|First Floor! Again!|
I was feeling quite proud, and confident that I had made it to the taxi stand in plenty of time to get to the airport with time to spare, with no stress, to catch our 12:30 flight.
Boy, was I WRONG!!! As we approached the taxi stand, we saw a taxi pull up and we were elated! Our joy was quickly extinguished when we heard shouting from the back seat of the taxi, and the people did not get out of the taxi, they just sat there and kept arguing.
Eventually, six people emerged from the taxi, and since it did not appear the driver was going to be taking us anywhere, I walked over and asked him if he could call us a taxi.
He said, "NO! Taxi on strike!" I looked at the people who got out of the cab with a questionable look, and they basically said that the driver was trying to take advantage of them by charging them 75 euros, to go three blocks. They refused to pay the fare and waited for the police.
I walked away; wondering what to do? Many of you may remember us getting stuck in a traffic strike in Rome, a few years ago. I was grateful that at least it was not hot, and apparently, every mode of transportation was not on strike.
I saw another group of people heading, with suitcases, to the taxi stand. I approached them, and they said that they too, were planning on getting a taxi, to the airport. I told them that the taxis were on strike, and could they call an UBER. They said that they could not get an UBER, either.
Sooooooo, The guy with the phone said that their Air BnB told them which bus went to the airport so they looked that up, and found that it was Bus 175. Then they "supposedly" found a stop where that bus picked up.
We decided they were our new angels, and the group of us set off for the bus station; me, bringing up the rear!
I tried my best to keep up, with my shoulder bag, a large suitcase with my little suitcase attached to the top of the large suitcase, and my cane. It was not easy on cobbled streets and when I finally nearly face planted, Joe took over and lugged my suitcases, along with his own, plus a backpack.
We were all quite the sight, for sore eyes. I was huffing and puffing, and trying my best to keep up when the parade stopped; what the guy had seen on his Google Maps, was not a bus station at all, and we were all standing on a street corner, not knowing which way to go. We asked several people and then I saw a "Tourist Information Center," went in, and asked how to get to the bus, to the airport. from where we were.
Her answer was, "Ohhh, it is difficult!" Great, right? It is now nearly 11:00 and I was pretty certain that they closed the check-in at 11:30 for luggage, for our flight, so I was thinking we would likely miss it, but we forged onward!
We had several more blocks to go, before turning right, to get to the bus stop, and I thought I was going to just fall down. A sore throat and a bad lung do not make for a marathon runner! lol
Once we got to the place that we were supposed to turn right, the intersection was so large, that there was no crossing. There were stairs for the metro right in front of us, and we could see the stairs on the other side of the large street, near the bus station. There was no way we were lugging our luggage, down the stairs unless we knew for 100% that we could actually come up the stairs, on the other side of the street.
One of the guys offered to be the guinea pig and descended down the stairs. We patiently waited to see whether or not he would emerge on the other side, which he did; after a few minutes, we saw him waving.
It was just about that time that we noticed a lift! Hallelujah!!! Lift, down, and then lift back up. It wasn't large, and we barely fit, but once we figured out that you had to hold the button during the entire ride, up and down, we had it made!
Just as we got to the top, I saw bus 175 pulling into the stop, which was a good half a block away, I told Joe, with all of the luggage, "RUN!!" We were getting on that bus, one way or another!
I literally fell into the back door of the bus, and Joe started handing me luggage, it was crowded, and somehow we managed to get everything, including Joe, into the bus with the doors buzzing, on his behind!
I do not know how we made it, but we did! There were several young girls, already on the bus, and I said, "Does this bus to Chopin?" They assured me that it did.
At this point, we had no tickets, for the bus, and I did not care, I didn't know how or where to buy them, and figured I would deal with the issue when the time came. (or not at all) Joe asked one of the gals where you got tickets, and she said at the front; which was two buses long and packed with people.
Next thing we knew, a young lady handed us two tickets; she said, "Here, for your whole ride." She would not accept any money and we thanked her profusely. Another angel in our midst! How kind was that? She went all of the ways to the front and bought tickets for us!
We arrived at the airport at about 11:35, and as quickly as possible, we found Wizz Air. We made it to check-in with two minutes to spare; I could not believe it when the luggage checker said, "You made it by two minutes!"
I was grateful for the wheelchair assist more than you can ever imagine and the wheelchair pusher said he hoped we would make it onto the plane, as we had to have our passports cleared.
As we reached security, we began to unload our electronics, coats, belt, and shoes. My bag with my pillow and blanket came back to the front of the line, where we were waiting to go through and they asked about my coffee, which I had totally forgotten I had in the bottom of my bag.
I told them to dump it out, and they said, "No, DRINK!" What? Drink? an entire hydro of coffee? I grabbed it and tried to suck it down, with a line of people behind me think, "Oh, come on, lady!" I even made Joe, who does not drink coffee, take a swig.
I tried to take another one, and knew there was no way that was happening in a hurry, so I looked around for options. Behind me, I saw a trash can, which they had said that we could not dump the liquid into, and I saw water bottles. I quickly got up, found an empty one and poured my coffee into it, through the water bottle back into the trash, and handed her my empty hydro.
The guy that was standing on the other side of the X-Ray machine, smirked and said, "That was very smart thinking!" hahaha Once again, where there is a will, there is a way!
UGH! Taxi Strike and DRINK! and now, gratefully, our plane has been delayed! Which actually was a very good thing. We had time to take a breath, get something to eat and relax.
While we were waiting for the plane, the crew sat down near us, and the Captain of the plane started talking to us. By the time it was time to board, we found out that he had married a Polish woman many years ago, and that he used to live in New Symrna Beach, Fla. and I told him I went to high school in Deland, Fla.
He said they were going to move to Florida so that their son could go to school in the states. He said that he would be sure to give us his number, before we left the plane, so that the next time we were in Poland, he could show us around. He said that he was happy to have us on board, and they left to get on the plane.
Wizz Air is one of those low budget airlines that does not actually get a gate, so you have to take a bus out to the tarmac and then climb the stairs to the plane. In Europe, we have found that they have a pretty cool transporter to get you on and off of the plane, with the wheelchair, away from all of the other pushy people, which is nice.
As we were waiting to get off the plane, a stewardess came walking quickly down the aisle, saying that "Here, the Captain wishes for you to have this!" I gave her my card in return, so who knows, someday we may meet again!
What a funny, small world we live in.
So many nice people, so many nice experiences!
Anyway, ever since I saw Nadia Comaneci, achieve the first ever, a perfect score in gymnastics, I have thought of traveling to Romania. When my daughter was young, she was an amazing gymnast, and she watched the movie, "Nadia," over and over and over, I can still hear the dialogue, from that movie, in my head.
And today we are here! In Bucharest. We have seen little of the city, other than driving through it, from the airport to "Old Town."
|our first floor apartment|
My cold is getting worse, and after the jaunt to the airport, I am pretty miserable, but we figured that we should at least venture out to have dinner. We chose a place right around our apartment, and were quite annoyed with all of the young girls, standing in front of every restaurant begging you to come in and eat there.
We relented and asked for a recommendation; it was a humungous plate of many different types Romanian meats; sausages, meat rolls, a steak, some ribs, and some potato wedges, along with a grilled plate of veggies. It was very good, but WAY too much food for us! And once again very inexpensive. We had them pack up the leftovers and called it a day.
|so many types of meat, I could not believe it!|
|And not much veggies.|
On our way back to our room, we stopped at the French Cafe for a dessert, and they said that they were really closed, but they could get us something.
I am not really expecting it to happen, as rain in is the forecast, and I feel like crap, but it was a pleasure meeting them both.
All in all, it was a good day!
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