Monday, August 13, 2012

Romania: the City, the Country and THE FOOD

What do I remember about Romania? Meeting Monica's friends and family, the city (Bucharest), the beautiful countryside and THE FOOD. Monica already wrote an entire blog post on Romanian food, so I won't get into it too much, but let me just attest to the fact that Romanian food is off the chain!

Enjoying a huge, delicious meal in Bucharest.
Monica and I stayed in her brother's apartment for a couple nights, and then moved over to the comfy couches of her friend Ana's apartment. Below is the first meal I ate in Romania, a breakfast of champions.

And a couple more photos from our delicious Romanian meals...

Beef sour soup, lemonade (very popular in Romania) and pickled veggie salad.
Beef goulash, ribs, polenta, liver and minced meat rolls in cabbage leaves (sarmale de varza).
We took the subway around town. Pretzels are popular in Romania, and this place, Covrigarie, was basically Romania's equivalent to Starbucks--you can find them all over town.

Here's a photo of me about to eat a pretzel...

Our subway stop.
There was one subway line that had painted trains. It was so rad! It reminded me of the old NYC subway trains from the 1970s and 80s.

Trains painted on a wall...

More murals...

I thought this was funny...

On the front of a car. I don't know if it means the same thing as it does to Northern Californians.
Monica took me on a walk through the streets of Bucharest. It was a little dark and stormy.

We visited her old stomping grounds: The University of Bucharest, where she studied English and German.

Garbage disposal in Bucharest.
We went to The Village Museum, one of the biggest and oldest outdoor museums in Europe. The museum contains 272 authentic peasant farms and houses from all over Romania, organized by region.

We visited one of Monica's old friends, George, at work.

Pretty nice smoke break location.
This is a gorgeous dress Monica tried on at the mall. Unfortunately she didn't buy it. We're poor travelers...
And on to the Bucharest nightlife...

Drinks with Monica's mom, dad and brother.

Monica and Florina.

Scary DJ, dressed up as Amy Winehouse.

The sun came up!

Monica, her mom, brother, friend Ana and I took a trip up to the mountains for a peaceful weekend out of the city.

Inside a church.

I'm glad we had a chance to get out of the city for a couple days. I had no idea the Romanian countryside was so gorgeous.

We had a bit of a tough time saying "goodbye" to Monica's mom. Even I teared up a little! I think it was the realization that our trip was coming to an end and we would be going back home soon.

Monica and her brother, Florin.
Monica's closest friends and I got together on our last night in Bucharest ... a small going-away party for us.

After hearing so much about Romania from Monica during our travels (and in San Francisco), it was great to experience it first-hand. I finally understood why Monica went on and on about Romanian food--it surprisingly lived up to the hype. Excuse me while I go look up Romanian restaurants in NYC...