Thinking about an Eastern European Danube adventure next spring - Bucharest to Budapest. Any suggestions?
After planning trips on our own for 3 decades, peppered with the occasional ocean cruise, we took a river cruise on AMA from Budapest to Bucharest last year with friends.
It was very enjoyable and we loved seeing the countries for the first time. Go do it !
I haven't been on the Danube but very much enjoyed my time in Romania in 2015. Bucharest's historic architecture suffered mightily at the hands of Ceausescu, and it's far from the most aesthetically pleasing city in the country. The attractive buildings tend to be pretty widely scattered. If you'll have time there before your trip, it's worth some research to decide which parts of town to concentrate on, as it may not be evident as it is in so many other cities.
The historic cities I enjoyed included: Timisoara (cradle of the revolution), Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Sighisoara, Oradea (some striking are deco buildings) and Sibiu. Maramures (in the northwest), often visited from Cluj-Napoca, is a fascinating area where many folkloric traditions survive. There are gorgeous wooden churches, hand-carved gates over driveways, folk costumes evident as people head to church on Sundays, etc. The area has a lot of rural B&B-style lodgings going for a song. Bukovina (in the northeast) is where the fabulous painted monasteries are located.
There are opportunities to pick up folk crafts, particularly ceramics, carved wood and embroidery (which looked local to me rather than imported from China, but I am absolutely no expert).
Rick's new Romania video will give you some good ideas.
I sincerely appreciate replies and comments....Thanks.
I've considered arriving a day - maybe two days early in Bucharest - the river portion of the adventure begins the afternoon of day two. - not much time to explore on our own. Maybe hiring a local guide? Any recommendations in that arena?
I think having a guide in Bucharest would be very illuminating, especially if the guide is old enough to have lived through part of the Ceausescu era. Alas, I have don't have a specific recommendation to offer.
I just received an email from Cameron Hewitt informing me that the new edition of the RS "Eastern Europe" guidebook will (finally) include Romania and Bulgaria. Maybe Serbia in a future version. Good news!