I flew from Vancouver to Toronto to London to Bucharest and found my hotel just across from the train station. The Bucharest I saw around the train station was ugly, grey and crumbling. I’ve been told there is a nicer part. No one cares about keeping anything clean – except in my hotel which was inexpensive but good.
Being very hungry I asked about nearby restaurants; there was one, at the Ibis Hotel. A funny thing happened. I followed directions I’d been given but didn’t see an Ibis Hotel or a restaurant. I stopped a passerby and asked her “Ibis Hotel?” She shook her head and said something I couldn’t understand and turned away – then stopped, came back to me and pointed to the huge building we were facing and said “Ibis” with a smile. She was right; we were looking at it! We both had a good laugh. The only sign was small and right at the top of the multistoried building. One would have seen it well from the air!
Inside, I was told the restaurant was closed because they had a big group. I was too hungry to accept that and, since they spoke English, I told them I had come all the way from Vancouver, Canada and I was starving hungry and surely they had SOME food I could have. They led me to a table and showed me a buffet. The food was mostly awful but it filled me up. I never saw a group at all. I was beginning to get the flavour of Eastern Europe.
Next task – to get my Eurail pass validated since I didn’t want to risk missing my train next day because of lines/language/incompetence/disinclination to provide service. I encountered all of that but finally succeeded, bought some food for lunch for the next day, had a shower and fell into bed.