Bucharest Romania’s Capital and Transylvania

When people say they are going on holiday to Europe, most people think of going to popular places such as London, Paris, or Barcelona. Most American tourist don’t usually think of Romania as a place to spend their holiday. I got to spend a weekend in Bucharest and a day in Transylvania. I enjoyed how cheap this holiday was for me compared to my to visits to cities like  Munich, London, Paris, or Barcelona.

I still can’t believe how cheap this trip was compared to my other holidays in Europe. My accommodations only cost me 27 Euros for three nights. Food was so cheap too! At the time of my holiday, the 1 Euro got me 4.65 Romanian Leu. I had 50 Romanian Leu left over from my trip that I kept as a little souvenir. In a couple of years, the Romanian Leu will no longer exist because Romania is in the process of going to the Euro. Another reason to go now is because of how cheap it is to visit on the USD or the Euro. 12705433_10153589724814024_5652674921384820730_n.jpg

When Comparing my other holidays in Europe, I didn’t see as many tourist in Bucharest as I did in other major European cities. This was a treat for me because sometimes I become overwhelmed with too many people around me. It was very nice to have a change. This is another good reason to go to Romania. I believe Romania is often over looked as a place to visit because it is in Eastern Europe and not as popular as other destinations in Western Europe.

What to do in Bucharest? I kept myself very busy.  I spent my weekend exploring beautiful old orthodox churches, seeing the Palace of Parliament, enjoying the Old Town in the city centre, and just getting lost in Bucharest. I think Bucharest is cleaner than Madrid, Spain, where I have been living for close to two years now. I became a big fan of Victorian architecture, the mark the Communist era left, and the grunge vibe.  I like how all these themes can be found in Bucharest. This makes the city unique to over cities in Europe.

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I got to get out of Bucharest for a day to go visit a Romanian palace and the famous fortress where Dracula lived in the world renown region called Transylvania. I like this region of Romania because the people in this area still believe in witchcraft and old folklore. Plus, the area is covered with forest and mountains.The little villages that are found in this area still look like little medieval villages. In a way, I felt as if I went back in time to the Medieval Ages. I went on a day tour from the capital and went to three major points of interest: Dracula’s Castle, the city of Brașov, and my favourite the Peles Palace12688052_10153585814219024_5128288122318918900_n.jpg

Peles Palace is amazing because of the German influence the royal family incorporated into the building. The architecture is amazing. There’s a lot of wood used on this building that adds to the beauty of the building. I haven’t seen a palace like this one in any other part of Europe.  The inside was beautiful, but you had to pay a silly tax to take pictures and wear blue plastic shoe covers inside. I think the outside is best part of this building. It was built in the 1870s by King Carol I as a summer palace for the royal family. Today nobody lives there. If you come to Romania, book a day trip to Transylvania and you won’t regret your choice to visit this beautiful region.  If you have the time, you should go to Romania for a quick visit. 12670229_10153586639164024_7772893915103208041_n.jpg

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Update: Start of 2016

I had an amazing holiday during my two and half week winter break. I went to Munich, Vienna, Naples, Florence, Rome, and Vatican. The beer and classical music was enjoyable in Germany and Austria. In Italy, I enjoyed fine art, history, and Italian food. After my holiday ended, I had to return Madrid and work. The first week back from holiday I had to start applying to teaching programmes for next school year. I will hopeful be back in Madrid for another school year. I will have a better idea of where I will be in April/May. At the start of February, I will be going to Romania and spending time in Bucharest and Transylvania. Other than trying to figure out next year’s plans and traveling, I am trying to come up with my travel plans for the rest of the school year, planning my summer, and studying for the GRE. 10374943_10153530299689024_6683189955234436784_n

Travels for the Spring: I am thinking about going to Berlin, Budapest, Poland, and Prague for my long spring holiday. Then, one more major trip out of Spain to possibly Amsterdam or Oporto. In May, I will have friends visiting Spain and will more than likely go back up to Barcelona for a 3 day weekend. =)

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Summer Plans: This year I will be staying in Madrid till the end of June. Then, I plan to return home to Texas for a couple of months. I hope to go out to California and Washington State during July. Go visit family all over the place and just enjoy being home. I am looking forward to getting my favourite coffee, Tex-Mex, and other amazing things I can only find in Texas. Then, return to Spain in September for another school year.

London on Budget

Everyone says London is one of the most expensive cities in Europe to visit. I know the Euro does not work in favour, when exchanging for British Pounds. London is one of my favourite cities in the world and I have spent many years dreaming about visiting. I believe if one saves enough money, budgets, and does research for London. Then, going to London won’t be too hard or impossible. I spent 5 days in London and it became one of my most favourite trips I have ever been on.

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I started researching on London, back in January of 2015, so I could have a better understanding of the city and tourist attractions. I learned when it was the best time to go to attractions such as Westminster Abbey or St. Paul’s Cathedral. I went during worship times to get in free and enjoy the beauty of these historical buildings. I discovered that a lot of the popular museums and galleries are free to get into: National Gallery, British History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum. If you like museums and art, then London is a must for you. There are a lot of beautiful green lush parks that you should visit if you like gardening and the outdoors like Hyde Park, St. James’ Park, and  Regent Park. There’s so much to do in London. In the words of Samuel Johnson, Sir, when a Men is tired of London, he is tired of life!

I spent more money on the Oyster Card for the metro than  on anything else in London. I will suggest you get an Oyster Card, but walk around the city that’s how you become familiar with a place and soak up the city. It cost 5 Pounds the card, but you can return the card in any metro station and get a refund.  I spent money on two tourist attractions: the Tower of London and the British Library exhibit on the Magna Carta. The London Pass is another suggestion for the saving money. I did not buy one because most of the stuff I wanted to see didn’t require money.  I had a list of everything that I wanted to see in London and started to budget what I would spend on attractions, food, metro pass, and lodging. 

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I stayed at the Astor Victoria Hostel in Westminster for my stay in London. I recommend this location because it is close to everything such as the Victoria Coach Station, two tube stations, and not far from popular attractions.  You are within walking distance of a lot of things. The hostel was clean, the staff was friendly, and the environment was amazing. There’s a 50 pents breakfast and all the money goes to local charities. This is wonderful that the hostel does this for a good cause. Use this hostel on your next visit to London!

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 I will note that this was my 1st solo trip in Europe. I felt very safe in London. I will note that one should use common sense when roaming around a city alone. Be safe and don’t leave your common sense at the airport.  I walked to the coach station by myself at 4 in the morning to get a coach to the airport. London has a very efficient public transit to get you to the airport. There are coaches and express trains to get you to the centre of London. The express trains will cost more than taken a coach into London. Research before you just show up!  Please message me if you have a question about London!  London is a must for anyone! I hope you will visit this amazing city in the near future.