It is probably the tour that will shock most the foreigners visiting Bucharest. We will see the only museum of Roma culture in Romania, built by an NGO in a marginalised and “invisible” area of the richest sector in Bucharest.
Then we will visit Fort X in Leordeni, an architectural jewel that today lays hidden among garbage and mountains of weeds. At the end we will breathe the clean air of the Văcărești Delta, the only Delta in a capital city in Europe.
We meet up at Boutique du Pain and leave by car. In 30 minutes we will reach Giulești-Sârbi district, one of the poorest communities in Romania although situated in the richest sector in Romania (the majority of the corporations with local branches are registered and pay their taxes here). We will walk around the small streets in this neighborhood and talk about how the neighborhood got in this situation. Along the way, we will pass alongside some railroad traks that abound with abandoned trainsets covered in graffiti.
We will also visit Mrs. Marcela and her twenty-member family. Most of them are not blood relatives but people she received in her home when they needed it. You will learn about how poverty is maintained in Romania: there are children without birth certificates as it is complicated and costly for them to get have them released; authorities constantly fine them for using the cart on public roads. But you will learn about solidarity: about how Mrs. Marcela takes care of all the family members, how she sends the children to school, and how she takes care that none of them go to sleep on an empty stomach. It is a complicated story with an uncertain end (probably not a happy one). Either way, your daily problems will seem nothing compared to theirs.
We will then stop at the Museum of Roma Culture where we will also eat. You are in for a short history lesson of slavery on Romanian teritory.
From here we will head by car to Leordeni Fort. We will explore every inch of this place: the tunnels with portholes and the green room while we introduce you to Romania’s military history.
Our last stop will be at Văcărești Delta, a place that today exists due to the hard work of an incredibly generous NGO which is also surprisingly (or not) underfunded. On this site, the communists intended to build new buildings for the Ministry of Justice and for the Supreme Court, and an artificial tank – Văcărești Lake – a part of an ambitious project of hydrological infrastructure meant to creat a canal between Bucharest and the Danube. After the revolution the project (like many others) was stopped. Without any human intervention, it took this land 30 years in order to turn into a natural reservation. If we are lucky, we will find otters, foxes, snakes (not venomous so no worries) and different species of birds.
Itinerary: Giulești-Sârbi – Fort X – Văcărești Delta
Transportation and lunch included at Zaiafet Restaurant
Lasts: 6 hours
Fee: 100 Euros/ person
Storytellers: Andrei Crăciun / Emil Boboescu / Ioan Borșan