Paris of the East


Here we are in the Casa Gabriela. It’s quite a nice, newly-renovated pension/guest house. We have a palatial suite at a cheap rate with room for the bikes and a novelty toilet seat featuring barbed wire set into the acrylic – very funny. We seem to be the only guests.

We’ve been enjoying Bucharest’s shabby chic (or is that faded glory). The traffic situation is pretty dire and hard work for cyclists and pedestrians until the cars jam up and then we’re off the leash. Bucharestis are excellent at parking cars – much more inventive and successful at finding places to leave their cars than almost anyone else in the World.

Orthodox church squeezed by Communist-era buildings

We’ve found cafes to be ridiculously expensive and selling below par beverages. Most humble cafes in rural Romania do better for a fraction of the price. We have found a number of hole-in-the-wall bakeries selling pastries and covrigi (Romanian pretzels) which are cheap and good.

We leave this Paris of the East tomorrow morning by train hopefully headed towards Bulgaria. At worst it will get us out of the city. We’ve been struggling to get Bulgarian information (maps, guide books in English or consitant traffic advice) – we’ll just have to wing it.

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