Travel always makes me want to learn all the languages. As I was preparing for my trip to Romania, I found out that the language is Latin-based. I was curious to see how much Romanian I’d be able to extrapolate based on knowing Spanish, and unfortunately, it wasn’t much. There are bits + pieces of Romanian that are familiar, especially in its written form, but it was nearly completely unrecognizable in its spoken form. Alas!
Bucharest is this interesting blend of Orthodox churches, beautiful Belle Arts government buildings + boxy communist-era buildings. Plus a dash of post-dictatorship casinos + “night clubs.” The unique combination meant that as you walked around the city + turned a corner, you never really knew what you were going to get.
My dad was attending a conference in Bucharest + the hosts organized a day of touring for us, where we visited a beautiful palace called Mogosoaia, one of the only surviving buildings of its kind. It’s considered to be Romanian Renaissance architecture (also known as Brancovenesc), which is a fascinating blend of Ottoman + Italian influences. The almost-pink brick structures were surrounded by rose gardens + the palace grounds were nestled next to a small lake.
We had lunch at a lakeside restaurant, with porches built out back so you could sit on the water to enjoy your meal. Before lunch, we were treated to a tasting of several Romanian wines – I had no idea there were wine regions in Romania! They served traditional Romanian appetizers, soup, polenta + plates of meat for lunch. Then, of course, we finished with dessert. The whole meal took around 3 hours, which is definitely a contrast to our hurried American lives.
I think I ate more pork during my short stay in Romania than I had eaten in the last several years of my life.
On our last day in Bucharest, my dad + I visited the Village Museum, which is an amazing collection of houses from various time periods + regions all across Romania. It gave you a glimpse of what daily life was like for people all across the country. We even stumbled upon a folk dance festival that was taking place inside the museum!
I wasn’t very familiar with Romania or its history before visiting Bucharest last year, but I’m SO glad I did. It just reaffirms my belief that every place on the planet has something beautiful + interesting to offer, which is why I’m obsessed with seeing as much of it as I can. There is so much loveliness in the world.
Have any places you’ve visited surprised you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!