Cycling from Timișoara in the West of Romania, to Constanța, on the cost of the Black Sea
  • Day15

    The Constanța casino

    July 5, 2018 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    When planning where to finish this tour, Constanța and its casino were the obvious choices. I fell in love with that building ever since I saw it for the first time somewhere on the internet.
    In the current form since 1910, it worked as a casino for only 38 years.

    It was called Romanian Monte Carlo and it has always been the symbol of the city. It was damaged in every world war and rebuilt afterward.
    With the communist regime in power, it ceased to operate like a casino, and since 1948 it served as a house of culture.

    Built in Art Noveau style by 32-year old Daniel Renard, it was a sore point for the entire political opposition and conservatives back in the day, who wanted something less extravagant and in popular Neo-Romanian style, which was featured in many of my photos.

    And so, after 12 days of cycling (rest days not counted) and after exactly 900 km (560 miles) I reached the promenade in front of the iconic casino in Constanța.
    I was so happy with the casino milestone that I didn't even consider staying longer in the city 😁

    I spotted a place where I could urban-camp and rushed to the train station to check if I could exchange the train ticket that I had bought in Bucharest for a train leaving tomorrow, for the one leaving tonight. Sure enough, I could. I left the city as fast as I entered it.

    The ease with which I called it the end just reaffirmed Emerson's words, that it's not the destination, it's the journey.
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  • Day15

    There she is!

    July 5, 2018 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Cycling through Constanța wasn't a really pleasant experience. As if all the roads were leading to it, and all the cars and trucks decided to go into the city at the same time. I reached this random point and saw it, the building in the background.Read more

  • Day15

    The oldest cont. inhabited city in Ro

    July 5, 2018 in Romania ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

    Entering Constanța, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Romania. Founded in 7th century BC by Massagataen queen Tomyris, who named the city after herself, Tomi. The first urban settlement in this region was however Greek city of Histria, 40 km (25 miles) from Constanța.Read more

  • Day15

    Big smalls

    July 5, 2018 in Romania ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

    Stopped briefly in Medgidia, for a bite. Romanians have their own version of kebabs called, mici, which means 'smalls', and they are the biggest kebabs out there 😁

    And this is Danube-Black Sea channel in Murfatlar, carved in the rocky hill looks impressive.Read more

  • Day15

    Eau de Pepe le Pew

    July 5, 2018 in Romania ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    Getting closer to Constanța, still raining, but also the traffic increased.
    Trucks are the worst. They go around, but still, shower you with so much water that my face is all muddy.
    Scratch that, garbage trucks are the worst. They wash me with stinky water 😫 But, it's kinda worth it. Just look at the scenery!Read more

  • Day15

    Come rain or come rain

    July 5, 2018 in Romania ⋅ 🌧 27 °C

    No matter how much I'd like to stay and soak the atmosphere at the Traian's monument, the weather forecast said there will be rain showers, so I reluctantly started cycling...only to be greeted by the first outpouring. I have rain gear on, but I still seek shelter under a tree.

    And every time the showers would get tired and stop, the scenery would become so contrasty and so beautiful, that even just throwing a camera in the air would lend you a great shot. The report says there's no rain in Constanța, so I'll continue and endure the rain.
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  • Day15

    Tropaeum Traiani

    July 5, 2018 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Some 2 km away from the fortress, in 109 AD, emperor Traian built a monument, called Tropaeum Traiani (Traian's trophy) to honor the fallen Roman soldiers (don't mix Roman and Romanian) and also to warn any neighboring tribe to stay away from just conquered province.

    Behind the monument, there is a mound, tumulus, a burial site of a fallen Roman general. This is the view from the top of it. Unfortunately, there's nothing much to see at the mound, at least not to my untrained eye, so back to the monument 🤔

    Tropaeum Traiani monument was reconstructed in 1977, as by that time it turned into a pile of rubble, with the metopes (squarish elements depicting various elements of the Roman army) scattered around it.
    Here you can see some original parts of the monument exposed.

    The original elements of the monument are preserved in a museum in a nearby town of Adamclisi. The monument was devoted to the Roman god of war, Mars.
    The admission to the ground around the monument costs 10 Lei (2€ / ~$3).

    I had the luck to come across an old tour guide there who told me that in the middle of the photo here, in what look like battlements, there are prisoners of war shown, Dacians in skirts, Sarmatians in tunics and Germanic tribesmen in trousers.

    Fun-fact: the Dacian campaign was the only known instance when the Roman legions had to make adjustments to their equipment during the campaign. Dacians #acrossRomania used a curved weapon sharp on the inside, called falx, which could cut through Roman armor.
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  • Day15

    Welcome to Civitas Tropaensium!

    July 5, 2018 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    When thinking about the day ahead I thought the highlight would be finally reaching Constanta, after I drop by a nearby monument I was told to check out. Sure, let's do it!

    If I had only realized last night how close I was to the ruins of this ancient city, I would have cycled that extra mile #acrossRomania and made my camp inside the city walls.
    Welcome to Civitas Tropaensium! This castrum (military camp) became a city within a century.

    The settlement was founded by emperor Traian and initially inhabited by Roman veterans of the Dacian Wars which ended in 106 AD.
    Fun-fact: Before the battle of Tapae (101 AD) the Dacian tribe, the Buri, sent Traian a message saying that he should withdraw from Dacia and restore peaceful relations. The message was in Latin, inscribed on the smooth top of a very large mushroom 😂

    Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius rebuilt the city in the 4th century and it became an important religious center with several basilicas in the city. Here is what remained of The Simple Basilica. Walking between those colonnades felt out of this world.

    Civitas Tropaensium was at its highest in the 6th century when it was a bishopric, but later in that century it was sacked by the Avar tribes and stopped being an important city of Dobruja region. Today, it's abandoned, there are no admission fees.

    Another thing that excited me as much as the colonnades in the basilica is the sanitary channel which ran across the city and collected all the wastewater, mixing it with running water and taking it out of the city. #acrossRomania

    Bonus: Barcelona was initially a Roman castrum.
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  • Day14

    Another "room" with a view

    July 4, 2018 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Now that I'm just 81 km (50 miles) away from Constanța, the idea of reaching it tomorrow is not unjustified. I perched myself slightly above these sunflowers, with a wonderful view to crop fields, some church in the distance and a road that separates us.Read more

  • Day14

    Salami-backed trust and a tandem-couple

    July 4, 2018 in Romania ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Met a new friend when stopping to cool down and have a lunch break. I gained her trust with salami. She was moving in closer and closer, ending up eating from my hand, but in such a calm way, unlike the other dogs I met, that I enjoyed feeding her more than having lunch myself 🐶❤️

    Here I also met an older German couple on a tandem. Caught up with them in the next village. The summer shower caught up with all of us while we were in a village shop. When the rain stopped they decided they will stop at the edge of the village in a cyclist-friendly camp, but I figured out I could push some more before it gets dark...or rainy again.
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