Bucharest is hot. That kind of melty hot where all you want to do is sit and focus all of your energy on not being hot. Which is what we did, over lunch. And then over iced coffee. We walked around the Old Town, which was much quieter than it had been the previous two days (and especially nights). Bucharest was the surprise party town that I was not expecting and the picture below sums it up. Lots of Eastern Europeans here to have a good time. The Old Town was full of bars, sidewalk cafes and old crumbling buildings. Usually I really like juxtaposition. Seoul was full of it, but the juxtaposition in Bucharest featuring popped collars on the men and tight stone-washed jeans on the women weren’t my thing. We walked around until we were again, too hot to do anything other than sit down outside for a cold drink. or two.
One of my favorite sights we took in during our walk around town was this monastery. Stavropoleos Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox Monastery for nuns. I had no clue those even existed! Monasteries for nuns! It was tiny, but extraordinarily tall and featured “the quietest courtyard” in all of Bucharest. So they say… (It was quiet, and a little cool in the shade, which made us both happy as we tried not to give in and find somewhere in doors with air-conditioning.)
After we tore ourselves out from under the shade in the little courtyard, we meandered through the streets some more. Not many others were out- at least compared to how busy the streets were after dark in the previous evenings. Perhaps we were silly for being out in the heat. It appeared as though some people were living in some of these buildings. I’m not entirely sure how, or if it is even legal. The buildings are marked “historical” and on either side of these were cafes with outdoor seating and young and old tourists eating and drinking. It was an interesting mix of people. Gypsies roaming the streets and getting chased away from tables at the cafes. One more thing to add to the list of “things to look up”: Gypsies.
We walked by Revolution Square, past the museums, Caru’ cu Bere (the famous beer hall we went to for Andrew’s birthday), and a famous old hotel, some other ruins, and tried to pass the time until the free walking tour began at six. But, we couldn’t do it. We assured ourselves that the walking tour probably covered all of the same places we walked to on our own in the afternoon (minus the information, I’m sure) and grabbed dinner before heading back to our air-conditioned room. We passed this Russian inspired church on the way back, but it was closed, so we snapped a picture and went on our way.