Old Town Bucharest

August 18, 2016 12:23 PM | Anonymous member

Thursday, August 18.  Our group has arrived in Budapest by a variety of routes and airlines, but somehow we all found our way to Hotel Berthelot.  After a nice buffet breakfast, we decided to tour the Old Town part of Bucharest by taking the Metro to the Old Town and then walking back.  Along the way we encountered a man staging a one -man protest against the local hospital, so apparently freedom of speech is alive and well in Romania.  The Metro was easy to navigate, and soon took us to the Old Town.  The variety of architecture is striking.  There is no one style, but you can find old buildings in Georgian, Romanesque, French Colonial, even half-timbered, alongside ultra modern buildings interspersed with the ugly utilitarian concrete block buildings of the communist era, and there are also many that were obviously formerly grand but are now abandoned and in a state of decay.    We looked around a historic hotel, Hanu-Lui Manuc and an Eastern Orthodox church of Saint Anthony, built in 1559 but restored after a fire in 1847.  It is typical of the Wallachian 16th century churches, with alternating colors of brick and a remarkable stone portal added in 1715.  We laughed at the creative names of bars, restaurants, and stores in the historic bordello street:  Bordello Bar:  Sometimes Love Is Worth Paying For.  Nightclub:  Aren't We All Sinners?    The Stavropolis Monastery, built on 1724, has an ornate sanctuary, but I most liked the lovely colonnaded courtyard with vines and fountains.  We went to the Museum of the History of Romania, with its treasury of ancient gold.   We had lunch in a very historic restaurant in the old town, and several of us ordered the Senior Meal -- mine was three plump sausages, potato wedges and beer-- for about $2.75.  great!

---Helen Flach

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