Today we are heading to the Danube Delta, the place where the river Danube ends its long journey from Germany's mountains
~~Today we are heading to the Danube Delta, the place where the river Danube ends its long journey from Germany's mountains. It is a network of canals, lakes, reed covered islets, and sand dunes that stretch over five thousand square km. In addition to having a fabulous landscape and villages where time has stood still, the Danube Delta offers a variety of ways to spend your vacation.
The city of Tulcea is the gateway to the Delta, as we were told by Dumitru Mergeani, deputy president of Tulcea County Council:
“A trip the the old city of Aegyssus, which is the ancient name of the city of Tulcea, should start at Colnicul Hora, where the Monument of Independence reminds all of the Romanian Dobrogea, about the union of Romanians in this part of the country. It is dedicated to the heroes of the War of Independence of 1877-1878. Here, from up high, you can see the entire city, the city of seven hills, an amazing and unforgettable view, beloved by tourists and locals alike. You should not miss the old city of Aegyssus, close by, and the History and Archaeology Museum, where centuries old findings tell a beautiful story of these northern Dobrogea lands. Heading off on Gloria Street towards the historic city of Tulcea, you can admire heritage buildings of rare beauty, some of them restored by Tulcea County Council with the aim of preserving their patina.”
The National Center for Tourism Information and Promotion is situated in a jewel of a building on Gloria Street, renovated 10 years ago with European funding. Here you can find promotional material in several international languages, including Chinese. We continue our trip alongside Dumitru Mergeani, deputy president of Tulcea County Council:
“Every tourist should go to the Aquarium, and the Danube Delta Museum Center, which annually attracts a record number of foreign tourists. Not to be missed is the Art Museum, situated in an emblematic building, the former palace of the Pasha, the Ottoman governor during the time when Dobrogea was a Turkish province. Walking further towards the center of town, you can walk alongside the boardwalk, which will undergo restoration this year. Also not to be missed is the Tricolor Square, where we have the monumental statue of Mircea the Old, and also Avramide House, an old noble family building, brought back to life by Tulcea City Council with the help of European funding.”
From the boardwalk, you can take a boat, and suddenly a whole new world opens up, a world of the new and the old. Here is Dumitru Mergeani, deputy president of Tulcea County Council:
“You will be accompanied on your way by pelican colonies and eagles, alongside thousands of species of plants and animals. Recently, a colony of flamingos have taken shelter here too. You can get accommodation in Maliuc, in Crisan, in C.A. Rosetti, or Sulina, the eastern most place in Europe, if you want to take trips in the Delta. Most people here make a living fishing, and they will gladly provide you with their traditional cuisine. Not to ruin the surprise, but people here will find a huge variety of fish dishes made by our traditional cooks.”
Gura Portitei is the place where the Black Sea meets the Danube Delta, making for the perfect trip. Dumitru Mergeani, deputy president of Tulcea County Council, told us about it:
“You can get the same experience in Bara Sulina, where the Danube flows into the Black Sea. Also not to be missed is Letea Forest, one of the natural wonders of the Danube Delta and of Europe, with its Omer Dunes, the oldest oak tree, and its famous mustangs.”
Dumitru Mergeani also told us that the low population density in Tulcea County, along with the measures taken by the authorities, resulted in the lowest rate of COVID-19 infection in Romania. Catalin Tibuleac, president of the Danube Delta Tourism Destination Management Association, emphasized how careful tourism operators in the area are during these times:
“Tourism operators in the Delta specialize in kayaking and canoeing. On Reazem Lake we have water bicycles. We are also trying to develop bicycle tourism in this season. We are very strict about social distancing in this area, which allows ample space for dining in the open air. What's better than dining outdoors? All those who want a safe and quiet vacation will find in the Danube Delta all that they wish for. Tulcea County has the fewest cases of the coronavirus. Once again, the Delta is among the top tourist destinations for a safe trip to Romania.”
Catalin Tibuleac also recommends visiting the old fortifications around Dobrogea, quite a few in number, and true open air museums, which you can visit at any time for a first class experience.