Boat Trip, Day Thirteen (Part I)

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[As you’ll recall, “last night” we merely crossed the river from Rousse, Bulgaria, to Giurgiu, Romania.  We have now deplaned de boat for the last time and are on a one and a half hour bus ride to the capital city of Bucharest.  Is this a Twins minor league ball park?]

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[We passed a large weekend flea market, which again begs the question . . . why fleas?]

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[A statue of a guy.  OK, he’s Mihai Viteazul, or “Michael the Great,” but you’ll have to look him up to see what made him great.]

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[A travel writer called these . . . ]

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[‘Buildings through bus windows along the way.’  We were told what they were at the time but that was over a month ago.]

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[The Mad Hatter would seem an appropriate title here.]

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[OK, we’re in downtown Bucharest, with the National Library of Romania across the pond.]

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[Circling Union Square’s Fountain, which we seemed to do several times.  It must be a hub to everywhere!  😉  ]

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[Union Boulevard . . . the boulevards of Bucharest are why it’s called the Paris of the East (as is Budapest, I believe?).]

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[The Fountain of Union Square with the Palace of the People (a/k/a/ the Parliament) in the background.  Part II is almost entirely about that Palace.]

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[Tossing Reetz a bone!  🙂  ]

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[The 14th century Baratia Catholic Church on Union Square.]

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[Appears to be a building of some import?  I believe the Home of the Free Press, the only building in Bucharest that still has the Soviet hammer and sickle logo on its exterior.]

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[There’s that fountain again.]

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[“Caruta cu paiate” sculpture at the National Theatre.]

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[Time for a walk.  And the Village Museum seemed like just the place to do so.  It’s an outdoor museum (obviously) that includes over 200 traditional peasant farms and houses from all over the country.  Our guide, holding 18C, just turned us loose to get lost on our own.]

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[A shot for the flowering tree?]

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[Plus, there was SHOPPING!  Well, we always knew where we could find Reetz then.]

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[A tree that looked like it had survived many tough winters . . . not unlike our tourist group!  😉  ]

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[Actually looked for some folk dance attire here, but they didn’t have size “American.”]

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[The wheels on the bus go round and round . . . ]

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tram 32 to alexandria

[Who knew? While busing around we had no idea how close we were to home! “Alexandria is the capital city of the Teleorman County, Romania. It is located south-west of Bucharest, towards the Bulgarian border. The city is situated on the Vedea River. The city has 45,434 inhabitants.” (The quote and the ’32 tram to Alex’ are from Wikipedia.) And they have a professional women’s basketball team!]

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[The National Museum “George Enescu”  – George was a composer and musician, but I don’t know if he ever made Billboard’s Top 20 in the States?]

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[National Museum of Art (top), a cute little 18th century Orthodox Church, and National Military Museum]

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[CEC Palace]

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[You figure it out? This is Emperor Trajan and the She-Wolf, and it’s somewhat controversial and may be removed.  It was next to the restaurant where we noshed.]

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[And we walked past the CEC Palace, and Trajan, to this huge restaurant for lunch.]

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[The place was able to efficiently handle a couple bus loads of tourists, and the food was quite tasty.  Folk dance and music was again provided at no additional charge, though they were out of our sight line.  Noticed a couple name tags that I thought read ‘Onna” (current Cardinal athlete and daughter of the AGC superintendent), but on closer inspection it was “Oena.”  Must be a common Romanian name?]

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[A 19th century prince who was important to the modernization of Romania.  Although I thought Alexandria may have been named after him, I was told it came from Alexander the Great.  I then discovered it was named after an Alexandru who came along just a few years before this Alexandru.  Go figure?]

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20150503_1335565-3-15-55 - Copy5-3-15-56 - Copy5-3-15-57 - Copy5-3-15-59 - Copy[The Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral, with a free standing bell tower  (near the Prince Cuza statue) and external mosaics . . . ]

5-3-15-60 - Copy 5-3-15-61 - Copy[And many internal frescoes.]

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[Once, and for all, a final drive around union square and . . . the CUPCAKE Fountain.  🙂  ]

The major advantage of domestic travel is that, with a few exceptions such as Miami, most domestic locations are conveniently situated right here in the United States.  ~ Dave Barry

Up next:  Part II

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