Trip to Bucharest

Trip to Bucharest: April 8th - 12th 

… and my first travel abroad ever.

First of all, listen to the latest album by Ulver.

As I said in the previous post, along with friends we planned an excursion to Bucharest for three days and it's quite important because I, as the Rain Man, rarely travel. In fact, I had not been outside of Greece before and apart from a couple of places away from my hometown that I've been for vacation here, I really haven't traveled at all in my life. Until now!

Bucharest is a fine destination for students with a finite budget and it's nice to wander around because of it's neoclassical styled buildings, churches and blossomed parks. We stayed all together in a cozy apartment at the center of the city from with the Old Town in walking distance, where we spent time to check the nightlife the first two days. Sadly, we didn't manage to visit museums because they were all closed on Monday, yet I can't say I'm disappointed by the trip as a whole, it was a great time for all it lasted.

Day 1: After arriving on Saturday afternoon, we left right away to search around the city and ended up in the Old Town, which was more than lively because of the day. Bars, clubs, restaurants, street dances, a bit over the edge strip clubs, pretty much dry entertainment and decadence. We didn't party that hard because we were tired from the trip anyway.

Peles Castle - From Wikipedia
Day 2: The next day, we had booked a tour to visit castles outside Bucharest, towards Brasov in the Transylvanian region. Most popular tourist visits are Peles and Bran castles and they were the ones we saw as well. In the Carpathian mountains, surrounded by forests, Peles Castle is a stunning, majestic structure and made me stand in awe not only in the face of it, but also during the tour inside. It was extraordinary, luxurious, with great paintings and halls, as well as weapon rooms and sculptures of all kinds and the history regarding King Carol behind was interesting. Outside the castle was a very beautiful garden, while the road towards it is hugged by trees.

Second stop was the town of Brasov, which has a main square with several restaurants (of course we ate at KFC instead of trying local cuisine, smooth) as well as souvenir shops. The guide showed us around and we went through several monuments like Catherine's Gate, the massive Black Church or the longest and narrowest path in Europe, which is there. I saw a little museum about weapons on the way somewhere in the town, it was not a tour stop and I would have enjoyed visiting it but it's ok anyhow.

After that, we went to Bran Castle, which is linked to the story of Vlad Tepes but not directly in terms of history, since he is involved with other castles in Transylvania as well. A less impressive and more medieval building, we spent some time inside and there were exhibits explaining the story of Vlad the Impaler, about the mythical creatures strigoi, Bram Stoker's Dracula, most of the stuff I had heard about before in black metal. The nature and the hill where the castle stands makes it iconic and I loved it as much as Peles. Fans of Transylvanian folklore should visit these locations and many related records make more sense to me now. Returning to Bucharest, we went out again at the same place, which was less crowded because it was not Saturday anymore. I have to say I am very glad I went there. Growing up as a kid and playing with castles / knights / weapons, digging RPGs with the same themes, and lastly listening to rotten hate from the Balkans, made the castles and the nature around them hit me right in the heart. One of the best days of my life the recent years.

Day 3: Heading to the Parliament right away, that building is gargantuan to say the least. While waiting for our short tour in it, we spent time in various gardens and parks nearby, as well as the University of Law, and it was fun and relaxing. The Parliament is beautiful and the view from it's front balcony is stunning, we learned a few stuff about what happened there from the guide and how big it actually is, not visiting it at least from the outside just didn't feel right. In the afternoon, we went to Herăstrău Park, another really big park in Bucharest. Taking walks there and seeing the green around as well as the river had dreamy, divine effect on us, as we were again very tired because of the activities and the lack of sleep.

The next day, before leaving for the airport, we went to see a few streets around the Old Town and checked a couple of smaller churches. All in all, I had a great time and didn't spend that much money, even though I bought more stuff than I planned in the first place. A great experience for sure.

..... Marduk - Nightwing

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