Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bucharest, Romania

Over the weekend, I took a trip to Bucharest, Romania with a friend who is a fellow intern with me! While there were a few hiccups on the day we left, we had a ton of fun exploring a new country.

On Saturday, once we got settled into the hotel, we wandered around for a bit before settling on a restaurant that was offering traditional fare!  We stayed at the Novetel in what seems to be the city center as well as within walking distance of other major hotels. The hotel's site actually used to be the National Theater before a fire, so the front of the hotel reflects the facade of the theater.  As for the food that we sampled the first day we were there, we couldn't eat the whole platter we ordered! Definitely worth it!

Bucharest's 1st Hospital
On Sunday, we took a day trip to visit the famous castles of Romania! Our first stop were the grounds of Peles Castle. The larger castle on the site was closed for the season, but we still got to explore the smaller one as well as the grounds.

Romanian Countryside

Peles Castle
After visiting Peles castle, we drove to Bran Castle which is also known as Dracula's Castle.

Bran Castle

In the marketplace outside of the palace, besides finding some sheep slippers, I also found something that I wasn't expecting:


This pillow pet did not come home with me as I already own one!  #orangenation

Post Dracula's Castle, our tour took us to Brasov, a smaller city in Romania. I found it to be very similar to other Eastern European cities with the large town centre.
Brasov Town Center
Just like the Hollywood Sign!
On our final day in Romania, we took a city tour. We were able to get a private city tour as the majority of the large-bus tours had shut down for the season. We were able to tour the museum that featured traditional houses from all the regions in Romania, the Parliament Palace, several Eastern Orthodox churches, and to see the balcony where Nicolae Ceausescu gave his final speech in the 1989 Revolution.

View from the Parliament Place Balcony

Parliament Place…2nd largest government building in the world!

The Balcony where Ceausescu gave his final speech

End of Communism Statue
Elaine and I had a great time touring Bucharest and the rest of Romania! It was the perfect weekend away from the stress of grad school!