Bucharest Romania – Paris of the East


Bucharest has been called the Paris of the east. The wide avenues and French architecture supports that theory.


But my first stop was at the Peles Hunting Lodge which was built by King Carl in the late 1800’s. He was beloved, German, and everything he built brought Germany to Romania. In the late 1800’s Romanian wanted stature with the European countries so they went shopping for a King and Carl obliged.  I’ve toured more than my share of castles and this was the most intact. We had lunch at a local hunting lodge and it was as if King Carl caught the wild boar himself.  (For those on Forest Spring perhaps we should catch one of those roaming boars and have a barbecue)

Next stop was the Parliament Buiding, an incredibly opulent building built by a narcissistic dictator in the 1980’s. As fate would have it, after spending  most of Romania’s State money to build, the dictator was executed for genocide and never got to use the building. Literally the country was starved to build this 1K room building.  The revolution happened in 1989 just weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The leaders of the revolution  are held in great reverence. Romania is still washing off the impacts of communism. I got to hear a first person account of life during communism and it was powerful.  People were starving and without heat. It was also interesting to hear the role Radio Free Europe played in the revolution.  Not sure the revolution would have even happened if the fall of the Berlin Wall wasn’t known and the Romanian State Radio and TV controlled the message.

We happened on a birthday celebration for the Romanian Religious patriarch. Sort of like the Romanian version of the Pope. To be honest  any one of them could get a job as Santa Claus. The pageantry was quick but impressive.

Next stop Bulgaria – new country number two on this trip.

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