Had a wonderful touristic day today (haven't had timez since I arrived so I revelled in it) and thought you'd like to see the photos of the places I visited in this wonderful, vibrant city! My feet are killing me. I started off at Dinu Lipatti's house (he wasn't home!) quite by chance on my way to the lovely Storck museum. This was the home of Frederic and Cecilia Storck, he a sculptor and she a marvellous painter, with definite Gauguin influences. Frederic's father, Karl, was Romania's first sculptor teacher, and if he was anything like as good as his son, then I'm jealous of his students! They actually lived in the house next door, and the building where the museum stands today was originally built as a workshop. As you can see from the photos, there are prolific sculptors, paintings and murals all over the place, and it really is a gem of a museum. I can't think why the guide books don't rave more about it. In mine, it boasts only a paragraph... I bet Rough Guide didn't even set foot in it.
From here, I trotted down Bd. Magheru to the wonderful Cartaresti bookshop, where they also sell tea, tea accessories, dvd's and cd's, bought a very amusing book on punctuation (I know, sad, innit?!!), and then veered off the boulevard to have a cup of tea and a pastry (calorie free, I doubt) at Capsa... mmmmm! I don't regret a crumb! Then I got thirsty so went to Pasaj Villecrosse to have a perrier (was feeling guilty by then, so pushed the idea of a pepsi max far from my thoughts!) before my next stop at the National History Museum which I'm ashamed to say I'd never visited before. Ever. Oops.
There was an expo (non translated) on the Communist Regime from 1946-1989 which was as fascinating as it was dreadful. Seeing photos of the queues for bread and sugar, reading the ration books and how little one had to live on... I had to stop myself falling into the photography. Seeing photos of G-Dej, A. Pauker, and other Communist leaders of Romania was a most un-nerving experience. Photos of Ceausescu with the Queen (yes, our one!); Chirac, Saddam Hussein, Gadaffi, Fidel Castro, Gorbechev etc... how could they possibly have shaken this monsters hand? The next one to have tea with the Queen please ask her because to me it's an enigma. There were clothes riddled with bullet holes and dried blood (eugh), a part for the prisons, specifically Sighet and Aiud (I think that was the name) which was horrifying (though not as horrifying as actually visiting the prison in Sighet which is now a memorial but nevertheless horrifying... )anyway, bref, I've got a list of things to look up on Google now to be sure I understood everything. I was there for 3h trying to decipher it all.
On the way home I stopped off in front of the Russian church to talk to some cats and rest my weary pins. Coming across an exhibition in a gallery on Magheru I just had to pop in- lovely. A water colour and oil artist who was giving an exhib on Greece. Reminded me of Quilici. Just what I needed to salve my sad heart.
From there, I walked home and sat for an hour with my feet in a bowl of warm, salted water. Tantza has not long appeared with some of her delicious moussaka so I'll go and have some, I think.
Enjoy the photos (1. the plaque on Dinu Lipatti's house, 2. The Storck Museum, 3. Inside the aforementioned, 4.Capsa, 5. an illegal photo (on my part) of a queue for bread in 1986 - yes, my non-Romanian chums... our beloved friends here in Bucharest were obliged to queue for BREAD as recently as this... 6 the poster that caught my attention for the exhibition, and very nice it was too. .) Isn't it a marvellous city, of so many emotions all at once. And that's what makes it the city of my heart, I guess. You can't just feel one way for more than ten minutes because something else will change it before you've realised what's happening!