Let’s have a look at the nicer surroundings of Bucharest.

 

Bucharest, Romania

The Romanian Athenaeum.

 

Bucharest, Romania

The Illuminati Headquarters of Romania. Just kidding. It’s just a hospital.

 

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Some old churches in The Old Town.

 

Bucharest, Romania

Some rich bastard’s residence, I guess. Cool vines, though..

 

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

The Old Town with Nipples.

 

Bucharest, Romania

The Old Town provides most of your needs: a dozen of restaurants, pubs, souvenir shops, casinos, brothels and strip clubs in every corners.

 

Bucharest, Romania

The Cărturești Carusel Bookstore, Old Town. Go down the stairs to look for CD’s, vinyls and maybe some obscure DVD’s.

 

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

An Italian Flying Umbrella Restaurant not so far from the hotel.

 

Bucharest, Romania

Top from left: CEC Palace (first two), A Random Street, Odeon Theatre, A Random Building (hotel maybe), Central University Library

 

Bucharest, Romania

Saray Restaurant serves the best beef ever. I don’t remember the name, but its mixed with cheese, and it’s so delicious that even Gordon Ramsay would have an orgasm.

 

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Someone said beef with cheese?

 

Bucharest, Romania

The iDracula Restaurant in The Old Town. While this restaurant had some dishes for vegetarians, just be advised that Romania is not the greatest place for vegetarians, especially if you’re entering a restaurant on the countryside where the closest to vegetarian you can get is a steak. As our “Travelmaker: 2 castles in 1 day” tour guide advised us (a post about this coming later): the best vegetarian dish in Romania is pork chop. If that’s not vegetarian enough for you, you’ll just be served a beer instead.

 

Cișmigiu Gardens.

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

So what to choose… A heart container or a stamina vessel?

 

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

A mall in Bucharest called “AFI Cotroceni”. With a roller coaster…

 

Bucharest, Romania

… a dragon…

 

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

… and your trulys, having some fun in the “Museum of Senses”.

 

See also:

To be continued..

So, the next day we explored some of the streets and alleys of the city. Bucharest is the capital of Romania, located at the south of the Transylvanian region, with 2 082 000 inhabitants. The city is called “Little Paris”, so let’s grab a taxi and take a look around.

 

Bucharest, Romania

Mega Image is the regular grocery store chain where you can buy bread, goat cheese, beer, Jack Daniels, and of course the best red wine I’ve ever tasted. And I’m of course talking about Romanian Wine. Whisky is usually my thing, but the Romanians sure know how to make their wine. And everything labeled with “dark” and “stout” is a win(e) for me.

 

Bucharest, Romania

There’s a lot of abandoned and damaged buildings in Bucharest that’s clearly seen better days. Many of them are so decayed and dilapidated that they seem to be on the verge of collapsing. This one above is an enormous, unfinished shell of a building that’s been abandoned for 30 years. The plan was that this should be a historical museum, but after the fall of the communist regime in the late 80s, the project was tossed over to the Romanian Radio Company, which had no money to complete it. Since then, it has been empty.

 

Bucharest, Romania

One of the hundreds of churches and chapels.

 

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Romania is a hardcore Christian country, and this taxi driver will make sure you know it.

 

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

Some more urban decay. What we found quite fascinating, was the mix of “rich” and “poor” surroundings so close by each other. There were areas with old abandoned buildings and clean, renovated ones right beside them.

 

See also:

To be continued..

A week ago Vanja and I came home after a 7-day trip to Bucharest, Romania. You know, the country that’s most known for a certain guy with a cape who loves to put his fangs into young ladies necks. And as the Horror Ghouls we are, we have wanted to visit Romania for many years now, and finally made the trip. We were not disappointed. We’re glad we didn’t spend any fewer days,  because there is too much to see in Bucharest and the outskirts, if you are interested in old architecture, history and overall ancient, obscure surroundings.

In other words, this is not the last time we have been there, as there is still a lot of things we want to see.

After having landed in Amsterdam from Norway, the plane used about three hours further to the Henri Coanda airport in Bucharest. The currency in Romania is Leu (plural: Lei) and it’s recommended that you use some of the ATM’s in the airport to get some cash. After getting into a Taxi where the driver welcomed us with “Welcome to Romania” with the familiar thick accent we’ve heard in dozens of vampire movies, we instantly knew we’d come to the right place. Then we were ahead to the hotel, the Grand Hotel Continental, after a half-hour drive. One thing is to see the picture of the hotel on a screen, another thing is to stand outside and wonder if there is a dress code or something in order to enter. The hotel was built in 1898.

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

 

Okay. Let’s have a look inside..

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

 

Our room (a Junior Suite)

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

And of course, a phone right beside the toilet, just in case you’re taking a dump in a hurry without realizing you’re out of paper. Just call for some roomservice, I guess..

 

Grand Continental Hotel Buchurest

Some of the view. And as you can see, in Bucharest there are cars literally everywhere. The global warming and climate change hysteria doesn’t seem to affect many of the people around here. And as a Scandinavian, that makes me a little jealous.

 

To be continued..

Some goodies we brought back home from our Edinburgh trip!

Let’s start with some of the local beer:

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

Some of the small bottles of whisky that I tried out:

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

… and the winner I brought home (for this time) was Glen Scotia Single Malt Scotch Aged 15 Years. My new favourite!

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

Edinburgh Castle Rock Whisky:

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

Bought at “City of the Dead” Giftshop after the tour:

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

Not far from the hotel we found a music/DVD shop called “Fopp”…

Edinburgh souvernirs

…where I found some vinyls and CD’s:

Edinburgh souvernirs

Vinyls: Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare (Purple Gatefold Vinyl, reissue) & Killer (Gatefold, reissue) / Ghost: Meliora & Prequelle (Splatter Vinyl) / Morbid Angel: Blessed Are the Sick (Gatefold) / Rob Zombie: Astro-Creep 2000 Live (Gatefold)

Edinburgh souvernirs

Cd’s: Autopsy: Macabre Eternal / Coroner: R.I.P. (reissue) / Ghost: Opus Eponymous, Meliora & Prequelle (with 3d cover) / Dark Fortress: Tales From Eternal Dusk (reissue) / Marduk: Dark Endless (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) / Ministry: Amerikkkant / Moonspell: 1755

 

Fudge!

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

Some cool tees for the lady. There was a nice shop in the shopping mall close to the hotel, where Vanja found some clothes. She’s always told me how difficult it can be for women to shop clothes since the sizes can vary so much, depending on the brand. This time I got to see this for myself.. she shopped clothes there and most of them in size Medium, but one t-shirt had to be bought in Small, and one had to be bought in Large. The photo below displays a t-shirt size Small (to the left) and the one to the right is Large (and it’s even smaller than the Small one! Yikes). I’ve experienced some slight differences in clothing sizes for men too (especially when I shop online), but not anything like this. Makes you wonder why the heck a certain size can’t have a universal standard.

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

Other stuff:

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

And we found a big Totoro pillow in an anime shop in the mall by the hotel! We just had to bring him home with us, of course.

Edinburgh souvernirs

 

See also:

In the haunted capital of Scotland there’s several ghost-related tours. During this visit we checked out two of them. The Ghost Bus and City of the Dead tour. And we loved them both!

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours

 

That’s cute! Look at the last three digits on the phone number.

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours

 

The tour guide and the bus driver. The guide did a fantastic job to conduct the tour. His acting reminded me about Johnny Depp, so no wonder the guy loved it. The driver wasn’t bad, either. Fun!

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours

 

The St Cuthbert’s Cemetery and church, one of the haunted spots in Edinburgh that the bus stopped by. The place is said to be haunted by “a little girl” (a demon, in other words). We’ll explore this place further in our next visit (because yeah, we’ll definitely go back to the place!). The Ghost Bus Tour took drove by several places while the guide told us it’s stories (and added a bit of fun comedy along the ride, probably to ease the tension a bit). The bus had two floors (we were on the upper floor) so he would go up and down on each of them in order to put on a show to everyone (plus, you could see his face on a screen while he was talking).

A really enjoyable ride and highly recommended if you should ever visit Edinburgh and is into ghost stories and such.

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours

Edinburgh Ghost Bus Tours

 

The Vaults / The Caves (City of the Dead Tour)

The City of the Dead tour is the only one where you will get access to the famous Edinburgh Vaults (or, at least parts of it) and the Covenanter’s prison. The tour’s starting post was at Mercat Cross in Royal Mile. We attended with the latest one, 10 pm.

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

 

The alley where you find the entry to the vaults. Niddry Street South is about 150 metres from the Royal Mile. (These pictures were taken the day after.)

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

 

And yeah.. Sally was apperently here. What a funny coinsidence.

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

 

The last door to the right (or left in the picture). The entrance to the Niddry Street Vaults felt kind of surreal…you went through this backyard of a pub/club, and then you were suddenly at the entrance of a part of the Edinburgh Vaults. Weird.

While inside, the tour guide told us stories about the place, and explained the skeletons under the stairs which were placed there just for show (there was even a spider skeleton there, which of course makes no sense at all). Further inside the vaults the guide held a candle, and we would stand inside the complete darkness when he blew it out as this could “make the ghosts contact us”. Nothing happened, though.

The tour also took us to Greyfriars, and into the famous Covenanter’s prison. The guide did an excellent job on telling the background stories, and made a really great atmosphere. Highly recommended!

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

 

The narrow hallway that leads to the Vaults.

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

Edinburgh City of the Living Dead Tours

 

See also:

To be continued…

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