On my way for a surprise visit in Romania

This year I was still undecided where to go next, I gave it a though and the decision was easy to make. I owed some friends of mine a visit for more than a year, this was the right opportunity to pay my debt. That’s how I decided to add another European country to my list of visited countries, Romania.

Planning this trip was easy, I told Paul that I wouldn’t make any plans, he is the local so he knows better. When in Portugal I am the one that plans my friends’ trips, so it seems fair to ask for the same, no one better than a local to show you around. Preparing the trip was a total different matter, but I’ve explained that on a previous post.

How to get to Romania

Several airlines serve Romania, besides the local ones, but from Ireland I had three choices. Ryanair, that I swore not flying with them ever again; Blue Air, a Romanian low-cost style company; and KLM, with indirect flights.

I have preference to fly with KLM because of the air miles, but the option of having a cheaper and direct flight sounded more appealing. A 3 hours and a half flight is already a bit, but despite that I gave it a go and I decide to book with Blue Air.

The flight

Blue Air doesn’t seem to be picky about the luggage size as other low-cost airlines are, at least I didn’t see them complaining with people. Though, one must only carry one hand luggage, and a woman’s purse should go inside the carry-on luggage.

I can’t judge an airline for a single experience, but it was obvious that it was a low-cost company. The seats weren’t much comfortable, and there was a mold-like smell in the air – this wasn’t that nice for a 3:30 hours flight…

On my way for a surprise visit in Romania
On my way for a surprise visit in Romania

I started to pay close attention to different cultural habits since my last long trip. And one thing I noticed this time was the orders inside the plane. Not the typical snacks and sandwiches, instead cherries and baked rolls. This was the first time I see cherries on sale in a flight, and yes, the amount of requests really had an impact on me so that I had to share with you.


Landed in Romania for the first time, I had Paul there to pick me up by taxi. The first impact of Bucharest was the mixture of old and renewed, the communist architecture still present. Some old and grey buildings, some renewed but with the same concrete blocks architecture.

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Driving in Bucharest seems to be a nightmare, though everything seems to work. I had the same experience in Greece, and it wasn’t such a big deal when you get used to a different driving style. Though, I still found it amusing the way the taxis cross in front of old trams to just invert their way instead of going to the next roundabout.

Almost at Paul’s, we stop to buy some flowers, and then we went to his’. He told me to knock the door myself and wait. Irina didn’t know I was going to Romania and it was a surprise for her, just he face and surprise made my trip worth every cent!

By Gil Sousa

Portuguese expat in Cork, traveler and food enthusiastic.

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