Danube Delta, a trip of relaxation

The Delta, in a guesthouse or in a tent, is perhaps one of the most interesting tourist destinations in Europe. You can find excellent accommodation conditions. We were near Murghiol, at the Egreta guesthouse. We had paid boat trips on the canals and at Sulina, where we visited, among other things, the grave of an alleged pirate. We ate excellent fish and related dishes. Bathing in the sea, bathing in the pool. We went by boat under the starry sky. On the way back, we visited the Enisala fortress and took a bath again, at Vadu.

Delta at the guesthouse is totally different from delta at the tent. And if you go to the guesthouse in the Delta, you have to relax, go accompanied by someone, eat fish to the carp – pun intended – and drink wine until your head hurts – so you have the energy to walk the next day. That’s what I did in the sea too – pun intended again, so soon..

I left Bucharest late, so I arrived in Murghiol in the evening, at night. The Bucharest-Murghiol road is very smooth, first a highway, then a 2-lane road like in the palm of your hand (most of it). Huge windmills complete the landscape of yellow fields and green hills. The landscape frame, the angles are so wide and fine that it seems you are not in Romania. I remember thinking on the way.. how accessible this beauty is and how close (relatively) it is to Bucharest. Why don’t we come more often? I confess something to you. This is the first time in the Delta in my adult life. Yes, there are certain destinations, which I knew were fascinating but to which the roads took me later, when I was ready to understand them properly, perhaps. For example, it’s better to go under the windmill and relieve yourself by looking up, than to do it in a bush full of garbage, looking down. Just kidding again 🙂

As I said, I arrived late at Murghiol. This fact was an advantage because, due to the need to cross the channel by boat to the Egreta resort, we had a great experience at night on the Delta, under the sky full of stars, led by Ciprian – the boat boy. In fact, Ciprian – a young, washed-up blonde from Lipovi – was going to walk us everywhere in the following days.

Arriving at the guesthouse, I was impressed by the reception, the conditions and the food – the best fish roe, the best fish. It was to be expected but sometimes the records can deceive you. Now that was not the case. The simplest explanation tends to be the true one. The best fish is eaten in the Delta. That’s not the case if you ask the fitzos in Bucharest – they will direct you to the most expensive restaurant in Herăstrău, confusing expensive with good. But that’s another story.

So Friday evening, late dinner, wine and sleep. Morning breakfast and sleep. At noon, Ciprian comes and takes us on the canals by boat. We showed up early at the reception, but in Delta things go at a slower pace. We wanted to pay, the lady at the reception told us where you hurry, pay at the end. We asked about the time of the trip, the lady said: when do you want. Hospitality, at least where we were, at maximum heights, like the waters of the Danube on the radio.

In vain do I begin to tell you what and how, what birds, what plants, what sheds I saw. Everything is wonderful. I didn’t remember the various species but one thing is certain. Biodiversity in the Delta is felt – you don’t just read or hear about it. You simply see how pelicans sit next to egrets, next to gray herons, next to swans that sit next to other spiky animals that run over the water lilies. It’s like a metropolis of birds, a fair, a world fair or an international convention of birds coming from all over the world to debate global warming. I got some excellent shots with the camera – water lilies, reeds, birds in flight or on the water – but also old boats, sheds, fishermen’s houses surrounded by fishing nets. Everything is as you see on TV. It was as if someone had prepared the setting exactly.

At Sulina I caught a nice frame, with a cargo ship superimposed over the frame of a church, so it looks like they are taking the church on the boat. If only it were so, but no..

Ciprian recommended us a place for lunch. I visit the Sulina lighthouse whose crystal mirrors are kept intact. Great pictures. I climbed to the top of the lighthouse to see them. Look at them here.

At the grave of the old pirate of 32 years.

Then we went to a cemetery, one of the most visited places in Sulina. It is certain that Sulina was a large and very important port city, an east-west gateway, a city where the Romanians were a minority. Many Greeks, English, Danes, Germans, Venetians, &c. A truly cosmopolitan city. The dead of the various ship crews that docked in Sulina were buried in this cemetery. The cause of death can also be read on the graves. As expected many were drowning. Or drinking or syphilis but still drowning, they wrote on the tombstone. As you might expect, the Russians have a sort of booth in the cemetery, surrounded by a fence – perhaps they rest better in the ground.

Ciprian told us how the stone in the picture is the only one documented in Europe as belonging to a pirate. A Greek pirate of about 32 years. The stone does have a dead head on it but the rest may just be a tourist story. It is true, however, that the cemetery, although neglected, is visited by people from all over the world – come to see their ancestors – drowned relatives from the family for a long time.

And so Saturday passes, but not before we go swimming where the sea is close to the Danube, and the water is sandy. Instead the finest beach sand is there. It is earthy sand rather than seashells broken into very small pieces.

On Sunday, I rubbed mint at the pool all day. But not at Egreta but at another guesthouse nearby. Egreta did not have its own swimming pool. Anyway, the guesthouses in the area are on a kind of their own islands and that gives you a special feeling of isolation.

At night, I thought I was seeing one of the cleanest, clearest, most starry night skies I’ve ever seen. And being an astronomy buff, I saw some cool stuff. It is clearly a suitable place for astrophotography!

I didn’t get to Letea and I didn’t see the semi-wild horses, but I saw a pig chased by dogs like in a hunting scene, cows walking freely. The pig escaped unscathed because the dogs were for boarding and not for hunting. Related to semi-wild animals, for those who don’t know, Delta horses are wild and not too wild. They are wild. In the Delta, they don’t really have a way to steal animals from each other… so the locals kind of let them loose, using them when they need. Thus some animals put their hoof on the threshold and become wild.

Enisala Fortress

On Monday I left for Bucharest. Unintentionally, going up a section of the road by car, a frame opens up to us with a fortress on a high hill. Enisala Fortress. What can I say except that it’s worth a visit.. Of course she was also a bride. Pretty much everywhere there are cool frames you see brides and pokemons. Don’t believe me, look at the proof..

The view from Enisala is fascinating. fields, hills, canals. You wonder how the soldiers here did their job. Did they enjoy the scenery like we do, or do we enjoy it so much escaping from the congested and overcrowded metropolises?

Vadu beach

The last stop was then at Vadu. For a remote area like Vadu beach, which you reach after passing through a village and walking for about 20 minutes on a dirt road – it is quite crowded. Okay, crowded for Vadu means a towel at 100 meters.

This gives you enough privacy to sunbathe as you wish. I swam a lot, long enough and far enough to peek over the privates of a straight couple.. having sex on the beach. Maybe others would have been horrified, but it seems to me that in this kind of place everyone can do what they want. This was definitely the norm a few thousand years ago.


The rest, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.