Budapest To Bucharest 2014
May 17 - Bucharest
We were on our own today. No more waiting to get on and off of the ship and bus. No more deadlines. So what did we do? We took a walking tour of the old part of Bucharest with Guided Bucharest which met at a designated time and was composed of a small sized group of tourists. This company which is run by young, enthusiastic and knowledgable locals did a wonderful job showing us the high points of their city. The tour is free although donations are expected at the end. Everyone in our group was much younger, but we kept up for the 2 1/2 hour walk. The photo above shows our guide smiling and telling us about the second-most ridiculed statue in Bucharest. (It shows a Roman emperor with the Roman wolf with a snake in its head). Although the tour focused on history and historical buildings, we were treated to some humorous, irreverent remarks about statues, politics and events.
When the tour was over, we retraced our steps for lunch at Caru cu Bere. This has become a real diners' draw. It is in an opulent old building with columns, arches, murals, etc. It has traditional Romanian food and live entertainment. Because we did not have a reservation, we were seated in the wine cellar. It was quiet. Ann had a small mixed salad with her chicken schnitzel. I had a large salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and lettuce with a creamy cheese dressing. My main course was grilled carp with a very strong garlic sauce. People gave me plenty of room on the elevator back at the hotel. We both sampled the house brewed beer. It was pretty light.
Dinner tonight was at La Mama, another traditional Romanian restaurant which is a chain with locations throughout the city. We went there because it was close and moderately recommended. Ann had a salmon salad while I had a mixed grill of meat and vegetables. For desert, we split an order of dumplings covered by berries and cream cheese. Ann said that it was the best thing she had eaten so far in the Balkans.
Bedtime was early. We are off to Ravenna tomorrow.