I walked from the palace all the way down Bulevardul Unirii, which was another of Ceauşescu’s grand projects and is a few metres longer than the Champs-Élysées. Apparently some historic parts of the city were bulldozed to make way for this, but despite this I quite liked it, probably because I was again reminded of Beijing, and of Chang’an Avenue which carves through the city and which also sits on top of a lot of history. Fountains lined the street, making the hot day seem a little bit cooler, and trees kept it shady. I ambled along, enjoying the stern but grand atmosphere of it.
All too soon it was time to leave. I should really have sacrificed a lazy day in Braşov for a more active one in the capital, but it was too late to worry about that now. I bought a snack from a shop and then got on the airport bus to Otopeni airport. It took me past lots of things I’d have liked to see properly, and I thought I’d probably like to come back to Bucharest. But all there was left to do now was allow myself to be relieved of a shocking number of lei as I bought a drink at the airport, board the plane and fly home.