Sunday, 19th/Monday, 20th May, 2007 – Bucharest, Days 4 and 5
Sunday in Bucharest was just as nuts as Saturday had been with people running into barriers/tyre walls/each other and anything else they could find to hit. It all got messy and again we seemed to walk miles and miles, mostly up that damn hill to the press office. In the evening we again went out to the Old Town in search of dinner, this time determined to find some Romanian food. This time we ended up at the eccentric, but splendid, Moara Mariei (and the web site has to be read to be believed). We had a massive, and massively tasty, meal, and finally rolled out into the night around 4 hours after we went in, stuffed with all sorts of food, and deafened by the folk musicians, but very happy.
The proprietress is quite a character, telling us we couldn’t have certain menu items together because “Is not good!” (mostly the Serbian rice – she insisted that Romanian peasant potatoes were better, and to be fair they were very good, but we did wonder if it was just that there was no rice available – or there was a glut of potatoes). She also insisted that we should all have the Romanian dessert, but refused to tell us what it was, only insisting “is surprise!” It turned out to be pieces of Austrian-style cheesecake (made with quark and thus slightly textured rather than smooth), pieces of creme caramel, and slices of banana and orange, all of which could be dumped in a well of flaming alcohol (and then eaten but mostly incinerated because by then none of us were very good at keeping the things on our forks). I’d go back to any of the restaurants we visited quite happily.
I’d also go back to Bucharest quite happily, though I gather some people didn’t feel quite so benevolent towards the place, and never want to go there again. I can see that it might be a little unnerving, but I liked it.
Monday we had very little time, but we did at least have time to have breakfast in the hotel for the first time all weekend. Then packing, a short walk to the Palace and back taking photos of the amazing fountains all the way along the Boulevard Unirii, as well as of some of the fabulous but run-down architecture in the neighbourhood we were staying in.
After that it was one more manic cab ride (back to the airport) and home by 8pm, just in time to unpack, repack and set the alarm for 5am and another trip to the Netherlands.