Following on from the Transnistria National Day tour, join us for this extension where you’ll visit the most important places in the story of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Communist dictator of Romania whose trial and execution were shown on TV around the world over Christmas 1989.
Price: €295 per person
Thursday 5th September
- Early morning arrival in Bucharest by train.
- Breakfast with WiFi in traditional YPT meeting spot, McDonald’s in the main Gara de Nord railway station.
- First you’ll visit the unmissable Palace of the Parliament – built as part of Ceaușescu’s plan to rebuild his capital in the image of Pyongyang, North Korea. Still not fully completed today, the former “People’s House” is holder of various records, including world’s heaviest building and world’s most expensive administrative building. We’ll see some of the opulence that Ceaușescu planned, as well as visit the underground bunkers where Ceaușescu could hide out in case of nuclear war.
- Next, a visit to the former Mausoleum of the Communist Heroes – burial spot for senior figures during the Communist era, and the place where Ceaușescu expected to be buried; subsequently re-purposed as a war memorial.
- Then you’ll head to the Spring Palace, the Ceaușescu family’s former home, preserved in excellent condition, to see how the first family lived.
- Drive to Pitești (120 km / 1.5 hrs) – location of the “largest and most intensive brainwashing torture programme in the Eastern Bloc”.
- Overnight in Pitești.
Friday 6th September
- Drive to Scornicesti (50 km / 45 mins)
- First off today, you’ll visit the house where Ceaușescu was born.
- Then you’ll head over to the stadium which Ceaușescu built for his favourite football team, big enough to hold the entire population of the town several times over! The local side still play here, but sadly now that other teams aren’t afraid of beating them they’re no longer in the ‘A’ Division.
- Drive to Târgoviște (121 km / 2 hrs)
- You’ll see a “Vulture” fighter plane parked up at the roadside. This Romanian-built plane is from the period when Ceaușescu wanted to avoid dependence on any foreign country including the Soviet Union, and aimed for Romania to be self-sufficient.
- After some lunch you’ll visit the location where the Ceaușescus were put on trial, preserved exactly as it was in those famous grainy TV shots from Christmas 1989.
- Then you’ll head out back to the spot where they were executed. Bullet holes are still clearly visible in the wall.
- Drive to Doftana (60 km / 1.5 hrs)
- You’ll check out Doftana prison, where Ceaușescu was locked up in his youth. Not normally open to the public, but we’ll try and have a look inside anyway!
- Overnight in Doftana.
Saturday 7th September 2018
- Drive back to Bucharest (100 km / 1.5 hrs)
- You can finish up at the airport or main train station if you have an onward flight
- Or you can finish up by checking out the Military Museum, with an amazing collection of Cold War-era military hardware, both Soviet and Romanian-built.