Archive for the ‘City Breaks’ Category

Bucarest – le Petit Paris

Posted: April 17, 2014 in City Breaks

Moto : «Les villes portent les stigmates des passages du temps, et occasionnellement les promesses d’époques futures» Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987)

Oh, un nom c’est si peu’ (‘What ‘s in a name?’ s’exclama Shakespeare par la voix de Juliette).

Mais, alors qu’est ce que c’est un surnom?

buch 2

Dans la liste des surnoms de villes figurant sur Wikipedia on trouve plusieurs villes de Paris: RigaLettonie – ‘le Paris Balte’; Shanghai – ‘le Paris de l’Orient’; Oran – ‘le Petit Paris de l’Algérie’; Buenos Aires – ‘le Paris de l’Amérique latine’;NouméaNouvelle-Calédonie – ‘le Petit Paris du Pacifique’ et bien sûr BucarestRoumanie – ‘le Petit Paris des Balkans’.

buch 3

Bucarest, le Petit Paris de l’Est, doit son surnom à sa Bellle Epoque d’entre les deux guerres mondiales quand de point de vue de la civilisation et de la culture, la ville de Bucarest était compatible à Paris, qui probablement était un idéal,à peine avoué, par les édiles et les hommes de culture, à l’époque.

Ville francophone aux portes de l’Orient, Bucarest a connu l’élégance, la délicatesse, la vie de bohèmeen se penchant sur le modèle parisien.

La ville, telle qu’on la connaît aujourd’hui préserve encore l’atmosphère d’autrefois même si elle a subi de modifications significatives.

buch 4

L’artère principale, Calea Victoriei (avenue chic permet de retracer l’histoire parisienne de Bucarest) est parsemée par des bâtiments construits dans ‘le plus doux style classique’ architectural français : le bâtiment de CEC (Casa de Economii si Consemnatiuni – la Caisse d’Epargne ; copie du Petit Palais de Paris), l’actuel Musée National d’Histoire (l’ancien Palais de la Poste),  la Fondation Universitaire Royale (actuellement Bibliothèque Centrale Universitaire), l’ancien Palais Royal, l’hôtel GRAND HOTEL DU BOULEVARD et le remarquable Athénée Roumain.

Bucarest garde aussi des maisons coquettes inspirées du style Art Nouveau et des maisons enrobées de l’herbe grimpante blotties dans les rues qui se trouvent derrière les grands boulevards et qui t’invitent à découvrir leur intimitéetà songerde manière tautologiqueun Songe d’une nuit d’été’, à la recherche et en quête du temps perdu… Décoravenant, àfaire rêver même le fameux personnagde  Woody Allen, Gil ,deMinuit à Paris (Midnight in Paris). Qu’en pensez-vous ?

En dépit du temps qui passe et les gens en mouvement, des constructions en béton sans âme et sans charme, Bucarest de nos jours évoque le petit Paris de jadis par l’atmosphère intime et bohème de cafés et maisons de thé, par la grâce des dames dont la tête est coiffée par les omniprésents chapeaux de feutre.

Buch

Malgré cette étiquette parisienne qu’on a collée en parlant de Bucarest, la ville a d’autres visages, secrets à dévoiler. Ville caméléonesque, imprévue, gracieuse comme une ballerine étoile, cosy, bourgeoise, Bucarest peut être en même temps devinée, mal – aimée, grise, ébouriffée, emmitouflée.

Être ou n’être pas le petit Parisce n’est pas là la question. On peut s’interrogerquand même, ‘Où sont les neiges d’antan?’ mais il vaut mieux de la reconfigurer dans son potentiel actuel.

de Antonia Bogdan

Advertisements

Sibiu, medieval city has eyes!

Posted: August 3, 2013 in City Breaks

Is it Sibiu one of the most beautiful cities in Romania? Yes! Is it Sibiu also a medieval, well-preserved town? Yes! Was it Sibiu the Cultural Capital of an entire continent, Europe, in 2007? Yes!

Well, I think all of this is very impressive of course, but above all that I found out that Sibiu is also a very complex, lively city, where you are charmed not only by the historical buildings, churches and but also by the streets,  people, nature.

Sibiu answers all your imaginations: romantic, party opportunities (lots of great discos, bowling alleys, etc), great food at very nice restaurants, relaxing on pedestrian streets full of terraces, sporty – visiting the city by bike and making trips around town surroundings, you name it!

But did you imagine it can also be very spooky? Stroll one evening at sun set and look at all the old houses: their roof tops have eyes which are watching you as you go by! If you headed towards the Old Church, crossing the Bridge of Lies (where legend says that if you tell a lie you turn into a stone) you will reach to Casa Calfelor (the House of Apprentice) where you will be not-welcomed by a pole full of nails .. At a window you can see a human skull … Who lives there??? As you continue this route, getting down the stairs, just nearby windows you will see an exhibition of clay figurines …

Follow this trail and uncover yourself Sibiu’s mysteries!!!

Bucharest Tales (3)

Posted: June 20, 2013 in City Breaks

 

One first perfect summer week-end!

Summer finally arrived in Bucharest, late, but still, it’s here to stay for 3 whole months! And this week-end, mid June 2013, it was a perfect one: no rain, shiny sun, fluffy clouds, 30degrees or maybe more (but I love this!!!) and not at least, a lot of cultural events! So, I decided to do nothing but to walk through Bucharest as a tourist! Good choice as I enjoyed every second 🙂

My itinerary started with Romanian Peasant`s Museum (Muzeul Taranului Roman) which beside being a beautiful old building  and museum with traditional costumes, pottery, photos, embroideries from different areas of Romania, it is also a very active cultural place: movie screenings, unconventional theater, live bands concerts, traditions and ethnic festivals, creativity workshops. I like here the terrace, a simple one, but with cheap beer, food and always full with artists.
This week-end took place a Peasant Fair-Market with artisans, painters, wood carvers, jewelry, antiques and free entrance. After I made a tour admiring the products, I`ve decided to take the opportunity to buy some authentic handmade souvenirs for our next groups visiting Romania and I think this was just the perfect place for that. And I have to mention also the traditional cakes, homemade chocolate, cheese, jams all reminding me of my grandmother goodies! Unfortunately, I was so captivated by all of these, that I forgot to take some photos 😦

Friday evening, it was rock time!!! Again free entrance to a local fest called Rock in Park. We were impressed by some very skilled Romanian bands, like Burning Table from Timisoara that opened for no one else but famous The Animals!!!

Saturday evening was again a very beautiful warm weather so our choice was this time a more quite place. We went out to a very beautiful, intimate and quite secluded bistro garden J`ai Bistrot, not far from Bucharest center. Again, a very bohemian place, crawling with local artists, good, quiet jazz, among small trees, bicycles and pebbles on the ground. A beautiful atmosphere of cozyness , friendship, really reminding of and old Paris from the beginning of century.

On Sunday, more of a daytime program: Street Delivery it’s organized by the Architect Association in Bucharest for several years, then Timisoara and starting this year also in Iasi. Their main idea, that I like it so much is: residents have a right on heritage fund, quality architecture and landscape, as much as they have to health and justice. Arthur Verona Street located in the middle of the city was for 3 days a promenade for workshops, innovative ideas about architecture, urban-ism, landscape, ecology, environment. Such a beautiful ideas were combined in a perfect atmosphere with music, visual arts, film, theater, dance, good music on the stage! We enjoyed a lot  Space Needle aka Purje, an interesting  project making everyone acknowledge that the grunge scene is still worldwide active.

So, take a chance and come to visit the never sleeping, lovely Bucharest!!!

Madalina

Bucharest Tales (2)

Posted: June 9, 2013 in City Breaks

 

An exotic  and relaxing escape, not as far away as you would imagine but in the heart of Bucharest! Definitely, I recommend Radisson Blu, as a special place for a special celebration!!!

As our business is defined “First we check, then we recommend”, I have decided to celebrate 3 years of my marriage in one of the best hotels in town: Radisson Blu 5*. After one week-end spent in this oasis, I can really say that Radisson Blu is an amazing place and definitely  we recommend it to our friends and clients for leisure, Business or a special celebration like mine.

We bought a package called “Second Honeymoon” at a reasonable price of 120 Euro for 2 persons including one overnight in Business Class room, full access to World Class (Jacuzzi, outdoor/indoor swimming pool, dry/wet sauna, fitness),  early check in at 09:00, late check out at 18:00, so in total two full days, of course a Super buffet breakfast and above all, we found in the room a good quality red wine and a plateau with exotic fresh  fruits and fine chocolate!!!

Our comfortable room had a wonderful swimming pool view  and full access to Business Lounge which means refreshment drinks for the whole day, Lavazza coffee, fine  teas, a light evening buffet with tasty and good quality dishes, relaxing and intimate atmosphere, of course business facilities and an spectacular panorama of the Parliament`s House or Lutheran Church in contrast with gray blocks of  flats…which reminds me of the communism era and makes me enjoy better this short holiday and life!!!

The fancy interior design with the ice bar in the middle of the lobby, all the details, decorations, the background music, the atmosphere, the swimming pool, everything makes you fill like in a holiday hotel on a beach destination. Moreover, I`ve been positively impressed about the good service and well trained staff always smiling and I think this detail is the most important one.

Radisson Blu is also famous for its restaurants. We have tried only two of them: Café Citta and Sharkia. Caffe Citta has a colorful, cheerful design and Italian food. Our dishes were very tasty and we recommend it especially for lunch.

For our special dinner we tried Sharkia restaurant! I and my husband, we are gourmand and we always explore for new culinary experiences and I can say that Sharkia was a very nice surprise for us, a fusion of East Mediterranean cuisine  that must be tried! I had the most delicious falafel and tahini in my life and I have tasted many as I love Arabian food! I recommend also the sea food that was very fresh and flavored! All these due to chef Stefan Paraschiv!!! I  must confess that we were lucky to meet personally chef Stefan Paraschiv, a  lovely person who took care of us, cooked for us and explained us in detail every dish. Thank you, Stefan you are a great chef!!!

Thanks also to the nice smiley and friendly girls from the staff!!! All of you, made our celebration more special and unforgettable!!!

I heard also that Prime restaurant is famous for steaks and maybe when we celebrate 10 years of marriage will try it, I’m sure it’s worth every … leu 🙂

And one more thing, the prices from the places checked by us: one dish is about 8-15 euro,  fresh lemonade 4,5 euro, draft beer  3,5 euro, one glass of Romanian wine 7 euro and one bottle of Romanian wine 30 euro. For a 5* hotel, I think it’s OK for foreign person. For a middle Romanian pocket, it is expensive, especially the alcoholic drinks 😉 and as it was a special event we refreshed ourselves with some beers and good wine. Time is running so fast and we have to enjoy every second of our life!!!

I advertise Radisson Blu because it’s worth it! They have many packages for couples on different budgets. So I warmly recommend to everyone from Bucharest, Romania or abroad, to try our experience! If I made you curios, you can contact us for more details and to book for you at special rates an unforgettable celebration at Radisson Blu Bucharest hotel!

Madalina

Bucharest Tales (1)

Posted: April 29, 2013 in City Breaks

I was born here. I’m happy for that. And I say it because I can’t stop thinking of all the people in the world born in so hush environments, so poor countries. I know it must sound like I am running for Miss Universe, but we should all find resources to be as happy as possible. So, I’m happy I’m “Buchurestian”!

This city is like any other city I suppose, with “goods and bads” like Romanians say. I think it is easy to find a lot of stuff good or bad about Bucharest as in the end it is the capital of a country of ab. 20 million people, right? How I see it: very lively, emerging, changing from day to day, effervescent, growing, improving. Its top attraction point in the last years was the ever changing historical center of the Bucharest “Old City” which became such a crazy spot for night life that is  rapidly insufficient for hosting so many people. In the last years it looks more and more similar with “Amsterdam during weekends” or with Dublin’s Temple Bar area.

If you visit Bucharest don’t miss the chance to stroll and take pictures in its parks: the old Cismigiu park, set officially in 1854, or in the huge park & lake Herastrau set-up in its actual form a hundred years later in 1951. ????????????????????????????????????????