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By far and away the largest and most “developed” of the cities that I have visited in this part of the world. Even so, it’s main bus terminal is probably the most least developed of all that I have had the fortune of passing through. So lacking in development there wasn’t even the regulatory brigade of taxi touts trying to scam unsuspecting arrivals from paying multiples for a ride that a local would pay. Not one of them. With no ATM’s present it also meant a 35 min hike dragging my bag into town.

The view from the apartment quickly made up for the forgettable arrival.

The construction of the local memorial to those who lost their lives in the revolution of 1989 was so fraught with corruption it is reviled by many and is sarcastically named the “impaled potato”

New upon old. The Romanian headquarters of AXA insurance and Mckinseys Consulting sit atop what was once the HQ for the Romanian Secret Police.

Wifey has joined me for two days and so it would be wrong of me not to let her partake in the joy of one of the best discoveries of this trip. The Free Walking Tour. This one started outside the impressive Romanian Athenaeum. Complete with a bird photo bombing (dive) the shot.

A fully operable and accurate 125 year old weighing scales machine (10 pence a weigh) in Bucharest Central Park. It sits on a 1 square metre piece of land that was rented to a family 125 years ago on a 1,000 year lease. Quite unbelievably the “arrangement” even survived the Communist era.

Some of the “stuff “ learnt on the walk included discovery that Bucharest was home to the worlds first public street lighting and also home to the worlds first horse drawn tram. Oh, and Nicolae Ceauşescu’s education only went as far as grade 4.

By far and away the most impressive building on the tour was that which is now known as the National Parliament building. It’s the largest building in Europe and the second largest administrative building in the world. The Pentagon being the largest.

Heres some statistics to help you digest breakfast as you read this

The building

:occupies 365,000 square metres

:2,500 homes were destroyed to make way for it’s footprint

:has an internal volume of 2.5 million cubic metres

:has 1,100 rooms

:has 30 restrooms

:had 700 architects work on it all led by the chief architect who was a 28 year old lady

:took 20,000 workers working 24 hours a day 6 years to build to 70 % of it’s planned size

:Only 40% of the building is used today

:was inspired by a building in North Korea

:has 2,800 candiliers

:has 3,500 tonne of crystal

:has curtains in the Great Hall that are 14 meters wide weighing 250 kg

There you go. Now you know.

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