Sunday, July 08, 2007

This time I can’t even use Facebook as an excuse… Well, anyway, as I wrote in one of my last entries, I was in Romania. First, in Bucharest, attending a wedding; and then in the Dobruja region, enjoying a couple of days off in the shore of the Black Sea together with Pedro. To be honest, we wanted to go abroad, but as it wasn’t possible to rent a car that could cross the border (!), we had to change our plans. After an adventurous trip through the unique Romanian roads, we found a nice and well-located hotel in the Constanţa waterfront and decided to establish there our base to explore the region. We started by Mamaia, a beach resort immediately to the north of the city. We paid the entrance toll and the parking, bought the most expensive towels and sun lotion ever, had a nice swim in the sea and got sunburnt… Then, we decided to go south and stopped for lunch in Eforie, near the Techirghiol Lake. As it was a bit warm and we were sunburnt, we decided not to go back to the beach immediately and continued south, until Mangalia. Then, when coming back north, we stopped in Costineşti and decided to stay there for a while. Costineşti is the most popular summer destination within Romanian young people and students since the 60s. A hotel, as well as several villa complexes were erected during the Communist era, and kept being used by mostly under-30 tourists. This contributes to the fact that the atmosphere here is livelier than in any of the other Black Sea resorts, and maybe because of that we enjoyed it a lot. In our way back to Constanţa, we had to stop in a supermarket to buy some after-sun rehydrator cream… and that was for sure our best move in the whole day… The next day we headed to the site of Histria, the first Greek colony on the west coast of the Black Sea and, as such, the oldest town in Romanian territory. The ruins of the settlement are quite well-preserved, and the archaeological excavations started in 1914 managed to identify several layers on site: Archaic, Hellenistic and Roman. Unfortunately, the burning sun, the lack of guidance and the total absence of support services, make it almost impossible for a tourist to enjoy the visit to what could be a very impressive historical site. So, we decided to go back to Costineşti and enjoy the sea, the sun and the nice views… but first we stopped in Sacele! When we headed back to Brussels, on Thursday, we were welcomed with rain and a temperature half the one we had enjoyed in Romania… so, it was like coming back to winter… still, the truth is that it was nice to take these days off. It was a good aperitif for the real holidays in around twenty days! And I can’t really complain, as on Wednesday am going to Lisbon!


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