Because of a bit of homesickness and travelling by myself for so long I arranged to meet up with Aaron and Kate in Bucharest, Romania. After landing and getting onto the bus to the city the first impressions weren’t that great. Lots of houses in disrepair and garbage of the fringe of the city made it look like and third world country and reminded me a lot of how bad some areas of Bali are. But it wasn’t all bad and it improved a lot in the city center. Not long after arriving and checking in the other two arrived and it was celebration beers all around. We managed to find a great games bar nearby and played cards against humanity until we realized we were getting properly drunk and it was time to find our way back to the hostel.
We ventured out pretty late on the next day and honestly it’s a very confusing/contrasting place. Some buildings were incredible, grand and comparable to the other great cities of Europe but then alongside these areas were the old relics from the communist times. Row after row of identical apartment blocks going off to the horizon. Obviously the recovery/modernization is going to take a lot of time but the state of things makes me wonder how long it might take. There is so much to do.
On the last night in town it was my 26th birthday and luckily we were right next to the main bar and club area of the city. We met up with a local friend of Aaron and Kates called Mishlav who showed us some of the local rock and metal bars which were pretty decent and my kind of place to be spending my birthday.
On a positive note after the UK and Scandinavia the cost of things here is incredible. Great food and beers at a local restaurant will cost less than $10 and then heading out to a pub, a pint is around $2. The food itself is very simple but really tasty and healthy if you want it to be.