Monday, 10 September 2007

The Transylvania Chronicles - Day Two

1st September 2007,
Bucharest, RUMANIA

To my dear reader,

So, after what seemed a never-ending plane journey we've finally set foot on Romanian soil. Of course, no sooner had we taken our first steps and there was already somebody pushing their luck for money. To be fair, he did load my suitcase into the boot of the taxi from its spot two inches away on the ground - chancer!

We arrived roughly around 17:00 Rumanian time at the hotel. Our room is very nice, not the hell-hole we thought they might have booked for us. You know the one I mean, the 'special suite'. As our taxi cruised into Bucharest I took in the scenery. The pavements and some of the buildings are dirty, kind of reminds of my hometown a little, that kind of dirt. But other buildings were astoundingly beautiful, so Bucharest is kind of handsome by day, but dark and dangerous by night. And despite being a former Communist Bloc state and expecting there to be poverty on every corner - admittedly there is a lot- so far I've seen an Audi 4x4, a Porsche 911 and a Ferrari F40 parked up! In need of EU subsidies - possibly not!

Despite the dirty streets and the darkness (maybe Stoker's imagination didn't work overtime) the weather is warm and the walk has been pleasant. As interesting to look at the buildings is to look at the people and observe how different they are from us. They've looked after us well so far, and there are lots of people who speak English, which made life easier in the restaurant, where we had a lovely meal (beef ciorba - soup to you and I!- followed by a delicious steak), and it did not put me off having what turned out to be a respectable crack at the language. A hell of an investment that book.

We've also made a new friend, Manel, a decent type who runs his own travel agency but whose girlfriend works in Greece, I gather. Maybe he might be able to do us a discount some time! But, no, seriously, maybe he'll be able to do us a discount...

Tomorrow we're heading for Sibiu, the European Capital of Culture in 2007. It's an early start of 7:50am out the front of the hotel, so I guess some of the other guests could be in for a culture shock before we even get there, seeing as I can be a real barrel of laughs at that time of the day (has it even begun?) - if you know me well then you'll also realise I'm being ironic.

Anyways, I've said enough for one blog. Besides, I need to get my beauty sleep, something of which I need an exceptional amount, since we were up late last night and then early today.

From the "Peter Express" I bid you Napti buna (Goodnight).

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