[ITINERARY] 4 meters above the black sea – pirates and wild horses
Sulina, the place where the most beautiful trips in the Danube Delta start.
Sulina is a town and a free port in Tulcea county, Dobrogea, at the eastern extremity of Romania, the Danube Delta, the mouth of the Sulina branch points in the Black Sea. It has a population of 4601 inhabitants. Sulina is not directly related to road network in Romania and can be reached only by water or on the Danube or Black Sea.
Sulina is the city from Romania located on the lowest average elevation of only 4 m above sea level. Source
Let’s visit Sulina...
The maritime cemetery
Sulina Maritime Cemetery is a unique place in Europe. In a funerary complex divided into several areas, Christians of various denominations, Hebrew and Muslims, are buried together. Sulina was the last harbor for dozens of foreigners who now sleep their eternal sleep in a unique place in the world – the International Cemetery.
Many of the graves here are resting places for some English sailors or just for employees of the Danube Commission. Among them there are few graves of some Greek princes and even the tomb of Princess Catherine Moruzi, granddaughter of Prince of Moldavia, Ioan Sturdza.
Many of these graves hide exquisite stories. Therefore, Sulina locals call the cemetery the ‘living graveyard’. The tombs of the Croat Perusko or the one of the Italian Luca Sessa were made of the rock brought in Sulina by the same vessels they used to sail. Source
According to the town hall in Sulina, one of these pirates, George Kontoguris, is buried here. The famous pirate sign (the skull and crossbones) was engraved on its funeral stone.
His life and death are wreathed in mystery and legends. Locals say the pirate robbed hundreds of ships, therefore he was very rich, yet he died alone and pauper. Another legend says the pirate buried a treasure somewhere on the beach and some adventurers are still looking for that place. Others try to find clues on the gravestone: another local legend says that in order to properly read the inscription on the tomb of the pirate, the rock must be watered early in the morning and then left for a while to dry, until certain letters will show up. His grave is the only one registered in Europe as belonging to a pirate.
This national landmark of the city is located 2.5 km away from the shores of the Black Sea today. Plans and construction of this objective has been achieved by British engineers and M. Engelhardt Ch. Hartley. Between 1995-1997 the building was restored and in 2003 went into administration of Eco-Museum Research Institute Tulcea, being arranged as a museum.
Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00 (last entrance at 17.30)
!Monday is closed
Children, students, retirees – 2.5 lei / $ 0.62
Adults – 5 lei / $ 1.25
Photograph – 10 lei / $2.5
Video – 30 lei / $ 7.5
After visiting the museum on the ground floor of the lighthouse, you can climb the few stairs and have a wonderful view of the city.
Stroll on the streets of this little city and discover the old houses. You will feel like wandering in a pirate’s town. You will surely reach the port where you’ll find old boats and a bunch of stray dogs.
When I visited Sulina I was in luck and had the chance to attend to a beautiful celebration organized by the Russian Lippovan community. Here are some videos from the festival:
I love the rough voices of the women accompanied by the instrumental part and the dancing. This experience was absolutely mesmerizing.
Boat trip through the Delta and safari to the Letea forest
Once there, you have to do this trip! You will have the chance to admire the fauna and flora from a boat for a few hours on the Danube channels and through the Delta and go with a safari car up to the Letea forest where you will wander and have the chance to admire the wild horses.
You can opt for one of this trips.
The boat tour and safari to Leatea forest will cost you $ 16 (boat ride) + $ 6 (safari) with a duration of 6 – 7 hours.
Route: Cardon Canal - Barbos Canal - Musura Canal - Ciulini Canal - Crossing the Musura Bay - Cherhanale Canal
! The trail in the forest is made either by car or by cart, it will be paid separately $ 6 / person.
After visiting don’t forget to relax on the beach, drink a cold beer or cocktail at the beach bar and swim in the clear and clean water. You will see that the water isn’t as salty as in other parts of the seaside, and that’s because there are circular currents that bring fresh water from the Danube and also alluviums, which is why the beach advances to the sea a few meters per year. It looks like a virgin beach with fine sand, you will not find hotels and huge buildings, just a few terraces where you can eat and drink.
Regarding food... you have to eat specific fish dishes. Besides the harbor you will find plenty of chic restaurants where fresh fish dishes are always served.
The images from this article are taken with my Samsung S5 :)
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