Sunday 5 April 2015

Bucharest: Bearing left

To the left for what’s left
On my last evening in Bucharest, I stepped out of the hotel and walked up the road to the left on Calea Victoriei.
Hardly 100 metres from the hotel was the Tourist Office, but it was closed. This in my view was information the hotel concierge could have given me to make my visit more eventful. I was quite irked to discover this.
After passing one of the many Orthodox Christian churches on this street I got to a square of significant historical importance.
There are many divides between Western European Christianity and Eastern European Christianity. Our churches are churches are built to different designs and our feasts are on different days. Their celebration of Easter is a week later than ours.
I will not go into church split along doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, andgeographical lines that caused what is called the East-West Schism in the 11th Century. Romania in the summer time is three hours ahead too.
Respect and revolution
The Revolution Square named for the December 1989 revolution that toppled the Ceaușescu regime where thousands were slaughtered for rising against the dictatorship, the monument could well have been desecrated today.
I got chatting to another tourist from Denmark as I lamented the fact the skateboarders had taken over the place with no sense of history or occasion that warranted the memorial.
The revolution probably predates their births, it was then that one of their number came to compliment my dressing, and then asked to be photographed with me holding a skateboard. I obliged and returning to our conversation wondered if they could ever appreciate the need to view memorials with some respect.
Another mile down of walking and I past the old royal palace, now the National Museum of Art of Romania, a few more orthodox churches, and probably the finest piece of architecture in Budapest, I am told. The Romanian Athenaeum houses the "George Enescu" Philharmonic.

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