Abu Dhabi – Dubai – Bucharest – Alekovo – Bucharest – Gatwick – Gosport – Harrow – Horsham – Gatwick – Bucharest – Dubai – Abu Dhabi
On this trip we went from Dubai World Central on Wizzair’s new route from Dubai to Bucharest. We couldn’t not try it for just US$80! The airport is only 40 minutes from home and it was pretty efficient. Although a massive airport (it’s Dubai’s 2nd airport) it has a small airport feel, very quick and efficient to get through. Wizzair was pretty much as predictable as any other low-cost airline – nothing like the big airlines of course, customer service not so good, very noisy onboard, hard seats (but good seat-width), overpriced onboard food and drink and a complete shambles at boarding time! But paying a few bob extra for the extra leg room and priority boarding was worth it. The ONLY difference between Wizzair and Easy-Jet to Gatwick was that Easy-Jet’s seats were more comfortable (but not as wide) – however, their priority boarding customers get put in the first row of seats and so on both journeys we had to listen to the incessant (really, they simply didn’t stop) chatter and gossip of the cabin-crew, which was quite hair-raising and even inappropriate at times; perhaps they thought nobody spoke or could understand English!
Bucharest’s Henri Coanda airport was about the best airport we have ever travelled through! Smart (sophisticated even but not in a snobby or “posh” way), spotless, efficient procedures, very good and noticeably friendly staff at all levels (concessions, cafe’s, duty free, check-in, police). All 3 times we passed through the airport it was really a good, quick and efficient process. We will definitely use this route again.
We arrived in Bucharest very late so we had decided to stopover in an airport hotel and them meet Nigel at Ikea (of course) the next morning. We would thoroughly recommend the Angelo Airport Hotel for its excellent service, friendly staff, nice rooms, proximity (less than 1km) to the airport and the efficient airport transfer service. The only two negatives we could think of were that the duvets on the single beds were very small (maybe we both move too much in our sleep) and the hot food/coffee in the buffet breakfast was cold/just warm on both occasions. However we did have a meal from room service and it was really excellent. Definitely recommended!
We met Nigel at Ikea the morning after we arrived in Bucharest, bought some bedding and a few bits and bobs for cooking and eating and then, after we had lunch, set off for Alekovo via Ruse. Romania seems to have a very different landscape to BG, much flatter, but there are many similarities in the style of houses etc. Like any other capital city the traffic was manic going through the centre of Bucharest and on the ring road, every time we stopped, gangs of (presumably) gypsies or maybe other immigrants flocked around the cars selling cheapo stuff from sunglasses to mobile phones. Obviously a lot of money is being invested in improving the infrastructure in Bucharest (and probably elsewhere in Romania.We know very little about Romania and its people; perhaps once we have discovered more about Bulgaria we will get around to exploring it a bit more – but that’s for the future.
The roads from Bucharest to the border were pretty good and after we crossed the border (the river Danube) into Ruse it was comforting and reassuring and exciting to start seeing landmarks that we recognised as we travelled through Ruse to Byala, onto Polski Trambesh, into Svishtov to buy some food and essentials from Bila 🙂 and then finally to Alekovo itself. It was great to finally arrive at our “home” and feel that our holiday had really started.
For some reason we didn’t take any photographs during our journey, but have made a note to self to take some next time.