UPDATED JANUARY 2021
I bet you weren’t expecting this!
So, what happened?
But if you’re as lazy as I am (whaaaat!), I’ll give you a helping hand!
THE CZECH REPUBLIC:
p.s If you’re booking hotels, houses and apartments, use this link to save 20% or more, between 5th January and 31st March 2021!
Now to be clear, I’m not saying that I don’t like Romania. I’m not a hater you know.
I’m just saying that it didn’t tickle my fancy!
And even though that’s a rare thing, here’s somewhere else that I won’t be rushing to anytime soon.
The Dominican Republic.
Not Sloveeeeeenia that I absolutely adore.
I mean, once upon a time, I even spent a considerable amount of time living there.
Not one bit.
Now before you all get your pitchforks out and proceed to burn me at the stake.
When writing about Romania, I’m refering to the nation and state of Romania, not the people.
And certainly, I’m not in any way making reference to the Roma minority!
I’m not cruel!
If anything, I very much enjoyed learning about the history and culture of the indigenous people, and only wish that I could have learnt more!
So what’s this post all about then?
Well, Romania was my 65th country, and in truth I was excited, and waiting to be dazzled.
Not by flashy buildings or histories of yore, but just by that feeling of joy.
Being in another place.
I mean, I was in a new country n’ everything.
And some things were quite interesting (I’ll tell you all about them next week)!
I wasn’t overwhelmed.
I wasn’t fascinated.
And sad to say.
I wasn’t even impressed.
I’m well-travelled and know perfectly well that each country has a different charm to it.
You don’t even have to have a name that anyone can pronounce.
I’m the last person on earth to ram my opinion down anyone’s throat.
Let’s get a little bit of background shall we?
Romania is a country in a region that is considered to be Eastern Europe, Central Europe, and South-East Europe, and surrounded by Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Moldova, the Ukraine, as well as the Black Sea!
It has a population of almost 20 million people, is considered one of the poorest members of the EU.
That notwithstanding, Romania has the second-longest river in Europe flowing through it – the River Danube – the second-longest mountain range in Europe – the Carpathian Mountains – and has been around as far back as 40,000 years ago!
Most people don’t know an awful lot about Romania, but it’s rise to fame came about in modern times due to the Communist rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu, and the intrigue of Bran Castle, otherwise known as Count Dracula’s Castle.
More about this next week!
Bucharest, otherwise known as București, is the capital of Romania.
It has a population of roughly 1.8 million people, is very near the Bulgarian border, and was first mentioned in 1459!
The architecture of Bucharest is an interesting mix of neo-classical, art-deco, French and communist-era design.
In fact, pre-WWI and WWII, Bucharest was sometimes referred to as Little Paris, but was utterly destroyed by earthquakes or the rampant desires of Nicolae Ceaușescu, who preferred Bucharest to look like the country of his dreams, and bull-dozed most of the city to the ground!
In truth, Nicolae Ceaușescu did this to make way for his Palace of the Parliament, which outside of the Pentagon, is the largest administrative building in the world!
So there’s that!
To visit Count Dracula’s Castle!
Don’t be ridiculous!
That’s really why I went to Romania!!
To visit the castles!
I’m a tourist. What of it?
TAKE ME THERE?
We flew with Ryanair.
And it was pretty alright.
IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?
Bucharest is beginning to attract attention, and certainly, in the peak months, you’ll get a summer rush, but it’s hardly Dubrovnik.
They’re nowhere near the same!
Budapest is far nicer!
WHAT IS ROMANIA LIKE?
Well, it isn’t Switzerland, that’s for sure.
It’s a bit gritty, but not like Berlin.
It’s a bit rough-looking, and not very well looked after, as there were loads of really beautiful buildings that were either abandoned, or falling apart!
I wanted to get a feel of Romania, so we were there for a week.
It didn’t wow me!
I DON’T SPEAK ROMANIAN!
Not a problem.
If you can speak German, Russian or a little English, you’ll be fine!
AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?
Thanks to the fact that Romania isn’t on the beaten path, accommodation ranges from quite simple, to 5-star establishments.
It won’t be necessary for you to live in a cave!
Prices are excellent, so we decided to use booking.com to book a large two-bedroom, two-bathroom, two balcony apartment for just €54.00 a night.
Our Green Apartment was big enough for four (4) people sharing, making it a ridiculous price of €13.50 per person.
I really don’t think you can do any better!
Having said that, in the summer months, book ahead.
BUT WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I GET TO ROMANIA?
Romania isn’t boring.
There is plenty to do.
WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?
Romania isn’t the safest of countries, but public transport is cheap and available.
We chose a better option.
Uber was so cheap that our rides across town cost as little as €2.60 in some places.
Two (2) Euros and sixty cents!!!
Isn’t that marvellous!
If you’re in Germany, here’s my link!
Prices are extremely cheap, but do double-check your bill.
Don’t bother to use public transport as Uber is cheap as chips.
The city centre seems to be alright at night, but most of the side roads had no street lamps, so was pretty dark.
There also seems to be a lot of construction going on as the pavements had lots of huge manholes that were fenced off with plastic tape, and couldn’t be seen at night, so that you did, in actual fact, fall in!
Don’t expect service at restaurant and bars.
I live in Berlin, where service isn’t that fantastic, but Romania totally beats nonchalant attitude, hands-down!
The amount of time that I had to ask staff at “nice” restaurants to clear and clean tables before we sat there, was rather too much for my liking.
And apparently, it’s quite the norm!
Romania is a European historical country, mixed with distinct reminders of a socialist past.
WOULD I COME AGAIN?
It didn’t wow me!
I wouldn’t go all out to visit Romania, but if you’re in the region, take a day or two and visit.
Or go to the countryside, which is quite nice!
But as always, don’t just read the papers, or listen to hearsay.
Europe is wonderful!
This article is not sponsored, and all opinions are really, my very own!
Next week, the Romanian places that I did like!
And in a few weeks, I’ll be revealing my next summer trip!
That’s it for now.
See you next week!
Watch this space!
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So what are you waiting for?
Thanks a million!
See you in Berlin.
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