Lovely cruise on the river.
Today I head to Country’s capital from the remote delta, a trip that requires an early wake-up. Ferry is at 7:00 AM and this means be up already one hour before. Weather looks much better than yesterday. Boat going to Tulcea from Sulina is not the same fast boat I took to come here. This one is much bigger and comfortable. It would be able to host hundreds of passengers but in spite of this and of the fact that when I came here two days ago boat was completely full, today the amount of passengers can be measured in few dozens. At certain moment the almost empty boat makes me think that I could have board on the wrong one but when the engine starts I leave my doubts behind together with delta and Sulina. In the big hall of the boat there is music in background. One of the song is from Adriano Celentano and I’ve never heard it before but it is perfectly fitting the “Eastern” atmosphere since it talks about a young tall blonde lady wearing boots and a black ushanka. The perfect stereotype of the eastern girls from the Italian view. Adriano Celentano is an Italian old singer quite popular in the eastern Countries and in the former USSR. In my travels in that area I was sometime approached by locals as “Italiano-Celentano”, a way of saying based on the rhyme of the two word. In Lviv I’ve even seen a pizzeria named after this guy. By the way the title of the song is “Stivali e Colbacco” (Boots and ushanka) and it was also covered by Gogol Bordello. The cruise is very pleasant. I’m drinking coffee and writing on my laptop looking outside. The speed of the boat allows me to get out to take pictures of best glimpses I see. Speed and comfort makes this the best way to enjoy the channel. Sometime the ship, named Moldavia” meets other ships going in opposite direction and there are greetings made with ship’s siren. My only doubt is about the time. My feeling is that in the end this ship is not slower than the other one I took two days ago. My only constraint is the bus to Bucharest leaving from Tulcea at 12:00. I’m trying to estimate our arrival time based on the distance covered in a specific time. When we are in Crișan we did already 21 kilometres and we left Sulina by 1 hour and 20 minutes. Based on these elements I guess I shouldn’t have any problem in catching my bus. While I’m deeply concentrate is this paranoid calculation my iPod decides that it is time to play the Soviet anthem sung by the Red Army choir. You should know that my earphones are very generous and they like to share what they play with everybody. I start to see the doubtful faces looking at me but I do not lower the volume. Too nice this version. Landscape from the window is the one I’m now familiar with. When I go out to breath fresh air, a small bird of a kind that I’ve never seen before is increasing temporarily the amount of passengers without paying a ticket. It will not stay with us until Tulcea where we arrive on time around 11:00. Good. I have also some time to eat something.
Mini van to Bucharest is not bad but comfort cannot be compared to the boat I just left. From Tulcea to Bucharest it follows a winding path made of secondary roads, small villages and wide fields of yellow flowers. Huge flocks of sheep are kept under control by big dogs and shepherds. Meanwhile it starts to rain. Unfortunately I’m getting used to it. It is still raining when we arrive close to the intersection of our road with the highway connecting Constanța to Bucharest. This place called Dragalina should be in some crucial position because there are a lot of restaurants along the road. We stop for a short break in one of them. Afterward we go straight to Bucharest. Station of this bus company is close to the “Gara de nord”, the most important railways station in town. From here I take the metro and I reach the centre where is located the apartment I’ve booked through AirBnB.
Evening tour of the town.
In Bucharest I have a friend. She will be my guide tonight and in next days in order to introduce me to best of Romania and of course, of Bucharest as well. My knowledge of this town is very limited but enough to understand that first thing to do here is wiping out all the mindsets. For many years, Bucharest was considered the ugliest capital among those ones of Eastern Countries and described as a town totally destroyed by the communism and by the Ceaușescu grandeur. My friend C. before and after the dinner shows me this is not true and tells me about the many churches of Bucharest, the boulevards with fountains, Vlad Țepeș, the seven hills of the town, the Patriarchate of the Romanian Orthodox Church, about the revolution. And while we are talking I see a town far from my expectation: modern and traditional at the same time, with intimate corners hidden just behind the movida of the old town mixing spiritual and material. Small street of the “Centrul Vechi” (the old town) have an undoubtable charme. However, the real proud of Bucharest, as my friend explains to me, are the beautiful parks of the town we are going to visit them tomorrow. For today this is all.
The gallery here is still the one about Danube Delta.