Anniversary Celebrations in Bucharest
I’ve decided I’d like to change our anniversary to say, March. Any month that is cooler than August will be fine, after all, we’re winter people.
The first couple of days in Bucharest were approaching 40c. Whilst our beautiful hotel was fully air conditioned, the units in many places and even cabs were not coping with the unprecedented heatwave across much of Europe. Thank heavens for (incredibly cheap) Uber rides that saved us from walking, ordinarily our most preferred mode.
Like much of this part of the world Bucharest is old, pretty and in need of TLC. That’s why I like it; it’s a privilege to see a new country being formed after a revolution with the ashes of their great heritage.
When we were in Budapest a couple of years ago, apparently it also hit the late 30s but I don’t recall it. There were drinking fountains and the city was conscious of the heat. Staff were giving out bottles of water and even cups of ice on street corners plus everywhere had the relief of air conditioning.
Bucharest, however, is sitting in the 1990s and still working on moving its facilities into the 21st century. There is no public transport system to speak off, no department stores for sheltering from the heat as well as being able to pick up essentials or something to remember the trip by. And I took so many photos of holes in the pavements and wires hanging down to our eye level my gallery looked like one belonging to a city planner.
We had some great meals (our anniversary dinner was the best), served by friendly people and the staff in its, many, new locally independent coffee shops had the highest levels of service. Otherwise, in shops and tourist destinations, it was lack lustre or non-existent. Even when we bought something in one of favourite European shops, the staff talked to each and giggled all the while when taking our hard-earned cash.
It’s the first time in anniversary trips we’ve had this mixed bag of service levels but our choice of hotel, made the trip for us with its consistently amazing 5-star service. We had five gorgeous days which probably have been a teeny bit more enjoyable if we’d lost 10c of heat.