Bucharest city tales: It’s summertime – a mix of barbeques and sun lotion

Columnist Eleonore af Schaumburg-Lippe writes in her weekly column about life as an expat in Romania. This week she looks at summertime in Bucharest, which appears to be a mix of barbeques and sun lotion.

Finally it is summertime in Romania, after what felt like only a few days of springtime, the sunshine has turned up. Slowly you will see more and more people leaving Bucharest and heading for the seaside – if you are not one of those packing a swimsuit to enjoy the seaside of Romania while reading this and perhaps spending the summer in Bucharest.

Anyone who does can look forward to something quite special for Bucharest: usually traffic is quite heavy but during summertime and especially on the weekends, there are hardly any cars, and a whole new Bucharest shows its face.

People will be riding bikes, walking around, and you can almost cross the street without worrying about cars. There will be an almost Zen calm over the town. It is not a complete ghost town but it can almost feel like that during the weekends, where the sounds from the honking cars will change to the sounds of birds singing and the smell of barbequing from gardens and balconies will rise in the air.

Cars will be driving around watering the streets (something I have my own theory about) because in the wintertime the streets are covered in ice – and I jokingly say it’s because of all the water that they pour on the streets during summer.

If you live in Bucharest prepare yourself for the summertime, this is the perfect opportunity for a  big clear out: store the winter clothes, and rediscover the summer clothes from the basement, or even better, go summer shopping for summer dresses and sandals (if you are a woman of course), clean your house from top to toe, move the furniture around, throw out or give away all the things you don’t use anymore and welcome summertime to your home.

Clean the garden or dust off your balcony and prepare for outside barbeques: hello to mosquitoes and hello to mojitos! Summer salads, peace and quiet while you say goodbye to the hard winter, and welcome green trees, flowers, sunshine, birds singing and the parks blossoming and looking more beautiful than even.

Whether you are a tourist or an expat here, take care with the heat and the sun. It will get really warm in Bucharest, during July temperatures can reach 45°C and even more. Code Red Alert is to be taken seriously and temperatures have already reached around 32°C, so it is getting there quickly.

Sun lotion and mosquito spray are some of the good things to pack if you are visiting Bucharest in the summertime, and then remember to buy lots of bottles of water, when you are walking around enjoying the Zen spirit. And for Scandinavians or anyone with fair skins, factor 50 or 80 sun cream is advisable, because the sun is intense here. But all in all summertime in Bucharest or in general in Romania is the best time.

So happy summertime, happy May 1 and soon happy Orthodox Easter to you all!

By Eleonore af Schaumburg-Lippe, columnist

Eleonore is Danish, she holds a BA in Organization and Management and specializes in Corporate Communication & Strategic Development. She is also a Market Economist and a Multimedia Designer. She is currently working in Bucharest as the Executive Director of UAPR the Romanian Advertising Association. As a Danish Viking in Romania, with a great passion for ’covrigi’, she has a burning desire to find out more about Romania especially Bucharest, and enlighten the small differences in the culture between Denmark and Romania.. Her weekly columns will give you insights into an expats life in Bucharest written with humor and a big Danish smile.