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Romania - Magnificent legacy of a crazed dictator!

Romania - Magnificent legacy of a crazed dictator!
Posted on Tuesday, 16th October 2018

The next day we visited the massive Romanian Parliament Building in Bucharest, apparently the second largest building in the world, only exceeded by the USA Pentagon. This was conceived by the late unlamented Communist Dictator, Nicholas Ceaucescu, and if we wanted to know what a megalomaniac can achieve, this was it. The vast hilltop bulk is not unattractive in appearance but consists of an apparently endless series of oversized halls and rooms, all designed to exalt the stature of the Great Leader – until 1989 when he was summarily executed! Our group gazes in awe at the world's largest chandelier.

Romania - Our first formal dinner

Romania - Our first formal dinner
Posted on Tuesday, 16th October 2018

Our first formal, suited, dinner was held in the Steakhouse Restaurant at the Marriott Hotel and the pictures shows most of the group assembling in the spacious bar before going up for the excellent meal. As some pictures indicate, casual dress is customary on our away trips, but suit and tie is de rigeur for the formal dinner. In this instance we had two such events, in both Bucharest and in Brasov, the pleasant old walled town where Shonn’s family reside.

Romania - Land of the horse and cart!

Romania - Land of the horse and cart!
Posted on Tuesday, 16th October 2018

Travelling by our private coach to Brasov, we stopped off at Peles Castle, the ornate mid-19th Century Gothic edifice set in lush parkland, originally the home of the Romanian royal family. After a free evening in Brasov, we set off the next day to sample rural Romania, travel in Transylvania inevitably involving a horse and cart (see picture). This actually proved scarier than next day’s visit to Dracula’s Castle but no-one was complaining! There are moves to restore some of the skills and crafts of the Romanian countryside, and the villages we saw were genuine farming communities, not just twee picture-book cottages.

Romania - Prince Charles and Dracula

Romania - Prince Charles and Dracula
Posted on Tuesday, 16th October 2018

After a huge country lunch we called at the guest house owned by our own Prince Charles, who has even visited his property. Our group is shown outside this worthy project, before going to Dracula’s Castle, where it was explained that Dracula was the fictional version of the all-too-real figure of Vlad the Impaler, whose base it had been. We returned to the Aro Palace Hotel in Brasov for a slap-up dinner, where thanks were expressed to Shonn for his excellent arrangements and cheerful commentaries throughout a very successful trip. We must have climbed over a thousand steps but were none the worse for that!

A green light for Amba

A green light for Amba
Posted on Thursday, 11th October 2018

Formerly the Thistle, Marble Arch, in Bryanston Street, and now well refurbished by its new owner, Amba, who have made a good job of it, as we found when we enjoyed an excellent dinner there on the last day of August, followed by a convivial social in the smart and comfortable remodelled bar. Thanks are due to the restaurant and bar staff here, who have been exceptionally friendly and helpful, both on the night, and in making it much easier than usual to arrange this successful evening.

 

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