The urban jungle of Bucharest
We are talking proper jungle, I mean animals. Unlike other capitals, the ones of Western Europe, in Bucharest there are still wild animals on the streets and in the parks. Last year there was an owl behind the building of the hostel. We never saw it but we imagined it has built a nest in the attic of the building behind us. One would hear it everyday in the wee hours of the morning.
This year, we have a different kind of a bird. It is a blackbird. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with this bird, but what I can tell you is that it’s song is very nice. It is pretty simple, nothing fancy, but sweet and clear, so it really is a treat waking up to this sound.
The regular “tourists” around the hostel are the sparrows ( you can find them everywhere! ) the swallows, the crows and the…seagulls. It seems it is a new kind of seagulls, that live far off from water. They are usually water birds but lately they adapted to different conditions and you can find them nowadays even in the mountains (somebody from Sibiu told us that 2 years ago they showed up in his city too). They are getting bigger, too, now they are the size of roosters or even bigger.
Woodpeckers are pretty common too, but they move a lot.
In the parks you can often see squirrels, swans, ducks and fish in the lakes that you can actually fish, without paying for it. I recently heard a story about an Englishman who was so happy about the lack of strictness in Romania regarding fishing that he now fishes everyday in the Dambovita River, very happily.
The biggest “park” in the city is the Bucharest Delta, a place where over 80 birds nest during summer; last year it was declared a protected natural site, since many of the animals here (ferrets, foxes, beavers, storks, ducks) depend on this habitat for survival. It is not a place you pay to see, it is actually pretty unknown to the people of Bucharest even. (see this article)
The stray animals are usually both cats and dogs. Some cities have mainly cats ( Cairo or Tokyo) some other cities, dogs ( Bucharest is famous for it). In the center you can see sometimes dogs and cats, but the dog aren’t as aggressive and dangerous as one would be lead to believe. Many travelers ask us about this “problem”, but it is not such a big problem. There are packs of dogs in the living quarters of Bucharest, but not in the center. Even there, they rarely are aggressive. So the myth that you keep hearing before arriving to Romania, about the wild dangerous dogs, is…just a myth!
So you can often see sceneries such as: a stray wolf dog, a stray sheep dog and a small cat, walking together, as 3 good friends or; a couple of kittens on top of a car watching curiously a jackdaw who is sitting on the opposite fence.
Lastly, if you go to the hysterical center of Bucharest ( no, we didn’t misspell the word), you can see there another kind of jungle : the inhabitants of this temporary every night jungle are loud and happy, walk in packs, they are dressed fancily and sometimes half naked, they eat a lot ( in quantity and sorts) they drink more than a lot – sometimes unknown records take place in this small but lively area of the capital. The zone is of all trades and colors (a little of Romanian but a lot of : Turkish, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Scottish, Sexican) bars, pubs, discotheques, clubs, ice-cream vendors, kebab- shaorma, beer by the meter, shots of alcohol from all over the world, basements, terraces, pizza places, restaurants, in one word: the top of the world.
(note: this last photo pictures a stray dog hunting a fox in the Bucharest Delta)