Cold and wet this morning, adds an edge to an already grey city. Found a good coffee shop and spent the morning holed up there with a book, pretty good cappuccino and great croissants, even as far east as Romania the European love of baked goods is really apparent, bakeries are literally 2-3 to a block.
Lunch at Caru’ cu Bere in the old part of the city, neat place, from 1879. Great food, black beer, black bread, steak and potatoes basically, again the potatoes here are stunning.
Most city galleries and museums are closed Monday and Tuesday and it is pouring rain so after almost heading in to see Eddie the Eagle in Romanian I went home and had a nap instead.
Walked around the oldest part of town, saw what is left of the original castle, built by Vlad himself (yes, that Vlad) around 1459, all that is left is part of the walls but it is currently subject to a huge and careful archeological dig to see what else is there. The rest of the city grew up around the castle.
For dinner I went to the place I have been looking forward to the most since adding Bucharest to the itinerary… Dinner at Hanul Manoc.
Hanul Manoc is one of the last caravanserai in Europe, caravanserai (known as khans in the east) were huge, two or three story square buildings with a protected inner courtyard to house the horses and camels of silk road traders, usually the caravanserai consisted of an inn, several places to eat, blacksmiths, grocers, etc. They were the oasis for people working the silk road between here and China.
As far as I know Hanul Manoc is the last one in Europe that still functions as a hotel with restaurants and such (it has a Starbucks too, just like in antiquity!).
Built at the end of the 1700’s Hanul Manoc would have just caught the very end of the great silk road caravans.