Friday, August 22, 2014

Bucharest, Romania

Monday morning we had breakfast and then checked out of the hotel.  Plans for the day were a city tour of Bucharest, meeting up with the pre-trip Transylvania people for lunch and then travel to Constanza on the Black Sea to board our ship.

I have to admit my world current events knowledge in  the 1980s was minimal.  I was shocked to learn it was just 25 years ago that the dictator Ceausescu of Romania was overthrown and executed by the people who had enough of life under his rule.  There was not enough food, electricity was shut off at night, people were forced into labor to complete massive projects, neighbors spied upon neighbors.  In December of 1989 troops were sent to a small village to retaliate against a preacher who spoke out against the government.  Townspeople were murdered.  When the news reached Ceausescu he called for a rally in Bucharest.  A thousand people gathered and instead of listening to him, they railed against him.  Snipers on buildings started shootiing and killed almost 1200 people.  Ceausescu was found, arrested, tried and found guilty of genocide.  He and his wife were both executed immediately.

Today Bucharest is a bustling crossroads to the Middle East and western Europe.  Many fine, historical buildings have been restored but many are still in court over ownership from when property had been confiscated by the government. 

 There are many socialist architecture buildings better known as concrete boxes.  The parks that had been built to turn Bucharest into little Paris are a saving grace for the city.  This is an example of what they refer to as communust architecture.  Notice the Sex Shop next to Christian Travel Agency!

An area the size of Venice had been leveled by Ceausescu when in power destroying many historical neighborhoods.  Work on the second largest building in the world was started.  Today the People's Palace is encircled by unfinished portions, the grounds are not maintained well.  So much history had been destroyed to make room for Ceausescu's dream which certainly wasn't in the best interest of the citizens.

We met up with Steve, Keith and Marge at the restaurant and after lunch boarded the bus for the 3.5 hour ride to Constanza.  

We were welcomed aboard the M/S Concerto around 5:00.  At 6:15 everyone met in the lounge to meet the captain and crew, to be advised of how things work while cruising and a port talk on today's happenings.

Monday was a city tour of the beach resort town of Constanza.  Ted used the camera to take pictures so I can only use the others' Facebook posts to share.  

No comments: