A Postcard from Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest Title_Needles2015

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 1_Needles2015

Bucharest 3_Needles2015

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.

Mogosoaia Palace 1_Needles2015

Mogosoaia Palace 2_Needles2015

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.

Bucharest 2_Needles2015

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.

Bucharest Village Museum 1_Needles2015

Bucharest Village Museum 4_Needles2015

Bucharest Village Museum 3_Needles2015

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!