… and blogging about it.
2011 has reached its third month and I am planning to travel and blog about it again, very soon! As I looked at 2010, I’ve only spent a total of 4 months at home (in Montreal)… in February I went to Romania for a month, as soon as I was back I headed to Las Vegas for a WA Conference (more on that in another post). Than in early June I left for Europe… Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania (again), Ukraine and I even drove through Moldova… what a trip, 7 months of JOY for me. As I was flying back home from Amsterdam – I realized that I want to spend as much time as possible in Europe and maybe even move to Berlin or something…
In 2011 I’d love to be going back to Europe, not sure it will be possible though… 2012-2013 seems more realistic… and I will bring a working computer with me so I WILL blog about it more than I did in 2010. I will also try to do more videos Well, here are some pics from the 2010 trip, enjoy and I will keep you updated!
I am finally back home to Montreal after almost 7 months spent in Europe. First of all – it was amazing. No regrets about anything, I wouldn’t exchange this experience for anything in the world. Now, less about me and more about things YOU could do when you travel.
I have used Couch Surfing pretty much throughout the whole trip (except Poland and Ukraine where I had friends and family). What exactly is CouchSurfing (CS)? It’s an online community of folks who help each other travel. People from all over the world offer you a place to sleep, free of charge. Why? Because they want to help, because they want to learn about other cultures, because they want to meet new friends… So basically before you go to a city, you do a search for available couches on CS then you sent requests to people you think you’d like to stay with. My experience with CS has been simply amazing! The Italian Alessio in Amsterdam, The German Mirjam in Brussels, The Russian DJ Andrei in Cologne, The Surf/Beach bum Bjorn in Berlin – and many others, all amazing people who did not only let me sleep at their place but also took me around town, introduced me to their friends and even got me pretty tipsy at times:)
At first my friends were freaking out when they heard I’d be couchsurfing. I was told that only pervs and freaks invite strangers to their house… well I guess not:) CS is free, people are generally very friendly and interesting and the experience is simply unbelivable! This is probably the cheapest way to travel, I mean you can’t get cheaper than 0$. So check out CouchSurfing, get a free account and start meeting people!
Once again I am writing a blog post in the train. We are heading to Cologne from Brussels. Since it is a high speed train we have assigned seats and there was a bit of mix up because someone else had taken one of our seats. It appears Dennis and I bought the tickets for 19th of JULY instead of 19th of JUNE (the controllers must have laughed very hard at 2 stupid Canadians). At least we were offered to buy a NEW ticket at a slightly higher price instead of paying a fine and our original tickets are reimbursable… Back to the subject; Belgium.
The original plan of visiting Belgium consisted of visiting Brussels… However, some people told us smaller Belgium cities were well worth a visit. 20E train ticket took us from Amsterdam to Antwerp or Antwerpen as they say.
Once out of the train we headed to meet Randi who we met through CS (read more about CouchSurfing here).We took a tram but weren’t sure where to buy the tickets so we didn’t. Apparently if you get caught in a tram without a ticket you’ll have to pay a fine of 75E or so, we got lucky. As we were told later, the ticket control happens on very rare occasion – I guess this shows that Belgians are honest.
We met Randi and her family and we were invited to their friends’ BBQ the same night and so we went. People were very welcoming and friendly, the food was amazing, all in all our first night in Belgium was very memorable.
The next day Randi and her boyfriend Gregory took us around town. Antwerp is a small yet very charming city with lots of shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs, historic building, a beatiful cathedral and few very interesting monuments ans statues.
After supper at home we went back to the center to try some Belgian beers. At first I was surprised that a lot of women drank beer since in Canada ladies usually prefer cocktails but when I tried Belgian beer I understood it all. You see, Belgium is known for its beer and they produces so many kinds and varieties of different tasting brews that every single person would be able to find at least one beer they like. Needless to say, I liked them all.
The next day Randi and Gregory were leaving to Latvia so Dennis and I decided to move on to Ghent and Bruges. Our plan was to see both towns in one day and we’d have leave Antwerp rather early. Of course we overslept and when we finally woke up we realized it was impossible to visit both that same day.
Gregory gave us a train pass to faciliate our traveling. Train ticket prices vary quite a bit in Belgim and Gregory gave us a 10 ticket pack (with 5 tickets still unused). The 10 pack usually costs 50E, so 5E per trip. Buying individual tickets at a train station normally costs from 6E to 15E so if you are planing on taking a lot of trains in Belgium – head for the 10 ticket pack.
We finally arrived to Ghent at 4pm or so and went looking for some food. I was suppose to meet Mihai, a friend of mine (whom I first met when I visited Bucharest) but as he was at work until 7pm, Dennis and I had a lot of time to kill. Ghent is another relatively small city however, it was very different from Antwerp. We found one of the main squares, had some cold beers while sitting on the bench and just enjoying life. Europe felt good.
Later on we decided to see the town a little more so we walked towards cathedrals, as we noticed usually where there is a cathedral – there is the city center. We were right. The whole historic center of Ghent seemed to be under construction and restoration. While admiring the old Architecture we noticed a huge screen on which a football match was broadcasted. People were sitting on the ground, drinking beer and cheering, once again, Europe felt good. This is something that is hard to explain and as they say one image is worth 1000 words… I guess one video is worth 1000 images? And those who visit Alex Traveling Facebook page have seen the video.
We finally met Mihai, took our luggages to his flat and went out to have a few beers. Of course when East Europeans meet, it never stops at just “few” beers. The drinks kept on coming, we kept on talking to people and eventually it was the closing time. Instead of going home we went on to another bar; Peanuts. It seemed like a pretty popular place to go in Ghent; full of people drinking, dancing, having fun… Eventually, somehow, we got home and as you can imagine the next day none of us was in the mood to do anything, so we had a lazy day, staying at home and planning the rest of our Euro trip. Unfortunately Mihai couldn’t have a lazy day and spend his day at work.
When Mihai came back we cooked some “Patates a l’ail”, had supper and went out to see the city, or at least some parts of it. Ghent at night looked very nice and a lot of people were out, terraces were very lively and people seemed to have fun. We walked around the center, had a drink on one of the terraces (no one felt like repeating the previous night’s experience) so we took it slowly. We were surprised to see “Amsterdam’s Red Windows” in Ghent… Not many people know, just like in The Netherlands, prostitution is legal in Belgium. And just as in The Netherlands, Belgians try to centralize such activities to one small part of the town – hence the red district.
Thursday we left Ghent and headed to Bruges. Not because we have seen the movie but because a few people referred to it as “Venice of the North”. I have never been to Venice so I can’t compare however, we were more than glad that we decided to visit it. Bruges is very calm and very beautiful. Narrow streets with old houses where one car can hardly pass add to the charm of the city. The main square was surprisingly full of people. Mostly tourists, of course. Unfortunately Bruges is pretty small and could be visited in a few hours, so a few hours later we were on our way to Brussels.
Brussels is another story and it deserves its own post, which I will write as soon as I get the chance. For now, keep in mind; Belgium is not just Brussels, Belgium is Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and many other beautiful cities. When you visit this country, make sure to visit at least a few cities which are all different and charming in their own ways.
Amsterdam offers great nightlife, especially from Thursday to Saturday. Leidseplein is one of the best places to check out if you want to go for a meal or a drink. The Leidseplein square is full of restaurants, cafes, bars, pool rooms, coffeeshops… and of course the famous Boom Chicago is situated right there. As we were passing by we were handed a flyer inviting us to see a comedy show at Boom Chicago, we were hesitant and the promoter (the gir was from Alaska, how cool is that?) offered us a discount. Instead of 24€ we were offered to pay 15€ which will also include a free beer, so we went for it. I haven’t laughed so hard in a VERY long time. Very, very long time.
If you are in Amsterdam – visit Boom Chicago and go see their Comedy show. It’s a must. It is worth mentioning some of the SNL cast also started at this comedy club! Later on, after the show you might be handed a coupon offering a free shot, we went for “Death by Jager”.
Next stop – the Rembrandtplein. A big change of atmosphere from the Leidseplein. This place if full of clubs, dance pubs, coffeeshops and they party until dusk. If you are into clubbing scene, Rembrandt will make you jump with joy.
Coffeeshops in this area are much more fun; full of people, they serve alcohol and overpriced food. Oh, don’t eat there, their food is bad.
After spending 6 days in Amsterdam we decided to move on to Belgium. Of course we went out the last night but we didn’t want to go hang out with all the tourists and loud crowds of Rembrandplein and Red Light District, so we found a small bar right next to where we were staying. Bar BLAZE was empty when we went in but the music was good and the bar seemed cozy, smoking was also allowed inside. We got a few beers from Georgia, very friendly and good looking young lady running the place. Then we had more beers, after she offered us some shots and some more shots – it was a great night after all. All this to tell you that small bars could also be fun!
Amsterdam is well known for its drug culture and legal prostitution… well, both things could be found in other cities all over The Netherlands. When you come to Amdam – come for other great aspects of the city.
Getting around Amsterdam… Everything is walking distance. This could mean 30-40 minute walk, but usually in 20 minutes you’ll be where you need to be. Taking trams is not cheap, 2.6€ per ride although you can purchase tram cards that offer unlimited rides for 24-48-72 hours, costing 7€, 11.5€ and 15.5€ respectivly. Taking a cab should be out of the question; 7.5€ once you get it, although this includes first 2 km. Renting a bike is one of the most efficient ways of getting around and you can get a bike for under 10€ per day.
Let’s begin with museums… Reijmuseum should be your first stop. It costs 12.5€ to get in and if you haven’t visited Reijkmuseum – you haven’t visited Amsterdam. The museum is dedicated to promote the history of at some point, European trading capital. The war with the Spanish, the Chinese influence – it’s all there. Even if you don’t like museum this one is still worth going to. If you really really dislike museums, go to a coffeeshop first and then still visit Reijkmuseum.
The Van Gogh museum is another cultural discovery for many. The name speaks for itself. We didn’t visit it this time because I have passed a few hours in it back in 2008. I was a little upset because many paintings are not Van Gogh’s but rather from painters inspired by Van Gogh – still worth a visit.
Anne Frank’s House is a museum that many go to see, if you don’t mind waiting in a long line than you might want to check it out.
The famous canal tours… I think there are several dozen different boat tours in Amsterdam but we opted for something rather special; The St. Nicolaas Boat Club of Amsterdam. Group of people running this club offer “free” canal tours on their old boats. The goal and purpose of this boat club is to perserve and restore old boats (some are almost 100 years old). They need money to keep these babies afloat, eventhough the tour is free – a suggested donation of 10€ will be more than appreciated. The tour is about 1 hour long and if you go, try to get Neil as your tourguide – fun guy who knows Amsterdam very well.
One of the original Heineken breweries offers inside tours where you will learn quite a bit about one of the world’s most known brands. Unfortunately it is no longer a functional brewery and you will not see beer beeing brewed, however they will explain it to you, show it to you and you’ll even experience what it’s like to be brewed (I won’t tell you more, just go and experience it). The 15€ entrance fee also includes a lesson on “how to properly drink beer” (beer included) and 2 extra beers at the end of the Heineken Experience tour. Sure, Heineken is not the best beer in the world but since you are visiting Amsterdam – visit the brewery.
There are many local markets from Monday to Saturday where you could buy cheap clothes, fresh vegetables, fruits and meat and very tasty Dutch vaffels. If you don’t feel like spending any money at all – a simple stroll around the Vondelpark or along the canals is also great. Amsterdam is a beautiful and interesting city.
Before I forget, DO try the marinated herring. The word “delicious” would be an understatement!
This post is going to be a little bit of a taboo, so if you don’t want to read about drugs and prostitutes, please do yourself a favor and skip this post.
A lot of websites offer lots of info on these subjects but a lot of them are outdated, this post in recent (summer 2010) so here it comes…
Smoking weed is pretty much tolerated anywhere in town… most terraces allow it, a lot of people smoke it on the street, of course inside the coffeeshops and some regular bars also allow smoking marijuana. Selling pot outside of coffeeshops is illegal… and simply not worth it. “Street dealers” (and you’ll see a lot of them in the Red Light District) would not sell cheaper than coffeeshops, you never know the quality of the product they are selling and you are running the risk of getting caught by cops, so please, use coffeeshops.
Prices vary from 4€ to 18€ per gram, all depending on what you are looking for; weed, hash, energy, relaxation…etc. Legal limit of marijuana that you could have on you is 5 grams, coffeeshops aren’t allowed to sell you more than 5 grams as well…
Many harder drugs are illegal, however not all. For example, magic mushrooms got banned in 2008, so now people are selling magic TRUFFLES, which do not fall under the mushrooms category and therefor are completely legal. Smartshops (that sell magic truffles and other soft drugs) are not as easy to find
Red Light District Window Shopping
And now about the famous red light window girls… a 3 minute walk from the Central Station will bring you to hundreds of red windows that feature half-naked ladies from all over the world… super skinny, overweight, Eastern European, Asian, African, top-model-looking, ugly as hell – all of them are here.
Many guys are wondering about the prices of the Red Window services… well prices have been stable for a while now, 50€ for a s&f (suck and f*ck). This will usually happen in 15 minutes or less. As far as my “research” goes, the prices are non-negotiable and pretty much all the girls charge the same price, regardless of how they look. When entering a window, you need to however discuss all the details in advance; what exactly is offered as service, where can you touch, etc… Another option is “privéhuizen” or “private house”. It’s basically a brothel where you can chose a lady to your taste for a private session. These places suppose to offer a better service and lower rates (something like 50€ for 30 minutes) however the ladies might not be as good-looking as the ones in the Red Light District. Regardless of where you go, condoms will be provided.
From time to time you might stumble upon a “street-lady” offering her services, but just like it’s recommended to buy the herbs at coffeeshops it is also recommended to stay away from these “street workers”. Prostitution in The Netherlands is legal, however it is being monitored and the ladies pay taxes, this is why, I think, street-action is illegal.
Another thing you might be interested in is Sex Shows. Quite a few places in Amsterdam offer LIVE sex shows which could be worth checking out. Try Cassa Rosso (rated #1, tickets @ 30€) or you can also check out the Moulin Rouge which is second best but also comes with a lower price tags and you could try to bargain with the promoter at the door for an additional discount.
That is all that comes to my mind right now, if you have any questions on the subject of drugs/sex in Am*dam, feel free to leave a comment right under this post.
At the moment of writing this I am relaxing by the water at the Vondelpark park located right next to Museumplein, probably one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Loads of people are walking their dogs, biking, sunbathing, smoking pot and two homeless-looking guys near by are listening to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” – the atmosphere is great.
So let’s start from the beginning. If you are flying to Amsterdam, there are a few different ways of getting into town from the Schiphol airport. There is always a taxi cab at about 40€ and it takes about 30 minutes to get to town. There is also a shuttle bus at 15 € and it takes about 45 minutes to get to the center of Amsterdam, the shuttle comes every 30 minutes.
Now, the fastest way of getting into town is also… the cheapest way – train! The “inter-city” train comes every 10 minutes, takes only 15 minutes from the airport until Amsterdam’s Central station and costs… 3.80 € . I think I made a mistake and bought a wrong ticket (Amsterdam L instead of Amsterdam Centraal) so the ticket actually cost 2.80 € . There were no controllers in the train, however I would strongly suggest to PAY for the ticket and not risk getting a hefty fine from an occasional controller that might pass by.
Best way of buying a ticket is probably buying it at the YELLOW stand that sells tickets. The stands at the luggage carouselles in the airport only accept credit cards, however once you passed the duties, there are more vending machines in the terminal that also accept E coins. Please note, they don’t accept any paper bills; only coins or credit cards. If for whatever reason you decided to pay for the fare with a bill – get ready for a LONG wait at the lines for the cash.
Once in Central Station, Dennis and I decided to walk down the “centrum” streets and to check out the city beore heading to the place where we’d sleep for free (more on that later). Since we flew from Canada, Amsterdam’s 10 am meant 4am for us (Montreal time), so we bought a few cans of beer and drank them on a bench. (We later found out that drinking alcohol on the streets is not permitted in Amsterdam; we’ll know better next time). Even at 10 am there were girls in the red windows and people were smoking weed on the streets and in the coffeeshops… Amsterdam might not be a city that never sleeps but it definitely wakes up early!
After a beer we had a coffee on a terrace not far from Dam square… when we finally sat down, started enjoying our coffee and looking at thousands of people passing by bikes, mopeds and scooters – we started realizing that we’re finally in Europe. Another interesting fact (something that would never happen in North America), you only pay when you’re ready to leave… No one asks you to pay for your beer or a coffee in advance! Tips are included in the final bill, but feel free to add an extra tip when you’re leaving, usually 0.5E-1E would be more than enough. By the time we finished the coffee it was lunch time and we were starting to get hungry… We headed towards our “hotel” and picked up a Doner Kebab sandwich for 3 € . It was very delicious. One suggestion here – try to stay away from Kebab places located smack downtown, the food is overpriced and doesn’t taste that good. Walk 5-10 minutes West of Dam Square and you’ll find much better food 40-50% cheaper than downtown.
One last tip for those who are planning a “budget” trip to Amsterdam. The accommodations here aren’t cheap. About 60€ and up for a 2 star hotel, 20-30€/person for a hostel (where you share the room with 6-8 other people) but there is a cheaper way to travel! www.couchsurfing.org is a non-profit service/website/community where people from all over the world welcome you to their home FREE of charge. However, you have to be friendly and respectful… although it is free to stay at someone’s place, it costs them money (electricity, water, food if they feed you) so if you do use couchsurfing – try to help out a little, buy some food, maybe some beer…
This is exactly how Dennis and I are visiting. Alessio accepted our CS (couchsurfing) request and well – we’re sleeping at his place! His brother Alexandro and Vaio, sheppard-like dog live here as well. Alessio is very welcoming and nice, he makes us coffee in the morning, sometimes he takes us around town to show around and so on!
Well that’s pretty much all for the first day of Am*dam, more to come later!
This one will be interesting, so get ready!
On June 6th, Dennis, a good friend of mine and I are taking the plane from Montreal’s YUL airport straight to Amsterdam in Netherlands! Right before leaving to Amsterdam we’re driving a little over 600km to New Jersey to drop off my car at the port, the car will be then transported to Bremerhaven, Germany and will be used for most of our traveling (I will write a separate posts about transporting a car from North America to Europe since a lot of people have been asking me about it). Starting in Holland and finishing in Kiev, Ukraine we will travel some 15,000 through Western and Eastern Europe, during 3 months. At the beginning of September Dennis will fly back to Montreal and I will stay in Europe for another 3 months.
We don’t have an exact map planned for this trip but here is a rough estimation:
Please note that Google maps would not allow me to add more destinations to this map – so the map is not complete. There will be Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and if time allows a few countries such as Slovenia, Slovakia, Moldova could be added to the map.
Our goal is to document as much of this trip as possible. We will try to find the the cheapest lodging, cheapest way of getting around town (once in town, the car will be parked) and well, just like in my previous posts on this site – I will do my best to share tips, tricks, reviews and advice with all of you in order to make your next trip to one of these destinations much simpler and much more desirable.
Some people have also asked me why I am bringing my car to Europe… Well there are a few reasons for this; I am going there for 6 months and I already own the car so in the long run traveling will be cheaper (than buying train tickets all of the time). When traveling between cities or when it might be impossible to find affordable housing, I can always sleep in the car. Since it will be a half a year trip – I am bringing quite a few things with me which will fit in the trunk of my hot hatch but will never fit it my luggage and then, it would be just awesome to drive a Quebec-plated car in Europe. If you don’t know me well enough – I love driving and for a few years it’s been a huge dream of mine to drive down the world’s most beautiful road from Davos to Stelvio. Dennis and I are also big Volkswagen fans and we’re sure we’ll meet a lot of “dubbers” through Europe.
Stay tuned, more to come!
At the moment of writing this post I am back home, Montreal QC.
I just realized that I never published my final Bucharest post, so here it is. I will write about the few last days I spent in that amazing city.
First of all, The Silver Church club where we went on a Friday night (after having some beers at the Cheers Bar). The Silver Church club is big, crowded and very cheap on Friday nights, I don’t know if it’s the same on the other nights of the week. There is no entrance fee, bottled beer is 5 Lei (less than $2), the music is pretty cool, mostly 90′s pop, so it brings back a lot of memories for the 20-30 year olds and the people are very friendly, unlike the fiţe crowd at places like Club Bamboo. I really enjoyed that night because I got the chance to see Bogdan, Theo, Ionica, Pizdinu, Sebi and a few others – it was the last time I went out with these amazing new friends!
At The Silver Church I met a group of friends from France and eventually we moved to Expirat Club, located in the Lipscani area. The venue was pretty cool, the beer was cheap and that night they played rock music which by the end of the night was more of hard-core and metal. I am open to all kinds of music so I enjoyed it, however some might not like it. I left Expirat a little after 7 am and walked home to Piata Romana.
On Saturday night Bogdan, Dan with two girls and I made it to Deja-Vu – once again. I finally decided to go for the “Bandidas” drink… why is this drink special? Well, basically because I have to get on the bar and stay on my knees. Jenny, one of the barmaids also comes up, she pours some strong alcohol from 2 different bottles into my mouth, then she squeezes the lemon juice from a fresh lemon with her teeth… later she closes my mouth, shakes my head (in order to mix the alcohol and lemon juice) and only then I can swallow the cocktail, which as I already mentioned is pretty strong. For the ladies who read this blog – if you ever go for that drink a barman will do it for you and not a barmaid, you also get to chose which barman/barmaid will serve the drink. This was the most exotic way of drinking, at least for me.
And now some final thoughts, tips and advice on Bucuresti.
First of all 3 venues you MUST visit;
- Deja-Vu cocktail bar (and please go for a cocktail and not a beer)
If you want to take a cab, try to learn how to say your destination in Romanian. Some cab drivers still try to screw the tourists (one cab driver told me the fare would be 20 Euros, when I spoke to another cab driver in Romanian he told me the fare would be around 2 Euros).
Traveling by metro is probably the safest and fastest way. If you are planning to stay in Bucuresti for a few weeks and think you will use the metro often – maybe buying a monthly pass would be a good idea. It costs about $8 and gives you unlimited access to the metro for one whole month. The cheapest ticket you can buy is for 2 rides and it costs about $0.80. The tickets could be purchased at the cash at any metro station.
Most (if not all) people in Bucharest who are under 30 speak decent English, so getting around should be relatively easy… and NO, Romanians do NOT sound like Borat.
When you are paying your bill at a restaurant or a bar, the tip is NOT included in the final price. People usually tip 10% in Bucharest. However I highly suggest to tip more if the service was great and to tip less (or not tip at all) for horrible service since some places still do offer very bad service (like Grand Cafe Galleron). Maybe if more people tip for the quality of service, the quality will eventually go up!
Walking at night in downtown area is safe, from what I have seen. A few times I walked late at night with my big Canon camera hanging off my neck and to be honest I was a little concerned – however nothing bad happened even though a few bums and other questionable people walked by me. The known issue of stray dogs is getting handled in Bucuresti. All the dogs are vaccinated against rabies and usually these dogs don’t care about you walking by. Some dogs might follow you but not because they will attack you but because they expect some food.
Taking a cab to the airport is quite expensive. There is a great alternative though, the express bus (#783) which I took from Piata Romana to the Otopeni airport. Once again you need to buy a ticket for 2 fares which will cost a little over $2. The bus also stop at Piata Victoriei, The Arc of Triumph and some other places. From Piata Romana it took about 45 minutes to get to the airport. There is usually enough place in the bus so you could sit.
For the whole stay in Bucharest I rented an apartment about 100 meters away from the Piata Romana metro. I loved the location, it is close to everything since it’s located in the downtown area. The apartment was cleaned every 3-4 days or so, this also includes fresh bed sheets, fresh towels, soap and toilet paper. Normally cheaper than a hotel room but you also get fully equipped kitchen and more privacy… in my opinion. I dealt with Catalin who offers quite a few apartments for rent around town. He can offer you Studio apartments for as low as 28 Euros per day, one bedroom apartments and luxurious 2 bedroom apartments for under 90 Euros per day. Lower rates are available for longer stay. Please mention AlexTraveling.com when booking. You can reach Catalin by phone: (+4)-0722.607.433 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I guess that’s all I wanted to write for now, can’t wait till my next visit to Bucharest (this summer)
Thank You for reading, don’t forget to comment and visit again soon! I am going to be traveling through Europe starting May 2010 and this blog will be updated more and more!
Monday evening was starting slowly. Alina, a Romanian friend from Montreal just came to Bucharest and will be staying with me for 2 days. We decided to hit up the famous “La Mama” restaurant known for its great Romanian dishes. Once again, I am very happy about living in the downtown area – La Mama is located behind my building, a 2 minute walk! The restaurant greeted us with a shot of Ţuică, a traditional alcoholic beverage, basically vodka made from plums. I then had Mititei with fries and a big glass of Carlsberg. The food is great, service is good but a little on the slow side and prices are very reasonable. A full meal usually starts at $6, this includes a soup, main dish and salad or fries.
At 10 pm Alina went to bed and I decided to pass by the Sailor’s Pub at Piata Victoriei where Bogdan was having beer with Theodora, Ionica and Pizdinu. I had a bottle of Beck’s and a little past midnight they decided to head home… yes, some people have school and/or work in the morning. Ionica gave me a lift home from where I walked to my favorite… yes, you guessed it, Deja-Vu cocktail bar. I had a few Heinekens on draft and some Jägermeister. At 3am there were no more clients, so Ivan the barman said he will close. He offered me a shot of… Absinthe+Lemon juice+Tabaso sauce… it burned but was really good.
After closing the bar Ivan and I went to Tonka Soul Café, a 24/7 café-bar, 5 minutes away from my building.
The place is huge! The beer is priced at about $3 per bottle and cheaper for draft. More alcohol… a bit after 6am Ivan went home I decided to finish my beer… I finally made it home at about 7 in the morning… had a great night and now I know bar that serves alcohol 24/7.
Till the next post,