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    The People’s House

    Years ago, in 1971 to be precise, when Nicolae Ceausescu embarked on a tour of East Asia, one of the countries on his itinerary was North Korea. Of course, where else could he go? It is the heaviest building in the world, sinking by a few millimeters each year. And so impressed was he with the scale of the government buildings and mass adulation that the North Koreans showered on their revered leader, that megalomaniac that he was, decided to head back to Bucharest and implement these policies for the betterment of the Romanians. He started with Project Bucharest – which intended to develop Bucharest on the lines of Pyongyang…

  • Passing through the tea estates on the way to Ella
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    In praise of train travel

    What’s it about long-distance train journeys that brings out the little child in me. A sense of happiness each time I take my seat, listening to the train as it whistles past towns and the countryside. Hurtling through tunnels or racing with the setting sun. There is something that is magical and wonderful about train travel, letting me be the little kid that I always will be. Whizzing through a tunnel between Mostar and Sarajevo Hours spent watching from a window or door of a moving train, as scene after scene unfold. Striking up conversations with complete strangers as they get in at different stations, heading to places near and…

  • Posters on the wall on Schitu Magureanu street
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    Art above and below

    When I head to a large city anywhere in the world, the first thing I try and figure out is how to move using local transport – buses, trams or the metro. Bucharest didn’t disappoint. Advertising billboard inside Izvor metro station Moving around like a local Whether it is buses, trams or the metro, over years of travelling, it’s finally sunk into my head that it is the quickest, cheapest and most effective way to move around the city. The afternoon after checking into my hotel, I collected a map of Bucharest, and made sure the receptionist explained anything and everything there was to be explained. This included making sure…