Sea side in the winter is something different and great and for my birthday we wanted to do it. So, we got in the car, sat about 7 hours on the road ( yes, for the road between Sinaia and Brasov, if it’s weekend, you’ll have to also load yourself with lot and lot of patience).
But we arrived and there she was: navy blue, wild and free, no people to disturb her “silence”, the entire sea was offering herself as a through spectacle to our hungry eyes.
We took our apartment and went to bad with the sunrise in mind. That didn’t happened, of course, because we slept for another hour or two and it was sooo gooooddd, but after that we were fresh to take up the city.
We start our day with a walk on the beach and, after that, started descending towards the old city center for a good breakfast. Pizzico is a very nice place, right near the sea, recommended by our host but we ended up in a very beautiful turkish coffee place, named Arrabica The coffee shop. The location is great, right in the city center and the traditional turkish coffee or cake will not let you down. We tried sand coffee, both simple and cardamon and it was absolutely amazing, completed only by the wonderful chocolate, honey&nuts cakes we took aside.
We felt completely energized so we went out to concur the city.
Being already in the center, we stopped to admire Ovidiu’s statue and the great building belonging to the history museum, that hosts Ovidiu, right in front of it. We continued towards the Great Mosque, firstly know as the Carol 1 Mosque. Although, from the outside, you might not be completely overtaken by the mosque, the great architecture and the important details on the inside, make it a must go point in Constanta. Above all the muslim details that you can find on the inside, the services are still being held and you can hear them from the streets outside, thanks to the megaphone installed in the minaret; the minaret of approximately 40 meters or 140 stairs offers you a great view of the city and a great workout.
After visiting the mosque, we started to wonder the streets and admire the beautiful architecture of the buildings; although there are a very great deal of them in ruin, you can still admire the beautiful columns and the great architectural style that combines french, oriental and moorish influences.
One of the great points of interest in Constanta is the old casino, now left just as a witness of the Art Nouveau style used under the influence of the casinos of the era. Although there wasn’t any investment made in years, the building inaugurated in 1910, still stays strong and charming and reminds, like a play heard in ancient background, of the ballroom halls, restaurant and all the events meant to keep the society in a good mood.
With a big step back in our days, we visited the great aquarium, located right near the casino, that introduces you to a lot of international species of fishes and turtles. A bit further, you can see the first light house of Constanta( the Romanian name it’s “far” and comes from the greek island’s name Pharo, from the Golf of Alexandria, where the first construction of this kind was raised, in 283 iHR, to serve to the navigators) . Surnamed “The Genovian Lighthouse”. Raised in 1860, the lighthouse was active until 1913 and, in 1955, gets declared an architectural monument.
A walk on the seafront will charge you with just the needed amount of healthy salty air, clear your breath and excite your eye. No matter what the side, the sea and the casino are forming a great couple and give you a lot of great images to imprint on your eye, brain and phone or camera memory 🙂
After visiting this sight, you can start your journey towards the great sea port where, along all the ships in port, you can also find the second lighthouse of the city. The lighthouse is positioned near the place where tourist ships sail to shore and its named Carol the 1st after King Carol the 1st whit who’s relief it’s also graven, in honor of the king that inaugurated Constanta’s Port, in 1909. It was in use until 1960 when it was give in use the actual landing lighthouse in Constanta, situated in the area of the gate 6 of the airport.
After taking by step the port, also, you feel very tired and want to eat something and Nikos Greek Taverna was just the perfect place for us. The greek flavors where totally there, the portion big enough to fill your stomach for two days and the service amazing. We totally loved it. After we got out happy, we could have the eyes to also see The statue of the sheepdog in Constanta. It’s a bronze replica of the famous statue in Rome and it as give, initially, as a gift from Rome to Bucharest, in 1906, as a symbol of the daco-roman origins of the Romanian people. After that, it was also given to other cities in Romania as well to other countries, as a friendship sign of the Italian people.
Because the winter got “her” really big teeth out, the next day we got out to another walk at the casino and the lighthouse, caught some amazing images with the sea and the snow together and hurried back home. If we had more time, we would definitely have stoped in Mangalia to see the lighthouse and the swans on the sea. Also, the great fishery on the seaside would have been a real treat for our stomach so I highly recommend for you not to miss this.
Interesting facts about Constanta:
- it’s the oldest city in Romania
- by the number of inhabitants, it’s the second largest city in Romania
- it’s the main and only port at the Black Sea, in Romania
- it’s the second largest port at the Black Sea, in European Union, after Varna