To Bucharest

We disembark our ship this morning and set off by coach to Bucharest, the Romanian capital. Another comfort stop on route, this time a service station. Richard and Dawn spot Magnum Ice Creams (a Furlongs favourite) so dive in and buy up the entire stock. We hereby apologise to those clients travelling on the other coaches who stopped elsewhere and didn’t receive a Furlongs ice cream. We owe you one!

After lunch, the majority of guests take a tour of the Bucharest Parliament Building which is the creation of the former dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, and the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. Started in 1984 (and still unfinished), the building has more than 3,000 rooms and covers 330,000 square metres. The carpet in the Union Room alone weighs 1.5 tons! The building is immensely impressive and a horrible reflection of Ceauşescu’s legacy at the same time.

Richard and Dawn headed off to our Bucharest hotel early and got everyone checked-in. When everyone arrived around 4pm there was no need to queue or sign a registration. Simply pick up your room key from Dawn and settle in. Your luggage is already in your bedroom!

The Athenee Palace Hilton Hotel Bucharest is one of the city’s most sophisticated and prestigious landmarks, dating back to 1914. This evening we’ve arranged a private gala dinner in the hotel’s Le Diplomate Ballroom, which is itself recognised under a National Heritage listing. It has a spectacular glass ceiling! Early this afternoon, Richard and Dawn spotted a delightful ice cream cart in the hotel’s main café. It was dispensing the highest quality ice cream, so we managed to steal it for tonight’s meal. We also have bubbly to start the event and plenty of wine and drinks to sustain us!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock © Balate Dorin