Bucharest

So where am I exactly?

more than a year ago

Bucharest, capital of Romania. Situated in that part of the world which will - to those of a certain age - always be known as Eastern Europe, it would be more accurate to describe Bucharest’s geographical location as south-eastern Europe.

Founded, legend has it, in the 14th century, Bucharest is in that part of Romania known as Wallachia, one of the three historic principalities which make up the modern country (the others are Moldavia and Transylvania).

The official population of Bucharest is just under two million, but as many migrants from the rest of the country do not bother to register as citizens of the capital, the true number is thought to be closer to three million.

Bucharest is close to the Danube (which is just 69 kilometres to the south), the border between Romania and Bulgaria. The main crossing point is at Giurgiu, linked by a bridge with Ruse, the Bulgarian town on the other side of the river, whose pleasant centre is well worth a day trip. Alas you will need a car, as train services between Bucharest and Ruse (and the rest of Bulgaria) are poor.

Bucharest is around 240 kilometres from Constanta and the Black Sea coast, and now that the A2 motorway goes all the way to the Black Sea port, the journey can be done in just over two hours. The train service to Constanta is slower. To the north of Bucharest is Ploiesti - the centre of Romania’s oil industry, and beyond that the Carpathian Mountains, a two hour drive away.

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