Friday, May 16, 2014

Constanta and the Black Sea

We left Bucharest feeling good. The train ride EAST to Constanta was pleasant starting with turning the corner on Calea Grivitei and seeing the sprawling Art Deco station in front of us. Through the main entrance, a quick look at the souvenir stands and the Big Board, and we are on the 10:20 train to Constanta.

Although it's kinda weird for the first hour as I'm sitting eye to eye with a smiling talkative young man who is returning home after treatments at the Spa in BH for a brain injury suffered as a child. He shows me the dent in his shaven head; points to his ailing shoulder and back; and pulls out a stack of legal papers (he gets free rail tickets) and medical records. And he laughs a lot.

The ladies accross the aisle seem embarrassed by his engagement with me; but no worries, he smiles a lot, I'm a guest in his coutry, and I can see on his ticket that he gets off the trian in less than an hour.

Lots of agriculture in the rolling hills. Then more fun. The train first crosses a tributary of the Danube, then the Danube, then the Danube Canel spins off to the EAST as the Danube heads NORTH to the Danube Delta and out to the Black Sea. The Danube - Black Sea Canal heads more of less straight to Constanta and the Black Sea.

It's a long walk, 2 kms or more, from the Cnstanta Station to Constanta City Center and our first two hotel choices are full, but we snag an "apartment" at the Dali Hotel with a balcony, partial Black Sea view, and prints by S. Dali on the walls.

Constanta is not what we expected. The historic Old town is Surreal as it both crumbling and renovating simutaneously. The History Museum was open but the Roman Mosaics, a highlight for sure, were not. The port is huge and busy. The in-town beaches are not appealing - we did not visit the out-of-town resorts and beaches. However, John was keen on seeing the Black Sea and was not disappointed. Stay tuned as we next head SOUTH down the Black Sea coast to Varna, Bulgaria.

Wheat fields.
Constanta, Romania

Grain Elevators seen on the train to Constanta.
Constanta, Romania

On the train.
Constanta, Romania

Rolling Stock. Reminds one of an other famous "Rolling St____" logo, yes?
Constanta, Romania

Anghel Saligny Bridge - the old Danube RR Bridge. It was the longest bridge in Europe when completed in 1895.
Constanta, Romania

Glimpse of the Danube Canal.
Constanta, Romania

Constanta has a Vegetarian Restaurant. We ate there twice.
Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

Some shots of the renovation in the Old Town.
Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

Ovid Square renovation is mostly done. That's the History Museum at right; the Carol I Mosque (Grand Mosque) back left.
Constanta, Romania

The Grand Mosque of Constanta.
Constanta, Romania

Inside the Mosque.
Constanta, Romania

The Mosque Dome from the minaret. We finally get to climb up a minaret.
Constanta, Romania

Ovid Square from the minaret. Our hotel is way back to the right; light blue with a red roof.
Constanta, Romania

The entrance to the port. It's a huge port complex with adjacent shipyards and train yards.
Constanta, Romania

More port.
Constanta, Romania

The Art Nouveau Casino is a gem.
Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

The so-called Tourist Port.
Constanta, Romania

The in-town beach is not so nice IMHO.
Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

Cleaning up a monument near the Archaeologial Park.
Constanta, Romania

No Roman Mosaics for us.
Constanta, Romania

sea + sun = relax.
Constanta, Romania

Back to Casa Vegetariana.
Constanta, Romania

Some shots of the new town.
Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

Constanta, Romania

View from our balcony at night.
Constanta, Romania




6 comments:

Susan in Florida said...

I love your blog. I am so happy that y'all share your adventures with us. Will you be going to any of these places mentioned in this article when you go to Bulgaria?

http://www.businessinsider.com/step-inside-the-massive-communist-headquarters-that-bulagria-cant-even-afford-to-tear-down-2012-9?op=1

Crash Eddy said...

From a GM POV, Constanta appears to be an industrial and port city. Appears rather grimy. Enjoy the Black Sea.

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, my sentiments exactly!!! John was the one insisted on going to Constanta. Wait until you hear what we had to do to get out of there :(

john said...

@Susan, As always, thanks for reading! We will NOT see that particular massive building but stay tuned for a photo of a massive monument here in Veliko Tarnovo.

liz said...

Veggie good looks great. Noticed that Sunlimf is usually the one to post pictures of food. Thx!

Sun-Ling said...

@Liz, we really enjoyed the veggie restaurant in Constanta. It had been weeks since we had run into a veggie restaurant, being in small towns and Bucharest veggie restaurants closed on weekends. To start with, many of the veggie restaurants have raw (too hip for me) and international (I can make better at home) menus. This one really makes an effort at drawing on their own culinary traditions.