Thursday, 31 May 2018

Bucharest, Romania (DoubleTree by Hilton, Unirii Square)

For my first walk around Bucharest I decided to walk towards the nearby¬†Dambovita River, then to a nearby monastery, then back. This was just so I could get my bearings. This isn’t your typical European city, with a medieval castle, palace, or church. In studying this city’s history, it only became known around 1459 when it became one of the residences of Vlad III (the Impaler). After that, and through the centuries, it was often attacked by various forces from Moldavia, the Turks, and the Transylvanians. The city suffered a number of plagues through the years and even a series of earthquakes in the early 1800’s. Romania was not considered a country until the late 1800’s.

I got a late start today, due to my sleeping in and also being generally lazy. Though I managed to get fully unpacked and clothes were eventually put in drawers and in the closet. I’m planning to stay in Bucharest until June 5th.

By the time I left the hotel it was after 2:30 p.m. and the outside temperature was in the mid-80’s. I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible as I walked towards the river. When I got to the river, I was expecting more. The river looked like a large canal. In any case I walked along the river until I arrived at the¬†Manastirea Radu Voda (Monastery).

The monastery sat on a small hill near the river and was shaded by a number of large trees and surrounded by beds of flowers. It appeared to be a small sanctuary in the middle of the city. The chapel was beautifully decorated and the building itself was well-maintained. Inside, the chapel was dark and very cool.

After leaving the chapel, I walked directly back to the hotel. Not really walking-around-weather. Near to the hotel was a decent-sized market where I bought a few bananas, a sandwich, and a bag of mixed nuts as snacks. When I returned to the hotel I asked a person at the front desk if there are any tours that are sponsored by the hotel. He recommended going on the Vlad Castle tour and I said I’d think about it. (Seems a little commercial and obvious.)

After a nap, I was getting hungry and decided to walk over to a nearby shopping mall where a McDonald’s was located. The mall was very large and modern (and cool) with a number of high-end stores. It seemed a little out of place since the nearby streets were not well maintained. But it had a McDonald’s so I was happy. I ate my two cheeseburgers in the mall and watched the people. As I walked back to the hotel, many people were outside sitting in front of their apartment buildings, many visiting with friends and neighbors. It was still very warm outside and wouldn’t expect many people have air conditioning.

When I returned to my room I uploaded pictures and did some family research as well. Being with a cousin for the past week, it got me thinking again about family history. Poor Craig, one day as we were walking to the nearby underground station, he patiently listened as I explained to him the migration of the Clodfelter family to Oregon in 1888 and where his grandfather (my great-grandfather) Seth Oliver Clodfelter lived while he bought and sold property in several communities in Oregon. I’m wondering if the other Clodfelter cousins would be interested in this information.

I managed to watch the rest of one episode of The Crown and start on another episode until I was tired and ready for bed.

Tomorrow I’ll walk in another direction from the hotel, most likely to the old part of the city – or what is left of it.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

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