On the Rail from Bulgaria to Romania

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The number of abandoned buildings along the tracks grow. Because the language and alphabet are foreign, not Latin-based, we don’t talk or visit much – or read the signs or newspapers.

The railroad guys are thick! Their arms are like tree trunks and necks to match……. I think there was an Olympic wrestler from this area who was huge – maybe Greco-Roman.

There are more dirt roads, and storks in nests on many abandoned industrial chimneys. The grain has been harvested and the straw is in windrows – that stuffy pungent hay fever odor permeates the train.

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We crossed the Danube. Interestingly there was some industry and a power plant on the Bulgarian side, but just ag. fields on the Romanian side. The fields of sunflowers and corn continued….with a little alfalfa. The fields got bigger and the horizon further off in the distance. It was flat. The Romanians burn their fields…… like Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico and some in Carson Valley. At this magnitude the impact is real.

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Bucharest was really fun. It is a romance-based language…. some claim the purest Latin derivation. There is a lot of French and of course Russian and techno vocabulary. The city has a real and pleasant railroad station. Downtown is a mix of serious architecture, along with new and abandoned. The banks and government buildings are almost baroque…. Buff and strong like the people.

Old and new

Old and new

Of course the country is still coping with the freedoms offered after the 1989 revolution and the world economic crisis. Prices are cheap. Wages are cheap. The people are quiet and introspective but the city gardens and the stores are colorful and lively.

We’ve seen many Detroits in Eastern Europe and this is just another one…..but they seem to be trying.