Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bucharest: A Walk In The Park

I think that you can judge a lot about a city from the way it looks after its common citizens - never mind getting them to work, keeping them from getting lost, or putting out their fires. Rather, I'm talking about completely free forms of entertainment, and beautiful public spaces. 

Judged purely on this scale, and on Bucharest's Parcul National in Sector 2 (off Bulevardul Basarabia), Bucharest scores impressively. Admittedly my wife did take some of the gloss off when she pointed out all the signboards reminding visitors that everything was the project of the Sector 2 municipality and mayor specifically (even listing his name), but it's great to see politicians finally giving back in a manner which makes a concrete difference.

No matter which path you walk down, you're greeted with enough seating space for quite possibly all of Bucharest simultaneously (a huge oversight in the actual city):

... and ...

Turn a corner, and you get to the star of the show:

Look mom, DUCKS!

A Mallard Wild Duck, thanks Google

... and ...

Apropos of nothing else military in the park, there are also a few of these ...

... and one of these ...

Apparently used to train parachutists...

Which just leaves time to get active by jumping onto the free-to-use adult exercise equipment (complete with handy instructions in English, go figure):

... and take one more look at that amazing view (bearing in mind again you're in central Bucharest!):


  1. I love it. It look so clean and safe. Far cry from Johannesburg.

  2. Yes Christiaan, it is surrounded by a fence and the entry gates are manned by security guards, with additional guards (all looking like threatening ex-military types in bulky jackets) patrolling around. It's so sad that in Johannesburg nobody put aside enough municipal land for public space ... not counting the tiny-by-comparison Lonehill Nature Reserve.

  3. Just a little correction: this park is not in central Bucharest but in the area of the "dormitory neighborhoods", the ring of commieblock neighborhoods that surround the pre-war city. Nevertheless, there are similar (I mean with that sort of lakes) parks in pre-war, or central Bucharest, like the Cișmigiu Gardens and others.

    In fact, this park (National Park, named so because is near the main sportive park in country) is among the worse maintaned ones, the others generally look better, with new urban furniture, cleanliness, well illuminated and so.

    1. I guess it all depends on perspective, Andrei. It's central in so far as it's not on the outskirts like Pantelimon is. And that park is very good by South African standards, so if you're saying that there are others which are even nicer that's great - it just proves the point even further. I really wish that we had more public parks in South Africa.