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Bucharest: Drum Bun

Drum Bun Bucharest

 On the roads leading out of many towns in Romania, we’d see the words “Drum Bun” on big signs by or over the road.  I’d smiled and enjoy the happy attitude expressed.

 Drum Bun means “Enjoy the Trip”

In general that’s the feeling we encountered in Romania.  It’s a country that’s been downtrodden for a long time, but feels like it is on the up. Our week long visit started with a day in Bucharest.

Bucharest Building

I post the photo above because I think it is a symbol of Bucharest.  Lots of old buildings  in bad condition, but some exciting new and modern mixed in.  The  city with a population of two million was a great spot to start our Romanian holiday.

French Influence

The surprise to me was the strong French influence.  Evidently during the Golden Age of Bucharest—the second half of the 1800s—the residents were totally besotted with all things French.  As a result, they built  wide boulevards and many buildings in  French architectural style of the Belle Epoch.  They even have  an Arcul de Triumf, a close copy  of the Paris Arc de Triomphe.






 This was a lovely surprise because I expected bland Soviet era buildings.  I’m sure they were there, but we were drawn to the part of the city with the French heritage.

Unfortunately during the years the Communists controlled the country, the buildings crumbled.   And then under Nicolae Ceausescu, big  building projects happened but most of  them were  enormous projects designed to glorify this dictator…… like the second largest government building in the world, after the Pentagon.  Eventually his excesses got him beheaded.

Rebuilding Bucharest

We did see some interesting renovations and reconstructions and signs of some tourism developing.   I suspect more tourists will make their way to this part of the world.  It has been closed to visitors for much of the 20th century. It’s an intriguing place to visit.




Rural Romania

We enjoyed a museum showing how rural Romanians lived.  It reminded me a bit of Greenfield Village in Dearborn–a delightful walk back in time.







City Scenes

But the best part of the time in  Bucharest was meandering around and people watching—weddings, huge bike ride through the city, gals taking selfies and hanging out in the park.  People doing what they do all over the world in major cities.












 Our trip to Romania was organized by Atlantic Tours.   We were particularly pleased with Mr. Alin Belini, our online agent, at Atlantic.   He did a great job meeting our needs and interests.    I will be  posting more about the experience in the next few weeks including our guide for Transylvania, who was  charming, knowledgable and a very good guide.

I hope you will share any Romania experience you have had in the comment section.


Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    peggy depersia
    Aug 26, 2014 Reply

    It’s really interesting to consider the pervasiveness of French influence throughout the world at different times in history. I wonder if Catherine the Great’s enchantment with the French philosophers of the enlightenment and her own influence and power in that part of the world as well as the influence of the Austrian monarchy didn’t seep into these other nearby countries. It is certainly evident in architecture in Budapest, Hungary, Romania’s next door neighbor….hmmmmm. Wish I understood all of those historical connections better.

  2. posted by
    Kati Boland
    Aug 28, 2014 Reply

    Hi, love this trip to a place which which we and many others are not familiar.
    Is full of surprises, in traditional wear and contemporary…early architecture and a lively cafe setting… great! Particularly enjoy the photos of the people. Thanks.

  3. posted by
    Sep 13, 2014 Reply

    I so enjoy your pictures of the people, especially the one of the groom with the bicycle helmet on!

  4. posted by
    Romania: Land of the Dracula Myth | DesignDestinations
    Oct 27, 2014 Reply

    […] see more photos and read about Romania click on  Looking up in Romania or Bucharest: Drum Bun or Romania: Why […]

  5. posted by
    Random Romania Experiences | DesignDestinations
    Dec 2, 2014 Reply

    […] have posted several blogs about Romania—Dracula, Bucharest, Looking up and Romania: Why Go?   Here’s one last go at describing my experience. The following […]

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