Let me start out by saying, I have never regretted a trip we have been on; and this one was no exception. I think we have been to too many places, and hubby and I have started “comparing”, maybe more than we should.
We landed in the Bucharest International Airport (Henri Coanda) at 1:00pm. By the time we got our luggage and car rental and started leaving, it was 2:00. By the time we got to our hotel in Bucharest’s Sector 4, it was 3:00 and I was stressed – I couldn’t even imagine my husband. Driving downtown was crazy; yet not even as bad as we saw it during our week. We did find free parking on the road, so that was nice. The hostess at our apartment told us there was a metro pass we could buy for the week. Once we settled in and unpacked a bit, we had to get food. We had yet to eat since the airport in the morning, and were starving. The weekly metro pass was 25LEI (5.36€ / 8.00$CAD), which was crazy cheap. A 3 day pass in Prague was 17$CAD, so huge huge difference! We hopped on the metro for six stops, and got off where we would have to walk 17 minutes – according to Google maps – to get to Hard Rock Cafe. It WAS my birthday supper after all 😉
We were so hungry we had three full adult meals, the three kids meals, drinks for all (kids included in the kids price) for less expensive than most Hard Rock’s where we order less food… My birthday burger (like I’d order anything else lol) was called the Dracula Burger. Two beef patties, caremelized onions, smoked yellow cheese, bacon, beetroot chips, and specialized beetroot bbq sauce. I didn’t (and still don’t) know what beetroot is, but it was DELICIOUS! The one thing I was not expecting was that the bun was a red coloured bun – it was so awesome! After getting exhaustingly stuffed, we walked back towards the metro for what would hopefully be a very peaceful sleep!
We decided to be lazy today and just get up when we wanted, and just go walk around. We were out the door by probably 9:00 because we were all hungry, and headed for downtown, Piata Unirii. Turns out, it was too early in the morning and almost everything was closed – besides a bar where Happy Hour starts at 10am…
It was a little too dead though; no one around at all. We walked around a little more, and found a Second Cup. A Second Cup!!! I was so excited to find something “close to home”. We had coffee and Cajun chicken panini’s, and it was so good! There were even Canadian maple leaf’s which was so cool to see.
We walked around just to walk for another couple of hours, and decided to head back to the apartment for supper. That night there would be a water show at the same Piata we got off the metro, so we wanted to eat and rest a bit before that.
We found this beautiful bank walking around.
BTW – heading back out to the water show was completely 100% worth it! The show goes every Friday / Saturday / Sunday from 8:00-9:00pm, weather permitting. The music, the lights, all of it was amazing! I love these types of things; it’s not something you see often. It’s just different. I was happy the host of our apartment told us about this!
We decided to wake up whenever again this morning. Since we’d bought groceries the day before, kids had cereal so no need to get them food as quickly as the morning before. I had read about a Tineretulu Park walking distance from our hotel, so we walked there. I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting much from this park, but it was beautiful! Lots of green space to move around, and parks for the kids all over. The parks are something amazing! The one thing that got frustrating was the kids couldn’t just play without being watched by security guards. Like T was flipping over and stood up on the carousel horse super fast and got in trouble – whereas to me he was doing nothing wrong; it was weird.
There was even a spaceship!
Tyler got to chase birds and just “be a kid”.
By now we were hungry. So hungry we didn’t want to wait for food, so we took the metro back downtown and had McDonalds. I thought McDonalds was cheap in Riga when we went, but it had nothing on Bucharest. Kids each had a Happy Meal, I have my Big Mac meal (of course!) and John had his meal – with upgraded fries. The cost for everything was 70LEI – which translates to 15€! 15€! I still can’t get over the cost! John and I can’t even eat for that when we go alone; absolutely crazy!!! It even had a maze and soccer thing for the kids to play in – it was cool. We got to rest our feet and they got to run around.
Last stop before heading to the hotel was Parliament. The Bucharest Parliament is the second largest admin building in the world, second to The Pentagon in the USA. It is also the heaviest building in the world weighing 4,098,500,000 kilograms. This parliament seriously is huge! Took us over forty minutes just to walk around the outside.
After this we headed back to our apartment to rest before an early start the next morning.
See post on the Bran Castle!
Today was a rainy / cloudy day. I am friends with a lady I met through a FB page for my hubby’s job. After three years of talking online I was finally able to meet her in person. This was one of my favourite days on this trip! Being able to talk to someone in that comfort is something I will NEVER forget! Being able to speak your heart and relax with no judgement, was one hell of a feeling. If you are reading this right now, I thank you and your family for having us over; it really meant a great deal to me!
Stay posted for a day trip to Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria!!! 🙂
Today was our last full day here. As we had seen everything we wanted to already, we really didn’t have to do any rushing. We made omelettes for breakfast, and headed out to find specialty eclairs. Yes, there is a specialty eclair shop in Bucharest called French Revolution! Took us four metro stops and twenty minutes to find because my maps was being stupid, but we found it! These were seriously incredible! I do not like Mille-feuille’s at all, but this one was amazing! So worth the search of it! One thing I was disappointed in was that it wasn’t a sit down shop; I was hoping to be able to have a coffee and enjoy it. Oh well, I had it after supper with wine instead 😉
Next off was to find a bookstore called Cărturești Carusel. I found this bookstore through Google, and knew I would have to go before we left Bucharest. Check the photos below to see why. I completely fell in love as soon as I walked in. I could have stayed there all day. I sent my mom a message and told her “I’m never leaving”.
We had to use our metro pass by 4:30 pm, and it was 2:30, so we were slooowwllyyy walking towards the metro.
I saw this milkshake looking thing at a restaurant as we passed by. In the split second it took for me to take a second look, a hostess stopped us and started showing us the menu and talking to the kids. In the end, I was so thirsty, so we stopped for a drink. Was 10€ for hubby and I to each have a Bailey’s Frappe, and the kids to each have a drink. Worth it, and oh so delicious!!! It sure hit the spot!!
From here, we were done. Today was just to “finish” what we had missed. As we had already seen pretty much everything in town before today, there wasn’t much to do. We passed by a cute little (yes, little lol) church – maybe synagogue?? – and headed to the metro to call it a day.
We had a 6:30 flight our next morning, so it was a very very early start. We needed to relax and finish packing and getting stuff ready. One thing of advice though, the Henri Coanda Airport is brutal to go through! No real lines to get to your check-in counter; everyone else cutting in everywhere – it was NUTS! Security was longer than I think I have ever waited. Piece of advice if ever flying from there – get there earlier than the two hours it says to get there!
All in all? Bucharest was alright. I was personally expecting a little “more”. Not much to see – in my opinion – but very cheap. Restaurants are one of the cheapest places we have travelled to yet. I am happy; I am glad I was able to go. If we ever go back to Romania though, I’d like to stay in the mountains and out of the big cities. According to Google, there sure is a lot more to see!!