Tues, 31 May - Wed, 1 June
We start the day of touring with another of the "human guided" variety.
At the Rumanian Orthodoxy's version of the Catholic's Vatican.
That's a lot of Holy Water...this could come in useful.
...for repelling a vampire.
Flanking this church are historical left overs from the era of Vlad the Impaler, the 15th century ruler from Transylvania who inspired Bram Stoker's novel of Dracula.
To the left, Vlad's palace, in an extreme state of deterioration and covered by crude protections of a stalled restoration project.
To the right, behind the red barricades, is an area where Vlad carried out hundreds of public executions for supposed criminals and invaders.
Romanian National Bank, modeled after French architecture.
Impressive metal-smithing/roof work.
Memorial to those lost during the Rumanian Revolution of December 1989, culminating with communist politician and dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife's execution on 25 December 1989.
Building that previously housed the Romanian Central Committee, with the balcony at the center that Ceaușescu gave a pivotal 1968 address, and the site of his final address in Dec 1989 shortly before being ousted and executed. The square in front, formally Palace Square, is now called Revolution Square.
Close-up of the balcony.
Statute to King Carol I, thought of as a figure of national unity who is seen as the founder of the modern Romanian state and of the most revered individuals in the country's history.
The Palace of the Parliament is the heaviest building in the world, weighing about 9 billion pounds, also being the second largest administrative building in the world (after the Pentagon).
The guided tour begins. The building's construction began in 1984, and was completed in 1997.
View from the central balcony.
Up that central boulevard, over 1.4 km, there are 44 fountains, the largest choreographed system of fountains in the world.
We made it to dinner, just as storm clouds were brewing, and then a pretty good hail storm resulted.
It's June 1st, time for a theater movie, but not this one.
A very big mall, where we found a real nice IMAX theater.
And then to the fountain show.