Trip to Constanța.

It is time to move to the eighth country of my trip around the world. It is actually not clear how to do it but as usual, if you want to achieve a goal, starting doing it is often a good move. I prefer not to walk with my heavy luggage to the station so I take a local bus. I notice that in the bus there is something written in Hebraic and it doesn’t look as something built in the bus due to original factory. Unfortunately only thing I know about Hebraic is that it should be read it from right to left. I think it was some customisation done by the bus driver like also the many peluche puppets sitting on the bus dashboard. The weather is unfortunately still quite bad and every thing around is painted in grey colour. Bus to Shabla, my first destination leaves in about half an hour. Minivan to ShablaI have time to eat something and have a coffee. Yesterday I had breakfast in the hotel but it wasn’t that good so I’ve chosen not to repeat the experience. Mini van to Shabla starts on time and it follows a internal road far from the coast and therefore landscape outside is very boring. We stop for a long time in a village called Kavala but after it other stops are quite fast. Before Shabla we go through a quite big wind farm. Once I’m in Shabla bus station, a very tiny one, there is a taxi waiting and since I see the taxi driver talking with the bus driver I guess that maybe taxi driver was informed about my presence. Well, who cares, good for me. I agree the fee to go to Mangalia. 20 Euro for 40 kilometres is not bad even if I’m sure a local would obtain a better price but I’m not in the position to deal. Border crossing is easy even if both Countries are not in Schengen area. No stop at all on Bulgarian side, just a short one on Romanian side. Wind farm in BulgariaI say to myself that this is the last border in this trip I’m crossing without passport that is meanwhile safely arrived in Bucarest with Russian and Chinese visa on it. It looks Romanians like strange names for villages. First of all I’ve noticed two towns named after dates such as 2 Mai and 23 August. In my life I’ve seen many streets with this kind of names but is the first time I see same methodology used for towns. From the calendar one we move to another category: Greek Mythology. The serie of sea resort villages right after the border have names such as Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Olimp. Well Olimp should have been the area with all the Gods’ named villages within. Isn’t it? In Mangalia I’m lucky because the bus to Constanța is already there, ready to leave in 10 minutes and I’m lucky once more because the few Romania Lei I had in the wallet from a previous trip are enough to buy the ticket (9.5 Lei) and something to eat. Along the road I keep seeing villages with many hotels and restaurants much more frequently than in Bulgaria. I realise that Bulgaria and Romania have more or less same coast length but Romania is much bigger and with a bigger population so this holiday villages have a much bigger market to serve. The bus is clean and comfortable and leads me to Constanța in about 45 minutes.

Constanța day 1.

This time my hotel is not in a central location. Good thing is that is very close to the main bus station so from it I can walk to the hotel. After check-in even if the weather keeps being dark and gloomy, I decide to go out to explore this town that is one of the bigger in Romania and surely the biggest port. The area around my hotel is quite poor but after a 30-minutes walk I arrive in the centre. I have still tomorrow to visit the town so, as I usually do, I go around without a defined program. I just follow directions to the centre. This way I arrive in a pedestrian street with some restaurant and café leading to Ovidiu square. It is hard to define this as a beautiful square. A dark big building stands in the middle. It is a museum or better it should be, because it seems to be closed. Genoese lighthouseIn spite of this not thrilling area I keep a positive feeling towards Constanța. There should be something, I’m sure. And actually there is. Overtaking the square and going in the direction of the sea I reach a small “Genoese” lighthouse. I need to check why it is called this way. Former casinoFrom the lighthouse it starts the waterfront area on which it is centrally located the main Constanța landmark. The former casino now completely abandoned and in ruins. It doesn’t seem there is any work to restore it. This would be the perfect scenery for the setting of Genesis’ “Home by the sea” video or for a ghost story maybe that one of Grand Duchess Olga Romanoff that in 1914, here in visit with the whole Russian Imperial Family refused the wedding with the prince Carol of Romania. Quite strange thing because usually this kind of stuff are previously arranged and well defined by diplomacy but it seems Olga had a very strong personality. However she died three years later under Bolshevik fire with her family, including (maybe) Anastasia. A “yes” could have changed her destiny. Who knows. From the waterfront I see that there is a row of restaurants in the harbour down there and I decide that later I will give it a try for dinner. It starts to become also quite cold and then, since it doesn’t seem there is much more to see I think to go back to the hotel. Busker in ConstanțaBefore, I don’t even know why, I go the mall in the centre. Yesterday in my post about Varna I was saying that more or less all the malls are the same, well, I didn’t see this one in Constanța. Maybe the nice ones are elsewhere and this is going to close soon but what I have in front is a place completely empty, with few and poor shops and without that typical brightness of the modern malls. I do not stop here for long and I go to the hotel by bus. In the evening when I get out is raining a bit and the streets are full of huge snails that I try to avoid with my steps. At the harbour I chose an Italian restaurant. Nice location but food unsuccessfully pretending to be Italian in spite of very good ingredients. Once again I close the day hoping in better weather tomorrow. The Mediterranean climate is really far from here.
Here following you can find the Constanța gallery.