My last day here in Bucharest. It has been two very nice but quite intensive weeks. I think that four weeks travel for work is more than enough. Since we are involved in so many things, work-trips means full days on the assignment in the country and then trying to catch up on everything else in the evenings and the weekends. It gets especially hectic when travelling to several countries as there is normally a bit of follow-up work after a country visit, which means bringing that to the next country on top of everything else. On the other hand, it is out in the countries that we work with that things are most exciting and where it feels like the work really moves forward. So I wouldn’t want to do without this either.

My stay in Bucharest has been very nice and interesting. Fortunately, I had a bit of time to stroll around in the city a bit over the weekend. It is extremely beautiful in certain places and less so in others. Martin, the constant source of brilliant observations, described the city as a post-nuclear Paris and it is actually a quite accurate description. Due to French cultural influence in the 19:th century, there are many reminders of Paris here, including a Triumph Arch (which of course is a Roman invention, but this one is in one of the main roundabouts just like in Paris), the typical Parisian street signs, names of streets and squares, building architecture, and many other things. Many of the newly renovated cafes and bars are also inspired by the art deco period. But then you also have the remains from the communist period, with horrendous buildings that seems to be out of Orwell’s 1984. I can’t really find a better way to describe it than that it quite cool! And it is not very EU yet, so do go and visit before EU standards and the mandatory chains have taken over here too. It is already well under way!

The view from my hotel window on Calea Victoriei, on of the main streets in Bucharest

Bucharest Old Town

Cafe Les Bourgeoise in the Old Town

The Odeon Theater, which I suspect got its name from the Parisian theater

A street named after the French intellectual Edgar Quinet (who has also a boulevard and a metro stop in Paris named after him), with the traditional Parisian street sign.

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