An early morning start catching the bus and then the train to Bucharest. Talked with a family of Romanian origin but now living in the USA. Passed through the mountain range but due to low cloud and fog wasn't able to see too much. The weather seems to change here quicker then Melbourne, sunny / very hot and then cold / raining the next moment.
Arrived in Bucharest and caught the metro to close to the hotel... More stairs to lift my heavy bag up and down.
Took a quick walk around the city including a look at the resolution monument in honor of those that were killed in December 1989. Has been so interesting to learn about the communist history if these eastern block countries. The struggle of these people over the last 100 years has brought them many adversities which they have survived and now are enjoying life to it's fullest.
Walked down towards to old part of the city were there are many beautiful building and museums. As it is Monday most things are closed.
Headed towards the parliament. This building has to be seen to be believed. It is enormous... The outside is white and surrounded by minimal garden that seem to ensure it's bold blockness and grandeur are not lost.
We had to leave our passports at the security desk and then passed through security check point and was asked to remove my pocket knife. Luckily I was able to collect it again at the end of the tour.
You have to take a guided tour which lasted about 2 hours and only covers a very small section of the building used as a conference facility.
As soon as you step past security you are also overwhelmed by the detailing and splendor of the inside. Every surface is carved or painted or cover in some way... Be is the inlayed marble and wooden floors or walls, the dozens of Chandlers ( up to 12 or more per room), the craved columns, plaster work covering most of the ceiling, the intricate painting, curtains with gold thread, hand made rugs. The views from the top of the 8th floor, that was a high as we went were great. You were able to see clearly down the bulevardul Unirii, the area in which hundreds of home were demolished to create the impressive entry to the building. Been inside and then leaving the building got you thinking that it was such a contrast between to enormous parliament building that Ceausescu and the horrible ugly grey concrete building the rest of the city lived in.. And that many of the people were starving but he had lost touch with what was happening.
Walked the short distance back to the hotel after the tour had ended before heading out to dinner. Wasn't very enjoyable as everyone smokes inside and out of restaurants so as non smoker you try to sit inside out of the cold but are so over whelmed by the smoke that you almost can't breath so then have to sit outside in the cold to try and get some fresh air. This then means that you meals goes cold in seconds and you just want to leave as soon as possible.
Makes you appreciate the non smoking rules of Australia.