21 Dec Touring Bucharest Romania
Capturing Grace on a three week journey through Romania, Croatia and France
After our time in Pitesti documenting the adoption stories of three very brave Romanian families, Dasha and I were treated to a tourist day in Bucharest by our new friend and ministry partner Alina.
Legends say that the city of Bucharest got its name from a shepherd named Bucur that once settled in this area. Bucur fell in love with a lady named Dambovita, which today is the name of the main river that passes through Bucharest. Bucur is also the root of the Romanian word “bucurie” that means “joy”, and in old Romanian it used to mean “beautiful”. The name Bucuresti can be translated as “the city of joy” or “beautiful city”. During our time in Romania Dasha and I can surely say that both names fit the city perfectly.
I am so grateful to Dasha and Alina for guiding me around trip hazards and zooming cars while I explored the world of Bucharest Romania through the lens of my camera. These photographs tell the story of our day in Bucharest.
Our first stop was The Palace of the Parliament. There’s a good reason why everyone wants to see this building when traveling to Bucharest. The Palace of the Parliament is the heaviest building in the world and the second largest and most expensive administrative building, right after the Pentagon. The Palace was ordered by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the dictator of Communist Romania, and it houses the Parliament of Romania along with three museums and an international conference centre.
Bucharest earned the nickname “Little Paris” in the period between the two World Wars because of the beautiful architecture built at that time.
Little Paris also has its own Arc de Triomphe, built after Romania gained its independence in 1878 so that the victorious troops could march under it. Inspired by the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris, this Arc is a little smaller than the one in Paris but still impressive and worth the visit. The Unirii Boulevard was also ordered to be like the Champs-Elysées, only bigger.
Dasha and I both gasped when we entered the Romanian National Opera House in Bucharest. It was built in the early 1950s, opening in 1954 with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades. Vaguely neoclassical in design the building is elegant on the outside, with a richly decorated main auditorium.
Thank you Alina for taking us to Caru’ cu bere, built in 1888, and treating us to the house specialty, Pork Knuckle (roasted very slowly) and served with braised sour cabbage, polenta, horseradish and a chili pepper. Yum!!!
I think I may have Romanian heritage. ❤️
After our time at Caru’ cu bere, Dasha and I were in search for the best latte in Bucharest. With Alina’s help, our quest came to an end at Origo Coffee. In 2013 Origo Coffee helped put Bucharest on the specialty coffee map and is known for its iconic white coffee cup and pour-over light fixtures. I always enjoy chatting up the barista’s and I learned from barista Anca that “I think it’s very important to have good coffee, but it’s nothing if you make a good coffee and don’t know how to present it to someone. So the coffee is important, but hospitality also means a lot.”
I could not agree more.
The day ended with Lubo’s arrival from Prague, our leftover Pigs Knuckle turned his arrival into a late night food fest!