday night I ended up in the part listening to a really good covers band. The park was just across the road from the Peoples Parliament and even though it was quadrant off the music was still audible enough to enjoy it. But to other good thing was that it only cost 15 lei to get in. So really affordable The night featured acts like James Brown. Thoroughly enjoyable!

The following night after some drinks in the InterContinental Hotel I went for a walk and found the Bucharest Symphony playing a concert outside the music academy. It was so nice listing to a bit of classical music. Everyone seemed so happy. Another cracking evening.

Other recommendations:
Bucharest travelogue picture
Only an 1 1/2 hour drive outside of Bucharest I met the Bulgarian border after crossing the River Danube.

There are many private firms which offer a day excursion; and can be in a car or some times a bus. The day is very compact and you'll get back to the hotel well after 8pm but the towns just across the border are well worth seeing.

I'm not sure what the migrant crisis is posing Bulgaria, but it took three people to inspect my passport before letting me in.

Two of the main attractions include the Rock-Hewn Churches (Ivanovo). such as the cave and the town of Veliko Tarnovo city of tsars and Arbanassi which is meant to be a fine example Bulgarian yester life.

I was slightly disappointed upon reaching the church but it was nice being out of the city with all the green around.

Published on Wednesday August 31th, 2016

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Sat, Sep 03 2016 - 04:39 PM rating by pictor

I will be in Bucharest next month so this report gives me another insight, thanks.

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