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Monday August 8: Boston to Bucharest

Thursday August 11: Bucharest Romania

Wednesday August 10: Bucharest Romania

City Tour

We had a mixed night last night. I fell sleep fine, and slept until about 2am. Then I spent an hour or more dealing with nose issues with a little coughing. This didn't bode well for the rest of the night.

But I took a bunch of allergy meds, lowered the thermostat to 70, and after rather a long while, fell back asleep and slept fine until my alarm went off at 6:30.

Meanwhile Amy was having sleeping issues of her own, particularly with the portable CPAP machine, air leaks at her nose, and a dry throat.

Breakfast this morning was very nice (and very posh). They had a good selection of food--both the European style of cold cuts, cheeses, and breads, but also fruits, yogurt, and American style eggs and meats. Of course, I took advantage of the omelet station.

I'm guessing that most of the people there were probably from the Viking cruise. As expected the crowd looks like an older one, although the scary thought is that many of them are probably my age. I don't think Amy will have difficulty with the physicality of the shore excursions.

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We're back from today's "shore excursion", and we have about an hour to chill before dinner.

For the shore excursion, they had a good audio setup. We each had an earpiece and a small radio receiver. The guide had a mic and a transmitter. That meant that we could hear him clearly without him having to shout all of the time.

Today's event was a tour of Bucharest. As expected, they bussed us around, so there wasn't a lot of extraneous walking. We visited a few key sites, such as the world's second largest building (after the Pentagon), which is the now the house of parliament.

House of Parliment

Then we visited a wall that had had bas relief statues of famous Romanians throughout history. It allowed our guide to review all of Romanian history in 5-10 minutes.

Wall of Romanian History

Our main activity for the morning was a walking tour of the old town. We meandered around for about an hour with the guide talking about this and that. Then we stopped for lunch (soup, beef stew, apple pie) where there was a troupe of dancers dressed in traditional costume doing traditional folk dances.

Folk Dancers
Folk Dancers

After lunch, we had about an hour to explore the old town ourselves. We were to meet back at the restaurant to get picked up by our bus.

Amy wasn't up to a lot of walking, so I went off by myself. I figured it would be easy to navigate my way back to where I started, but I found my sense of direction quickly got shot, and I wasn't sure which way I should be going. I passed through some areas heavy into "adult entertainment". I wandered around and starting recognizing more and more landmarks until I made my way back to the restaurant.

Interesting Keystone
Church Facade
Interesting Brickwork

Amy returned a short time later. She had visited a Catholic church just across a major road. There was a pedestrian "duck under" that had a guy playing really good violin. I was almost out of time, but I hurried off to see the church. The violin guy was gone when I got there. I got to the church, got a picture or two, and hurried back. I was about 4-5 minutes late, and the last person to arrive.

The bus took us to the museum village, which is what Amy really, really wanted to see. It has a hundred odd old houses and other buildings that were disassembled and reassembled here. It was vaguely similar to Old Sturbridge Village. On the way over, I was almost dozing in my seat.

We had about a 45 minute "tour" from our guide of one small section, and then we had about 45 minutes to explore on our own. We went to the "old" section, and ended up at the far end about 5 minutes before we were supposed to be meeting to leave.

Colorful Room
House Half Sunk into Ground
Church Ceiling

We hurried back, with Amy doing her equivalent of a sprint. We got back to the bus about 5 minutes late. We were the last back, although another couple returned just before us.

Back at the hotel, we did a quick tour of a church across the street. It is in front of a huge cathedral that is still under construction. Amy took a bunch of pictures, but I always feel awkward taking pictures inside functioning churches.

Hotel Lobby
Small Church
Cathedral under Construction
Small Church Steeple
Path of Flowers at Church

The theme for Amy for today was killing batteries. She was using her phone as a camera, but stopped when we got to the village, as her battery was almost dead. I gave her my point-and-shoot to use (I was using my SLR) instead. Halfway through the village, it's battery died completely, so that it retracted the lens and closed up shop. Amy switched back to her phone for the very end of the village. She used her phone at the church across from the hotel, until her phone dropped low enough that it also turned off.

One of our chief activities when we got back to the hotel room was charging stuff.

As I expected, this tour is mostly older people, mostly in their late 50's and up. Most of the people look older than me, and some of them are less mobile than Amy.

Tonight we get the welcome spiel (normally done on the boat) and dinner. Tomorrow morning, we leave our bags outside of our rooms, check out of the hotel, and get on a bus. We drive for most of the day, presumably doing some sightseeing along the way, and then meet up with the boat to begin the actual cruise part of the tour.

The reason for the long bus ride is that the Danube is at record low levels. The water in the river is too shallow to allow the boat to reach the port at which we would normally be boarding. Effectively, the boat is stuck further upstream. As a result, we get to enjoy an extra-long bus ride to go further upstream to reach the boat.

 - -

Bedtime. Had a fairly good buffet dinner. Heard a little about plans for the bus-ride tomorrow. It sounds like there will be little to no sightseeing tomorrow--more of a 2-3 hour bus ride, lunch, another 2-3 hour bus ride, and they expect us to get to the boat by 5.

Up to Danube/Alps: Sabbatical Trip, 2022 main page

Monday August 8: Boston to Bucharest

Thursday August 11: Bucharest Romania