Skip to main content

Weeknote 44

A week in Bucharest

Bucharest was a pleasant time away from work and opportunity to see somewhere far from where I've ever been in Europe before. Whilst the city feel quite shabby and derelict in parts, there are signs it's improving and prospering, in part thanks to recent EU membership. The Spotlight Festival was an unexpected highlight of the visit, which included several spectacular light projections with music and animation on the city's landmarks.

Light projections on horse statue and building in Bucharest

Food-wise, the Romanian capital didn't disappoint! The highlights of eating out in Bucharest included Neapolitan style pizza at PizzaMania, a fine dining experience at the ARTIST Restaurant, and delicious traditional Romanian cuisine in the characterful cellars of Lacrimi și Sfinți which included Cabbage Rolls (Sarmale).

Left to right, Cabbage roles and polenta, Twirl of purée with vegetable roll, prawns, pizza with ham topping

We ticked off quite a few things on the tourist trail. Early on we'd a walking tour focusing on Bucharest's communist past, and made a visit to Primaverii Palace, former residence of Romanian president Ceausescu. Top of the Instagram must-shoots, we also visited the beautiful bookshop in the Old Town, Cărturești Carusel, and The Romanian Athenaeum.

Left to right, bookshop interior, The Romanian Athenaeum view to stage, tiled wall at Primaverii Palace

Of course, we couldn't go without a tour of The Palace of the Parliament, which is one of the three largest buildings in the world. Security was airport-style, including passport checks to enter, but worth the hour wait, although sadly not enough time to see all 3000 rooms! 🙃

Exterior of The Palace of the Parliament

The return trip to London wasn't the smoothest, since the airport bus hit something significant just 15 minutes shy of the airport and punctured. A nearby Bolt taxi was our saviour! The BA flight back to Heathrow left rather late due to slow loading and failing to anticipate that everyone might have more than one item of hand baggage.

View over Windsor Castle from plane window