Leaving Tulcea and heading along the coast of
Constanta was our last scenic drive of the trip and although it's
doable in a couple of hours, we had all day and figured we would do a
plethora of stop-offs and viewpoints along the way.
After this beautiful lake we spotted an old fortress
called Enisala Medieval Fortress from the road, and had to pull over for a better look.
It was a great start to the
day! Until, that is, a minor concern that had me sweating…
We were close to running out of fuel and hadn't realised until we were quite far away
from a big town. We figured it would all be okay and we'd fill up at the next
small town… but there was no petrol… and the next town… no petrol. So the sweating
became a little more profuse and I started to do a stock take of supplies in
the car. We had some water but not enough to survive a day in the baking June
sun… I sweated even more, which did not help the hydration problem.
A kind lady pointed us in the direction of
a town that had a petrol station and so we spluttered our way there. We ended up at the
port of the village, where we assumed we could get fuel. I stopped and asked a stranger for
advice. He surprisingly answered in near perfect English, which was not too
common in a small village in Romania. He told us where the petrol station was
and asked for a ride to his house, which was on the way. Alarm bells started
ringing. The angst of running out of fuel was seeping into my trust of the
fellow human. We spoke to Alex, our hitchhiker, and found out he had worked all
over Europe, mainly as a chef. He spoke several languages and was very friendly
and smiley. We arrived at his house and he offered us breakfast and even a place to lie
down if we wanted a nap. Alarm bells rang again so we got his number and told him we would get
fuel and then come back, or text him and say "thanks but no thanks…"
I know a lot, if not most people would have
declined the offer and thought Alex was some kind of
psycho/murderer/rapist/weirdo, but we are not most people. We had met an
English lady who resided in Romania, back in Cluj, who said she hoped we would
get a flat tyre just so we would see the kindness of strangers in Romania.
Fortunately this didn't happen but the fuel crisis had sparked a similar response
from the country. After getting petrol, we returned and accepted Alex's offer with open arms, entering his home with curiosity. He
showed us what a village house was like, with plentiful land where he grew all
manner of vegetables, had chickens, turkeys, and the house was lovely inside. His father was
at home, while his mother and sister were working in Spain. It was fascinating
to see a home like this.
|Alex and his new friend!|
Alex was waiting on the arrival of some
equipment he needed for his new restaurant and decided to show
us some sights that you'd never find in a tour book. He took us to a Roman ruin
that he had helped uncover as a child. A huge Roman barracks was based there,
on the edge of the cliff, and we saw walls and the remnants of a fire. It was a
great sight. We also saw the most giant dandelions.
What a wonderful chance encounter this turned
out to be. It reinforced the belief that people are generally good and we ought to have
more faith in the kindness of strangers because the world doesn’t end if you
trust people. When we eventually arrived in Constanta we thought the world might
actually be ending, as the huge amount of dandelion fluff consumed everything.
It was Day of the Dandetriffids and my hayfever, which had been bothering me all
holiday, was only going to get worse.
The beach in Constanta wasn’t the prettiest
and the weather was actually horrendous for the first time on the trip. It
meant we spent a day and a bit chilling in the hotel before heading to
Bucharest. We didn't see much in Bucharest either, except for an old friend, Adam, who we met in
Korea, also known as Part 1 of this very blog! It was great to see him still living the
dream abroad as an expat and made us jealous, as we were heading back to the UK
to our corporate jobs… with Spain still a few months away at this point.
And that's almost it for Romania, but join us next time as we see some photo highlights
of the weird and wonderful, as well as spending some time looking at the food
of this trip! Much love.
|Day of the DandeTriffids|
|Chilling with Alex by the Roman Ruins|
|Enisala Medieval Fortress|
|Constanta was a bit drab!|
|The only photo we took in Bucharest! We must go back!|