Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Friday, December 11, 2015

Presidential Palace, Bucharest, RO

Presidential Palace, Bucharest, RO

Sunday morning, the sun shines, it’s a new day.

On our last visit to downtown Bucharest we just walked the Historic area and were not impressed by the beauty of that section but we saw the Presidential Palace from afar. We decided, since this is the main attraction of Bucharest, to give the Palace a chance and explore it some more.

Again we took the local bus and were let off within a long walk from the Palace.

The Grand Entrance With Avenue 

It being Sunday, there were lots of people just walking, just enjoying the summer day. 

By just looking around us we got the general idea of Communist thinking, the time when they built this complex, and we saw a lot as we walked toward the massive Palace building. It was an experience to see the former grand vision, the illusion of grandeur really, but it also was a bit scary. The whole complex was huge.

What was even scarier was the condition of most of the buildings.
Mixed Use Buildings, Offices And Residential

Yes, we wanted to see the Presidential Palace, but surrounding this complex are also all the ministries and government buildings that give the whole an even more massive appearance. And most were outdated and in not tip top shape.

When we walked towards the front of the Presidential Palace it became obvious very quickly that there was something going on. People streamed toward the site, walking alongside us over the very wide, tree shaded avenue. Masses collected there and we could hear loudspeakers, noise and saw flags waving in the wind.

Tourist Entrance To The Palace
The city had a car race (kind of like formula 1 car) in the square in front of the palace. The square was roped off with lanes, a huge fence surrounding all and police and security were in abundance. There was an admission charge. Carol and I are not racing buffs, so we tried to walk around this mayhem but it was not easy. We learned, facing the front of the Palace, the tourist entrance is on the right side of the complex.

We finally succeeded with lots of questions and people pointing us in the right direction and lots of walking around obstacles. We did find the entrance to the tour one can take to see the inside of this place.
Naturally, there was a line up. I noticed people taking out their passports and I found that a bit odd. So while I stood in line, Carol asked why those people needed a passport. Well, she was told we needed a passport too to get inside the building. Well, good luck folks, I left my passport hidden at the hotel room. I don’t like to walk around with the only paper that gets me home. They would not accept a photocopy but insisted on the real deal. So we made this trip into the city to see the building for naught.

Judging by what we saw outside and around the Presidential Palace, I would not have been impressed much. Outside, at the side of the entrance, the tiles were coming lose, the window sills starting to rot, and the place did not look maintained or impressive. Stairs were chipped; loose concrete showed bad building practices.

I did get an impression of the ‘whole’ of the installation, Palace, Ministries other buildings surrounding the Palace, layout of parks, green spaces, fountains, etc. all of what I saw gave me the feeling that I don’t ever really need to see more.

All of this is not for me.

I found it hideous, even sick. It showed me a mind or mindset that needs to readjust itself to reality.

So, we walked around the avenues a bit, stopped for a cappuccino, chatted with a couple from Scotland and then had dinner at a Greek restaurant and took the bus back to the hotel.

Big Blocks of 'Living' Quarters Near The Palace

We are now packing our stuff away, tomorrow we will leave in our rental car, but we will leave our riding gear in 2 lockers the Hostel provided. Those lockers come in handy; we won’t have to schlep helmets, boots, heavy jacket, etc. with us in the small car we are renting. It saves space and we will have to come back here anyhow to 1) return the car and 2) to pick up our bikes in a week or so.

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