As we struggle to adjust to the time differences, we see a glorious sunrise. Good morning Bucharest! Why?, because it is 5:30am and we are up way sooner than necessary. We gotta get these sleeping hours arranged to fit the community in which we are about to participate. Independent though we are, we do need to be on time, but not 2.5 hours ahead....
Becky gets us signed in for the next few days with Tauck and we head out across town for the Romanian Village Museum (Muzuel Satului). This is one of Europe's oldest open air museums and exemplifies village architecture from all different regions of Romania. This village is in the center of Bucharest adding a large public park. The homes date back to the 1700's and are remarkable. It is a beautiful setting of truly lovely architecture.
But let me tell you, it was HOT. I believe the temp was 32 degrees C which is equal to 89 degrees F. OMG!!!!! We had to sit on a bench in the shade to cool off. We could not wait to head back to the hotel on the Shuttle.
One of the most interesting things we were told today is that our marvelous hotel the JW Marriott was once part of the Romanian government complex and was used as elegant office space and hotel for importants.
The Palace is huge and ornate and over-the-top and is the world's largest civilian building with an administrative function, and the second largest in the world after the Pentagon. It has 1300 rooms, though was never completed. It was begun in the 1970's after then dictator Ceausecu visited North Korea and saw the massive buildings dedicated to their leader and government activity. In order to build the palace Ceausecu wiped out large portions of Bucharest to have the empty real estate for his project. We were told the building can be seen from outer space.
Dinner was lavish and wonderful. We began with a traditional yeast role with salt to accompany our pink prosecco. (Don't know source of the tradition; the roll was yummy and warm.) We began to meet fellow travelers over cocktails and dinner. Quite a grand meal catered by JW Marriott. During dinner a string quartet serenaded us.
Calea Victoriei (comparable to the French Champs Elysses) was paved smooth 100 years ago to assist the wealthy women walk as they we're wearing heels in those days.