Fog is never a good thing when driving; imagine driving in a very foggy area, on narrow roads in a strange country with different driving rules. It was not easy getting out of Tulcea; the fog really put me on edge. We got up early because if we didn’t, the breakfast would have been gone again. I do learn quickly. This morning we had scrambled eggs for breakfast. Yummy!
The driving was not so nice; we could not see much alongside the road. We were headed south, trying to hug the coastline of the Black Sea.
We used a map to plot the most rural route we could find and it was rural; very rural without any major hubs along the way. We headed towards the major harbor town of Constanta (ancient Tomis) without committing ourselves to stay there. Just a drive by would be good enough. And, as we found out, it was good enough.
Constanta today is a very industrial, heavy equipment kind of busy seaport. I would say it’s the only real seaport Romania has and it’s all business. Everything coming in by sea or leaving on ocean ships, funnels through Constanta. The town is also a Romanian Navy hub. We just drove through, no use being in the way of hard working people. Let them do their thing.
I read the history of Constanta and it’s a great history. The town’s origin goes way back before BC and if you are into history, it may be worth a stop. Constanta (Tomis) was the exile town of the Roman poet Ovid for the last 8 years of his life. It is very difficult for me to understand historically the area around the Danube Delta. In prehistoric times small tribes who moved about and conquered other tribes, occupied certain areas in Eastern Romania. They slew other tribes and spread. The area we are driving through was the hinterland of the Roman Empire, the absolute edge of its power. The area was like a pot of stew, with many parts added from whatever came past the Danube or the Black Sea or out of the Russian Steppes. Goths, Synth, Thracians, Greeks, Mongols, Turks you name it, all are in this stew of former tribes and people, today called Constanta.
I read and saw advertisements and brochures from travel agents that showed the Black Sea as a haven for people who love ocean beaches. As always, those brochures only showed the absolutely best profile and I wanted to see what it was really like on those famous Black Sea beaches. But I must warn you, I am jaded. I don’t really like ocean beaches. Actually I don’t like any beaches unless it is very stormy and the waves come crashing in. I like the wildness of the ocean, the mayhem it can cause. I like watching from a very secure spot what nature can do. Well, we did not see the wildness on the sea sides we passed through. Nor did we see the really nice parts either. It was kind of blah! Yes, we did take the roads closest to the Black Sea for quite a while until we came to the town, a small town, of Costinesti. In years past, this was a fishing village but today it is supposed to be a kind of beach center for the tourist industry of Romania.
I think I am spoiled! No way would I spend my hard earned vacation in a place like this. Oh, it is not terrible but there really is nothing special here, either. Sure they have a beach, but not a grand looking strip of sand. The houses are built kind haphazardly and it screams “Tourist trap”.
We came after the official season; it is September 19 so the weather can be cold and rainy. Almost every ‘business’ was shuttered, closed, or even seemed abandoned. We had a hard time finding a hotel for the night. Even finding an open restaurant was difficult. This town is so blatantly ‘tourist’ that I can only quote “it’s so popular that nobody goes there anymore”. I sure would not go there even in high season. But I had to see it with my own eyes, not for me as I see it. Definitely not for me, but then, like I said, I am not a beach buff.
Oh, I forgot…….. You are allowed to walk around nude……..and lots of people do in the summer.
(I guess that adds to the attractions) but it was too cold to do it now. And that is defiantly not me, either.