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Black Sea Canal LockOn our way to Romania and the Black Sea, we left the Danube and entered the Black Sea Canal. This was planned in Roman days as a way to shorten the journey to the Black Sea. But it wasn't started to be built until 1948 when Stalin used political prisoners to dig the canal. The effort was stopped in 1953 when they ran out of money. It was restarted and opened in 1984. The 40 mile canal shortens the trip to the Black Sea by 200 miles - a great savings in time and fuel.Constanta Harbor

We arrived in Constanta, Romania, the second most important harbor in Europe next to Rotterdam. We were very lucky that we could sail into Constanta as it had been raining so hard and was so windy that the port was closed earlier that morning.. We would have had to leave the ship and take a 9 hour bus ride to get here. Fortunately it had reopened by the time we arrived.

MummyConstanta was almost completely destroyed in WWI and WWII but it has now been reconstructed. Constanta was originally settled by the Romans in 106AD. They brought with them the art of glass blowing and clay molding. The Archeology Museum has wonderful exhibits of artifacts discovered from this period including baby bottles and glass used to collect tears when someone died. A Roman forum, built in the 4th century, has been discovered with its mosaic tiles.Roman Forum





CasinoThe Casino was built in 1910 in the Art-Nouveau style and is the only building in that style in Romania. It is no longer in use until a legal ownership issue is resolved.

We visited the beach resort of Mamaia which is a favorite vacation spot for Romanians. We walked the beach, collecting sea shells and dipped our hands in the Black Sea.Black Sea at Mamaia



To view additional photos from our tour of Constanta, go to the Constanta Photo Gallery.

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