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