An early morning for our 6am transfer to the airport for our Qatar Airways flight to Bucharest. Qatar Airways has fast become our new favourite airline – good food, good service, comfortable seats, great entertainment, and both take off and landings were very smooth!
Arriving into Otopeni Airport, I was surprised to find it a lot smaller than I anticipated, and it was definitely not very busy.
After collecting our bags we headed out to find our transfer to the city and hotel, and the gentleman was there holding a sign with my name on it.
It didn’t take too long to get into Bucharest, and along the way our driver pointed out a few of the things we passed such as the Arc Du Triomphe and the Kings Square and informed us that their King just had his 91st birthday not long ago.
It was raining and quite cold and miserable – kind of reminded us of Melbourne weather though 😛
Upon arrival at our hotel our driver asked us how we wanted to pay – which was surprising as I had booked and paid for the transfer online through Otopeni Transfers (Christian Transfers) and had the receipt of it on my phone. After 5mins or so and him talking to his boss (who tried to talk to me, but there were language barriers) we realised that the man who picked us up was not the company I had booked and paid through, but rather ‘Bucharest Airport Transfers’
They were under the impression I had booked through them, when really I had just made email enquiries with them to get the price and they had taken it as a booking (even though I am pretty sure I replied to an email from them advising we didn’t wish to go ahead and book). Unfortunately I had deleted these emails and didn’t have a copy of it, so all we could really do is pay the driver and forget about the lost pre-paid transfer. At least it was only $20AUD or so .. but we are still unsure whether it was a lack of communication error or a scam…
We checked into our 100+year old hotel – Capitol Hotel – in the centre of the old district of Bucharest and met our tour leader then headed out to look around (in the rain) and find lunch. We ended up going to a hotel cafe with “italian” food for lunch which had decent prices (so we thought) -about standard Australian lunch meal prices-$10ish a dish. Only after dining at a Romanian restaurant that night did we realise how expensive that actually is as the meals we have been eating have been totalling about $15AUD for both of us, for a good meal and drinks!
We walked around Bucharest in the rain for a while, not really knowing where we were going , then headed back to the hotel to nap before meeting our tour group that evening and heading out for dinner at a traditional Romanian restaurant – Caru’ Cu Bere
Being vegetarian means not very exciting or varied meals, but at least we could eat! We tried the 2 types of vegetable soups, which were good and cost under $2.50AUD a bowl and 400ml glasses of beer which were under $3.50AUD!
The restaurant was amazing inside, with high ceilings, chandeliers and mirrors and paintings on the green walls.
“The history of Caru’ Cu Bere can be traced back to the late 1800s (it is housed in an 1875 building) and used to be a legendary beer hall.”