Friday, December 2, 2016

Bucharest, Romania

After a day of castle exploration, we headed to the capital of Romania for the night.  There is an Olmsted Scholar and his family who gladly opened their home to us for the night.  We love staying with fellow Olmsted scholars because it gives us a chance to meet so many great people and swap stories.  Taylor is a class behind Mike, so he and his family just arrived in Romania about the same time we arrived in Berlin. We arrived after the kids were in bed, which gave us a chance to chat with Taylor and his wife to hear all about their experience in Romania thus far. 

The next day, we were greeted by two little smiling faces (the third was already at school) who were excited to have people staying at their house.  We hung out with them for a little bit before Mike and I headed out to do some exploring.  We spent the morning wandering around the town, not going inside anything and instead, just taking in the feel of the city. For the most part, it felt like another big city.  There were glimpses of the communist past, but as always, I think Mike and I were both impressed with the recovery Bucharest has made.

We met up with the Francises for lunch before we had a tour to explore the most impressive building in Bucharest, it's parliament building.  It's the second largest government building in the world, after the Pentagon.  We opted for the hour long tour based on the timing, but there is a more in depth one that goes into the basement. Unfortunately, pictures aren't allowed inside, but let me just tell you, it's impressive.  In one hour, we saw 3% of the building. 

My dad's dream job....not!

After the tour, we headed back to the Francises house for dinner before catching a late flight back to Berlin.  I'm not sure if Romania will be high on our list of favorite places we've traveled, but there were definitely some cool moments and experiences.  I'd give it five or ten years and Romania will have a booming tourist industry. It's definitely worth consideration if you are looking for a more off-the-beaten-path destination.

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