Bucharest

Trip Start May 31, 2008
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Trip End Jun 01, 2009


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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our first big, Eastern European city.  And Bucharest definitely did not disappoint!

We went on a tour of the Palace of Parliament, the second largest building in the world.  The first largest is the US Pentagon.  The Palace was intended to be an administrative building for Ceausescu Communist Party insiders.  And he thought it would be a brilliant idea to build this monstrosity without sparing any expense while the country was starving in 1984.  The building was 70% finished when the 1989 revolution took place, and Ceausescu was executed. 

Some interesting facts:
-there were 700 architects,
- 20,000 workers worked around the clock in three shifts
- there are 4000 offices
- the place is filled with chandeliers made of Romanian crystal (the largest weighs 5 tonnes)

Donald Trump wanted to buy the building for a billion dollars and turn it into the world's largest casino.  But his offer wasn't accepted because the building is...priceless.

We took in many of the city's museums including the National Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of the Romanian Peasant.

The G-20 meeting in London was going on at this time, and we saw a few protests.

We also went to our first opera of the trip -  Aida, by Verdi.  The drama, singing, dancing was all over the top and so awesome.  The building itself was reason enough to attend the opera.
 
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