Eastern Europe: Bucharest

July 11, 2008

My expectations going to Bucharest were pretty low, having been told by everyone I talked to that Bucharest is a horrible city. Still, we had taken the overnight train from Budapest to Bucharest, and planned to take another overnight train from Bucharest to Istanbul the next day, so we had a day to spend in the city.

Impression: there isn’t a tremendous amount to see in this city. I wouldn’t call it horrible, especially after spending such a short amount of time there, it’s just not necessarily a place I would want to spend any more time in.

We tried to continue the history theme in Bucharest by visiting the National History Museum, even though our travel book told us there was nothing worth seeing there. The museum was closed, either for the day or for the week or for the summer. I can’t remember which, but whatever the reason, we couldn’t go.

In the end, we didn’t do anything more exciting than walk around Bucharest for a day. But, since I knew nothing about Romania before, it was probably worth it just to get some idea for the country. Perhaps I should be embarrassed that I had never even heard the name of the last communist leader of Romania, Nicolae Ceauşescu. Anyway, I have heard of him now. He tried harder than most communists to hold on to power. He even killed protesters in December 1989, past the point where you could even believe in your ability to stay in power as an Eastern European communist (or so it seems in retrospect).

And that was Bucharest.


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