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Published: September 18th 2009
Getting to Constanta seemed so straight forward. Get the bus to Varna, walk 10 minutes to the bus station, get the bus to Constanta, cross the border from one EU country to another, get off in Constanta, find hostel. Well it wasn't quite that simple! The bus from the village where we were staying arrived in Varna 15 minutes after the Constanta bus left. The solution was to cadge a lift off one of our new-found friends and that even gave us time for a leisurely lunch at the bus station. Then we nearly missed the bus because it didn't leave from where we were told it would! Next the bus crawled out of Bulgaria stopping at various remote resorts to pick up a solitary passenger or two. Finally we reached the border but all was not in order with the documentation of two passengers. 45 minutes later they were taken off and put on a bus back to Varna! Finally in Romania the bus stopped 2 minutes later for around 10 minutes and we had no idea why! Eventually we reached Constanta and just managed to find an exchange place before it closed. We had to sort out small change
for her because she had already cashed up! Thanks to a kind lady in a nearby shop we sorted that out. Next challenge, a bus to our hostel. A bus driver gave us wrong information about where to wait for the bus so we watched the first one sail by! Then we got on the bus where we thought we had to in the first place but couldn't find any way to pay. It seems we should have bought tickets before we got on so it ended up as a free ride!! The hostel had said we had to get off after 10 stops but in the end it should have been 12 as we had a bit of a walk. So finally we made it to Hostel EOL777
and got checked into our rooms. The hostel is nice but the landlady could talk for Romania!
The hostel is situated about halfway between the old town of Constanta and the beach resort of Mamaia. That leaves it a bit in the middle of nowhere so you have to figure out the bus system. Luckily the choice of buses from there is small and a nearby magazin
sells tickets which you
have to stamp using the machines when you get on board.
Constanta is nothing much to write home about. It owes its heritage to the Roman Empire and there are many reminders of this, including the bizarre statue of children being suckled by a dog. The Orthdox Cathedral is nice but we didn't venture inside, and it seemed odd to find a Grand Mosque
nearby. This is explained by the presence of a fair sized Turkish community. Walking around the promenade we got glimpses of the beaches and saw many statues, plus the old casino, currently undergoing refurbishment, which would surely make a wonderful seaside theatre.
Having said goodbye to our travelling companion Steve (who we'll see again in Kiev in a few weeks time) in Constanta, we then caught the bus to Mamaia for an afternoon on the beach. It has a real end of season feel to it at the moment and even finding a kebab for lunch proved difficult. When we found it, it was the biggest chicken shwarma we have ever had and it was delicious, if challenging, to eat!!
On the beach we felt quite young and svelte! You see some sights
at times. Still, close your eyes and try to forget what you have seen and just enjoy the sun!! That's what we did and it was a very pleasant afternoon despite the beach not being the cleanest we have ever seen. I guess we were spoilt by Brazil!!!
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