This day began, for us, somewhere far above the North Atlantic Ocean as we sped through time zones on our way to Germany. When we arrived in Frankfurt, it was 5:40 a.m. local time, although our bodies thought it was sometime around midnight the night before. This time confusion conspired with the poor sleeping conditions typical of economy class on an airplane to induce a sleepy haze. We spent the following four hours engaged in various activities and non-activities, including sleeping and eating breakfast; since I was one of those who passed the time in slumber, I am unable to give any details of anything else that may have transpired.
By 10:30 a.m., we were once again on a plane for our final flight to Bucharest. Landing shortly before 2 p.m., we proceeded to present our passports to the customs officials, collected our baggage after a short wait, used the restrooms after a long wait (for some), and walked out of the airport to our bus. As we left the airport, we were joined by Elena, our wonderful Romanian tour coordinator.
By this time, we all wanted to go to bed, but since mid-afternoon is not the proper time to go to bed, we went for a walk in a park instead. Near the one corner of the park is a large arch, known as the Arch of Triumph, which was apparently built to celebrate some important victory. (Blame the lack of detail on jet lag.) Most of us took pictures of the arch. We also took a group picture in front of the arch.
After this, we went into the Old Town section of Bucharest, where we dispersed to explore as we pleased. This is a beautiful section of the city, with narrow cobblestone streets lined with tall, stately old buildings. After eating supper at whichever restaurant we chose, we spent some time ambling about the streets. We all eventually ended up at our appointed rendezvous, the
Carturesti Carusel. This bookstore has a beautiful white interior, with five floors built around a large open area. It was so nice that most of us took pictures. We also took a group picture in front of the store. (This may become a familiar motif.) Then we headed to our hotel, where we finally were able to get the sleep that we had been wanting for most of the day.