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|Then we went on to the palace, and Sorin stayed outside while I went on a tour. Being called 'palace' I assumed it used to be used by royalty, but it never was. The communist regime started building it in the early 80s, then the revolution came in 1989 before it was finished. They decided to finish it anyway and use it as their parliament. So that's what it is today. So, going on a tour meant going through airport style security and handing in my passport. But the tour was in English and was fascinating. It's the largest parliament in the world, the most expensive civic building in the world, and the 2nd largest civic building after the pentagon. In one room we saw a chandelier with 1000 bulbs. The tour guide told us about five people who wondered away from their tour and got lost. They were found 24 hours later. She then warned us all to keep up! We walked 2km during the tour and saw 3% of the building.|
After that we went and had a kebab for lunch. Very tasty and more authentic than what you get in a kebab place in Britain.
We wandered for a bit and went past the ruins of the castle that Vlad the impaler ruled from, which included a bust of Vlad himself. He was a member of the house of Draculesti, and was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's most famous bad guy.
|We went into a tiny orthodox church in which every part of the wall inside was painted with religious and Biblical imagery. Romania is overwhelmingly orthodox, with Catholic and Evangelical accounting for a similarly small proportion each.|
|After revolution square we went to the orthodox cathedral in which we saw some women in a line to take their turn to kiss a relic, then have the priest bless them with oil. Outside was a container of holy water with a tap on the side.|
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