The world is full of stereotypes, fears based on thoughts that are not true.
Yet, a Ryanair offer- that is recurring, so if we manage to attract your attention after this, why not? – has, thanks God, changed our mind.
One evening Simone called me and told me “I bought two tickets to Bucharest, the departure is this Friday”.
I do not know you, but for us Romania was a huge black hole, hearing about this country did not bring to mind any kind of notion or information.
We were two immaculate white canvases that could not even imagine how many colours, smells, customs and landscapes would have been be imprinted on them during that trip.
I have to say that it was not Bucharest that stole our hearts but Brasov.
Have you ever heard of it? It is a small town, 171 km away from the capital city, in Transylvania, surrounded by pine forests and the peace of plateaus.
Getting there was quite an accomplishment, due to missed trains, late trains, wrong tickets, magnanimous train conductors and a journey of about a couple of hours standing in a carriage with no air conditioning. But it was worth it.
Do you know the villages you can read in fairy tales? With houses with burgundy roofs and beige walls? With sunbeams filtering through the fringes of the park and the main street full of bars frequented by happy people? Do you know them?
Brasov seems to come out of a book. The only thing that made the city look real was the insistence of the sun, so hot to be unbearable in the hottest hours of the day and the enormous Hollywood-style BRASOV sign placed on the ridge of one of the surrounding hills, this one a bit too tacky to have come out of a fairy tale. However, the antique markets, the beverage stands, the central square fountain, the serenity and the harmony of the streets, seem to be especially
designed to enchant tourists.
We visited it calmly, tasting it with no hurry, listening to the voice of the guide through the headphones telling us anecdotes and historical references.
Did you know that it was founded by a group of teutonic knights, which is why its name once was Kronstadt and became a Romanian city only after the end of World War I? Did you know that the black church is called in this way because of the colour it took after a fire in 1689? And did you know that the pedestrian crossing of Str Sforii (“ropeway”) is considered one of the narrowest and most claustrophobic in Europe? Ah, then you absolutely must know that from there, half an hour away, you can find in the village of Bran the castle that inspired the character of -editor’s note: the real castle where the famous Vlad lived has actually been destroyed and no longer exists.
Bucharest has hit us less, simply because it’s the classic metropolis: busy, full of people, houses, things … Nevertheless clean, tidy, well-groomed, full of green areas. It is called “Little Paris” for the structure of the city, for its art-filled nature and for a great crossroads that brings to mind the Champs Elysie. But unlike Paris you can get almost anywhere on foot.
Yet Bucharest has something that the whole world envies and I’m sure that none of you knows what I’m talking about …
Yawn to make the wait last even longer …
The Romanian Parliament, the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon in the USA, is a wonderful palace wanted by the dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and built at the expense of the public debt of the country.
I just tell you that it’s so sumptuous that the biggest chandelier weighs three tons and has about 7,000 light bulbs -editor’s note: It’s so big that it is comparable to an African elephant pending from the ceiling covered with bulbs!
Don’t you believe me? I swear!!
So how about leaving and taking me with you? I can make myself very small to fit into a suitcase and I won’t disturb, promised!