Sep 15

NATURE’S HOME – VADU AND CORBU (ROMANIA)

Many of us declare ourselves tired of crowded places, so tourists have started to seek other desert places where they can find peace and serenity, where they can lie all day on a quiet beach, in a hammock or in the shade,  without having to incur other disturbing elements.

Today’s destination is in Romania, on the Black Sea shore, where you will encounter two of the last pristine beaches: Corbu and Vadu.

Although it still is what we might call a wild beach, Corbu certainly will not stay in this category for long. That’s because local authorities have other plans for the future “newest resort at European level on the Romanian Black Sea coast”, as declared on the official website. The project includes both the beach at Corbu, and the one at Vadu.

So who wants to enjoy the wild beaches of Corbu and Vadu should hurry up before civilization takes over. In a few years, it’s very certain that things won’t be the same.

Construction plans have already been finalized and the project is available to anyone who wishes to admire and “marvel” concieved after the taste of the authorities and investors. What will Corbu be like in the future? Well, think of hotels and villas of four and five stars (goodbye, tents), marina for boats foodie (no more wooden boats), an international circuit of golf, casino, sports park etc.

But let us stay in present times and see what Corbu has to offer now. When you go there, you will take a bite of true Nature, which will be a true blessing for those who want to enjoy the simple life by the sea, with just sand and sun. Corbu beach is included in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, and from here you can make day trips in the Delta, departing either from Tulcea, or Jurilovca.

Besides the beach, tourists can enjoy other eco-friendly activities, including windsurfing, water sports such as sailing, diving and amateur sport fishing in Lake Corbu. Also in this area, if you have binoculars or a camera with telephoto lens you can admire some special species of birds, including the tern or the silver seagull. Nearby, on Lake Sinoe, in a simple boat ride, you will meet with spoonbills, ducks and pelicans.

From untainted nature we are moving on to history. Two major cities are near the village of Corbu: Histria and Enisala. The first is the oldest Greek settlement in the country, built in 657 BC and the second dates from the late thirteenth century, the early fourteenth century.

Corbu is located at a distance of eight kilometers north of Mamaia, near Navodari. You can get there by car, but it is recommended to choose your route from home, depending on the location from which you start. The beach is near the village of the same name, and to get there you have to follow the paved road which goes to the right, located close to the indicator that marks the entrance to the village. The access to services is not easy, and near the beach there are no shops, therefore, a complete and correct supply will save you a ton of headaches.

Photo source:

Picture 1: transilvaniareporter.ro; Picture 2: vacantacumasina.ro; Picture 3: blog.marianmocanu.ro; Picture 4: cronicipebune.ro; Picture 5: metropotam.ro; Picture 6: 4tuning.ro; picture 7: papacelll.deviantart.com
Aug 05

CRIMEA – THE CROWN JEWEL OF THE BLACK SEA (КРЫМ)

Catherine the Great named this small mountainous peninsula in the north of the Black Sea “the pearl of the most prominent Russian Imperial Crown”. It remains us to discover together why.

Bathed by the waters of the Black Sea, Crimea is required to be discovered by car: freedom of movement is more than necessary in a land where land forms are changing so fast in front of your eyes.

Whether you’re looking for a vacation spot, be it luxurious or rustic, on the seashore, or you want to follow through pages of amazing history, Crimea has it all. And more than that!

There is no wonder that, over time, the peninsula has fascinated a lot of people, becoming a crossroads of cultures ever since ancient times. Ancient indigenous populations, such as bulls or Scythians were mixed with Greek colonists, Roman or Armenian and the Turkish-Tartar and Slavic conquest added some extra drama and exoticism to the place. Experts estimate that in Crimea there are over 12,000 historical, cultural and architectonic artifacts – ancient Greek ruins, medieval sites Genovese, Armenian, Byzantine, Tatar, Russian palaces of the modern era, all in a natural setting that seems to have been taken out of a beautiful dream.

More than 2,500 years ago, just like in the Romanian region of Dobrogea, the Greeks founded settlements in the north of the Black Sea. Taking advantage of the experience of the Greek settlers, natives (descendants of Scythian and Tauric civilizations) had grown familiar with the trade, crafts and arts.

The most important Greek cities were founded by Panticapaeum (Kersh as it is presently known, situated in the eastern part of Crimea), Kerkinitida (Yevpatoriya) and Crimea (Sevastopol). These cities used to gather houses, temples, theaters and educational centers – all these being documented by the evidence on the peninsula. The best preserved archaeological site located in Chersones impresses by its urban complexity that is revealed by the agora and the temples, the defensive walls and restored amphitheater which today hosts cultural events for tourists.

Located on the outskirts of Sevastopol on a rocky beach, the Greek ruins are embellished with the charm of the sunset and is one of the objectives that the visitors of Crimea must not miss.

The coast rivals in beauty with the famous Cote d’Azur and Spanish Riviera. In the western peninsula, wide beaches with incredibly fine sand are stretching along, while the south and east, the high and sharp cliffs support stunning architectural jewels. As you move toward the center of the peninsula, the relief becomes taller, rocky and drier; waterfalls and canyons in the mountains offers the ideal setting for spending active holidays and for practicing extreme sports.

While the north is a large grain-producing plains (in the seventh century BC the Greek colonists turned the peninsula into the granary of Hellas), the buffer zone between the mountains and the sea is hosting grape-vine terraces, from which famous wines such as Massandra and Inkerman are obtained.

A resting halt

Each path towards Crimea begins and ends at Odessa, the second most important city in the Ukraine and a worthy stop for any traveler. From here, the road accompanies the coast, crossing the Dnieper River and after a few hours away by car, it reaches the “the Crimean Autonomous Republic” border, as the huge billboards will warn you. The name appeared and disappeared from the map of Ukraine and the Soviet Union for several times in the last hundred years.

Unavoidable Highlights

If we attempt to describe how many things can be seen in Crimea it will exceed by far the space for this entry. But you should not missed at any price Stary Krym or Bakhchisaray at least for their Tatar architecture and gastronomy; also United Yalta, which includes, besides the city itself, the palaces and surrounding areas in Livadia, Alupka and Swallow’s Nest. Also, do not miss Sevastopol for the importance acquired during the Crimean War, the Genoese fortress in Sudak and Balaklava for their elegance and exoticism.

No matter who the rulers have been throughout time, the coastal strip exercised a magnet-like attraction on people, resulting in the construction of ports and trade routes. Beginning with the Bosforian kingdom from from Kersh, in the eastern side of the peninsula and ending with the Greek Evpatoria, the region has been ruled by Muslims and Orthodox, who have founded settlements playing a strategic role in terms of military and commercial purpose.

The Imperfect Present

Modern Crimea is undergoing a cloudy present, as that of most post-communist East. It has just been annexed to Russia after the recent war in Ukraine, after decades of being a part of the latter. Even when it was a part of Ukraine, over 60 percent of residents are of Russian nationality, so the political stability has been very fragile. This situation is even more delicate due to the issue of the Tatars and other ethnic groups who want to return after having been deported during World War II.

But regardless of the political instability, Crimea’s charm hasn’t faded one bit and it will always remain a welcoming touristic spot for visitors worldwide.

Photo source:

Picture 1: adonis-crimea.com.ua; Picture 2: memolition.com; Picture 3: miriadna.com; Picture 4: geometria.ru; Picture 5: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 6: airpano.com; Picture 7: pinterest.com
Jun 07

HISTORY LESSONS AND SUMMERTIME FUN IN VARNA (VARNA)

Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia and Burgas and it counts about 350,000 inhabitants. Bulgarians live alongside about 10,000 ethnic Turks, about 3000 Gypsies and some 3000 other ethnicities.

The city’s history begins in the 7th century BC. The Greeks were those who created this settlement which they named Odessos. Like many regions of those times, it became part of the Roman Empire sometime in the 1st century b.C. In the 7th century the city was conquered by Slavic leader Asparuch Khan.

The city’s name becomes Varna; following the rename there came a rapid development of the city which became an important maritime hub. In the late 14th century the city falls under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and only in the 19th century, it will be issued by the Russian fleet. During World War II, despite partisan resistance, the Germans have taken over the city at the end of the war. However, it was the Soviets whose influence was decisive, just like in the entire Eastern Block.

Geographically speaking, Varna is situated on the west coast of the Black Sea, and from the educational point of view, Varna is a university center. Here operates a military academy, a technical university, an agricultural, a commercial and a medical science center.

Since Varna is a big city, there are enough landmarks that are worth being seen.

The Assumption Cathedral was built between 1880 and 1886, and is the second largest in the country after the cathedral in Sofia.

The ruins of the Roman baths built in the second century b.C. are among the largest Roman baths on the territory of the empire.

The National Naval Museum is a half indoors, half outdoors museum where we can document ourselves on the history of the Bulgarian maritime fleet. The outside exhibits are impressive; visitors can admire from helicopters to rocket ships and all kinds of military vehicles.

You can also see the “Stoyan Bachvarov” Theatre, an outstanding Baroque edifice built between 1912 and 1932, admire the fish and other creatures particularly from the Black Sea fauna in the only aquarium built in Bulgaria or go on a dolphin show at the Dolphinarium .

Other objects worth seeing: Church of Panagia, St. Athanasius Church, Bulgarian Renaissance Museum, other museums dedicated to natural history, ethnography, medicine, history, archeology, marina. For those interested in shopping there is the Grand Mall of Varna, and for beach lovers there are numerous great beaches in Varna, including the famous Golden Sands in the north of the city.

There are over 220 accommodation spots, including hotels and pensions, with convenient prices.

Photo source

Pic1 varna.bg

Pic2 valentinvalkov.com

Pic3 en.wikipedia.org

Pic4 kingofwallpapers.com

Pic5 s-tur.com.ua

Pic6 runawayjane.com

Pic7 priveeinvest.com