Monday, 25 May 2015

Bucuresti is the Besti

I have exciting news!!! This blog post is written on my new laptop.  I got fed up with waiting an hour for my old one to load up anything and bit the bullet and bought a touch screen Dell. So far I am very pleased with it but the mouse is a bit shit, so I am grateful for the touchscreen!  I managed to turn the mousepad off when playing with the settings and spent half an hour researching how to turn it back on without a mouse, before remembering it was touchscreen and all I had to do was press the screen button....doh!

Anyways me and Sepha just got back from brilliant weekend away in Bucharest. Our trip began with a refreshing 4.30am walk from Clapham to Victoria.  A coach, a plane and a bus later and we arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed, eager to find our hostel.

We were staying at Antique Hostel which I highly recommend - it's a really great location in Old Town, the rooms are beautiful and the staff are lovely.  Unfortunately the other dorm rooms were booked out by a bunch of 50 architecture students on a study trip so it wasn't the best for socialising, but one of the staff members was an incredibly hot South African guy who looked like Heath Ledger so that more than made up for the lack of socialising.

we had a twin private room - was basic but nice!

the river ouside the hostel

post landing snacks

view from our room

We dumped our stuff and headed out to get some money changed.  We bumped into two German guys (Simon and Sebastian) we'd met on the bus from the airport, so joined them for a drink, which quickly led to more.  Our group grew as a guy who'd overheard us speaking English (and slating French people - and he was French, oops) joined us.

There were 2 escape rooms at the hostel the Germans were staying at, so we decided to go do the escape room before heading out for dinner and drinks.

Our group grew further as we met up with Simon and Sebastian's friend Dario, and we also enlisted the help of another guy standing at the bar, Seth, to help us escape the escape room.  I have always wanted to do one of these and this one was super cheap at 10 euros per person.  It was themed 'black and white' and whist the staff lady had told us it didn't require much maths, it did require lots of code breaking, which isn't my (or any of the other's as it turned out!) forte.  After requesting several hints, we escaped with 13 minutes to spare, which we were quite happy with, but it was a lot harder than I expected .  I want my mum and Tim to do one as they're quite good at that sort of stuff so it would be interesting to see how they did.

the a team

We went back to the hostel bar where we recruited two further girls into our little gang and headed into the Old Town for dinner and drinks.  We had some amazing greek food and the bill came to a fiver each including a beer - so cheap!  After that we went to a bar called Shoteria which as you can probably guess, served lots of different shots.  It was fun but we got tired very quickly having been up since 4am so we left the group at midnight and had a well deserved sleep.

Gyros restaurant - delicious

The next morning we joined a free walking tour which was really interesting and took us on a 2.5 hour tour round the Old Town.  Apparently Bucharest is so called because it was founded by a shepherd called Bucur, and 'rest' means belonging to.  Bucharest has the largest boulevard in the world, and when it was built by the communist leader in the 80s, 40,000 people were moved out of their homes so that the boulevard and Palace of the Parliament could be built.  When they left, some of the buildings were removed from their foundations and put on rail tracks and moved across the city - they moved some 15 churches in this way.

The Palace of the Parliament is the largest administrative building in the world and was built by the communist leader Nicolae CeauČ™escu in the 80s.  It was modelled on one he saw in north Korea (figures!!) and after the death Nicolae they did consider tearing it down, but decided to leave it up.  It goes 92 metres deep and has underground tunnels that connect it to every important building in Romania, including the Otopeni airport.  

Palace of Parliament

apparently named the ugliest statue in Bucharest

Vlad the Impaler (Dracula!) He used to impale his enemies with a wooden rod covered in pork vat, entered via the bum hole and coming out of the mouth, he'd then let them slide down the pole and slowly die over 48hours. Nice!!!

so childish....

After the tour we browsed a flea market where I bought a brilliant pocket watch - it doesn't work but it's really pretty and you can see all of the mechanics of it.  It was only £6 and I am hoping it's worth millions but it's very pretty so I'll keep it for a while. 

I dragged everyone to find a geocache which we failed to find - even with 5 pairs of eyes!  Then we had a very leisurely lunch of typical romanian food.  We ate Mici, which is a sort of unskinned sausage with herbs and spices, and Sarmale, which is ground pork wrapped in a cabbage leaf.  Both were delicious, especially when washed down with £1.20 beer.  For pudding, we tried Papanasi, which is sort of like a doughnut with orange rind in the dough, topped with the doughnut hole, covered in sour cream and prune juice.  Unfortunately it wasn't as nice as it sounded and we were all a bit disappointed.  


Sarmale with polenta (yuck) and sour cream


preparing the Mici

That night we joined the boys for a bar crawl their hostel was putting on.  We managed to get free entry and a free shot to one of the bars that originally wasn't letting us in as we weren't part of the crawl and didn't want to pay (not sure how that happened but it was an offer we obviously didn't refuse!).  The crawl took us on a random selection of bars - a roof top hostel bar, a karaoke bar (but the queue to sing was 2 hours - ain't nobody got time for that), a Russian bar that had a live band and some very odd clientele, and an underground club.  After making numerous attempts at escaping, we eventually managed to slink away at the respectable time of 3am whilst the boys made it back to their hostel at 7 in the morning....I was very glad we left when we did!

On our final day we had a leisurely breakfast followed by a disappointing multicache - we got all the clues but couldn't work out the last number for the co-ordinates we needed for the geocache due to the building being under construction.  After several frustrating guesses and maths attempts we decided to give up and just go for a wander.  We headed in the direction of a design museum which we also couldn't find  - this was becoming a common theme of the trip, before chilling in a park for an hour or so.  We then joined the boys for one last farewell drink before heading back to the UK.  

I love the manhole covers in Bucharest. Each one was different

On of many churches

There's a lot of this grubby style of street art

the boulevard

Trying to solve the bloody geocache we didn't try this!

I really enjoyed the weekend and Sepha was a great travelling partner.  I definitely recommend Bucharest - it's quite pretty and has an interesting, recent history.  I do think 2/3 days is enough to stay there, and would recommend the Old Town as a good location to stay, especially if you want to go on a night out. We found everyone to be friendly, but service in restaurants was noticably slow.  It is very cheap!!


  1. So this is what we did this weekend. Interesting!

  2. Sounds like a great weekend with great peolple :-D
    And thanks for summarizing the tour, I have to admit that I've missed some of the facts...

    1. haha!!! I agree, the people were great!!!! Let us know if you guys are ever in London and we can go do some architecture :)

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