Escaping the overcrowded and noisy Romanian seaside to discover the still remaining pristine beaches on Bulgarian coastline
Saturday morning, still asleep, I was on my way to the Romanian seaside. It was supposed to be one day trip to Vadu, a pristine beach placed in the Natural Reserve of Danube Delta. Been there before and although wild, the way I like it, the presence of thousands of mosquitos, the rightful inhabitants of that marshy place prevented me from exploring it the way I wanted. I knew that it will be kind of boring, but it did not matter to me. All I wanted was the sounds and smell of the sea and the touch of sun and sand on my skin. This was the initial plan, but the fate decided otherwise…
Since my friend and I were dancing and singing in the car while being on the highway we kind of missed the exit which was supposed to take us to Vadu and now all the signs on the road were indicating towards Vama Veche or Bulgaria. It was the beginning of August when an entire country is pouring towards the seaside. There was no way we could go to any resort or beach on Romanian seaside. I wanted some peace of mind to enjoy the sea without having thousands of people close to me. I need it some Mirela time.
Without hesitation, we took the road to Bulgaria and to avoid the traffic, from Agigea we took E675 road to Negru Voda and we exit the country through the nearest border control.
Once we were in Bulgaria we found ourselves alone on the road. Not too many crazy people like us on those roads looking for Bulgarian beaches. All I knew about our destination, was an article I read which was indicating the presence of some wild beaches not too far from the Romanian border. Since I have been in the area last year I was thinking that if we are not going to find those beaches, there is still Kaliakra Cape to be seen, also a short visit to Thracian Cliffs, my favourite resort can’t harm either. We had no previous reservation and since Bulgaria is not really right after the corner and is definitely not one day trip, we were thinking that we can spend the night in the car close to a beach. After all is just one night and it can’t be that bad.
Not far from the border following the advice of our trusted friend #Google Maps we took the first road to the right and we crossed a field towards the sea. It is an off road and must be taken with cautious, we did lose something from underneath our car because of the bumps on the road when we took one kind of hard. We were wondering if we will be able to return, It was one of those moments when we were thinking that the insurance does pay off sometimes. The loss of the protective shield from under the car was discovered by Crina only weeks after. She said that we must be really lucky that we were able to continue our trip. Of course, I reminded her that probably next time she should by a terrain car after all.
Despite being bumpy this road took us to the heaven I was looking for.It was hot but the breeze was making it bearable. The sea was having a beautiful colour and it was so warm.The sea was a bit feisty because I had to battle with the waves but I loved the sensation. Lots of green algae were in the water and on the shore. To me it seemed like I was bathing in a primordial soup, having a wave therapy…
We enjoyed for few hours and then we were thinking that maybe we should explore other beaches as well.The classical beaching was in order. We returned to the main road and took the road to Sabla, mostly because under the name it was written “lighthouse“ and I was curious to see it. We drove along the shoreline and discover that we have definitely lot to see there. Stopped for a moment to see the beach close to Sabla and decide that this will be the place where we will spend the night and we continued the road south to Kaliakra Cape.
I have noticed the cape since my last visit in the region and since back then I haven`t had time to visit it, now I was telling myself that I have to see it because I find it so fascinating. Travellers usually are gathering information about what they are about to see. I am not doing it. I prefer to find for myself, to capture the feeling of the place. I think is much more rewarding and this way the knowledge about the place I am seeing is deeper than if I would have known from the start what is the story behind it.
And I was right to be fascinated by this place because this protruding, long, narrow headland has a tormented history and numerous legends are connected to this place. The name Kaliakra means beautiful cape and is truly astonishing when you are there to see the steep coast with vertical cliffs reaching up to 70m. Natural reserve for Dolphins and Cormorants and other types of birds is making this place a heaven for birdwatchers. But the most amazing feature is the history behind this place. One of the legends says that when Saint Nicolas was running from the Ottomans God made the earth under him longer and longer and this is the way the cape was formed. Also, a Dervish Monastery was there under the Ottoman rule.
Another legend talks about the tragic death of 40 Maidens who chose death instead of being captured by the Ottomans. They tied their hair together and jump into the sea. An obelisk dedicated to them is placed at the entrance and is called The gate of the 40 Maidens.
The cape is beautiful and the reminiscence of the past dramas are still lurking in the air giving to this place a special kind of charm. The sun was going down and now matter how much I would have loved to stay there the hunger was settling in letting me know that it should be time to look for a place to eat.
Again, our friend Google proved to be so useful taking us to a restaurant in a place I would never imagine there will be one and it proved to be the best choice. Dalboka Mussel Farm, It is placed in Kaliakra Bay hidden in one of the little golf carved along the coastline. The moment I arrived there I was captivated by the Bohemian atmosphere and since the sun was getting ready to set the entire place was flooded with a golden light.
The restaurant is pretty crowded so you better make a reservation in advance and although very rarely I write about restaurants I am eating this one deserves its review. The service is not perfect but the people are nice and trying their best. The food is delicious and although I wasn’t quite sure if I am allergic to mussels or not I still tried their dish. Being a mussel farm you can find mussels in every form, soups and even desert. But I have to admit, it was delicious and although not pretentious I felt like dining at 5 stars.
The sun was slowly disappearing and there was one more place to see before going back to the beach to our camp place Thracian Cliffs Golf and Beach Resort. After tasting the bohemian I was thinking that it is time to taste some luxury as well. I love the place because it manages to blend the scenic coastal features with an amazing golf corse and of course the surrounding beaches. it is the second most scenic golf course and it was designed by Gary Player. I am not a golfer but I can appreciate a good design and I am pretty fussy about things I like.
Sun was already down and the moon was rising from behind the Thracian Cliffs, I was sipping from my Cuba Libre and watched how stars were appearing on the night sky one by one. There was silence although from Geti restaurant I could hear the smooth sounds of the piano. It was a full day, not at all the way I was expecting and I loved that. I breathe in the moment trying to leave this memory encrypted in every cell of my body. It wasn`t anything extraordinary, yet, I had so much
The night deepened and we felt a bit tired, It was time for us to return to our beach for the night. The thing was that since it was dark we did not know which one is our beach so in the end, we went on a beach we thought it might be the one we were looking for. Actually, it was not but at night time it did not matter. We weren’t alone on the beach, other people were also there doing the same thing like us, camping on the beach looking for solace. Despite the number of people, it was so much silence, only the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocky shores. I loved that music. So, we decided to have a walk on the shore having our phones as lanterns.
It was a bit challenging being dark and the shore was rocky, tricky on the dark and I was wearing sandals but it had a mesmerising beauty. I felt so sorry that I did not have a professional camera to capture the tiny lights from the fishing rods that the few people scattered on the rocks along the shore were using to fish at night. It looked so surreal and the eerie atmosphere made me feel like I was in a fantasy world. The sky was so dark and my eyes were peering the depths of the sky. A falling star was living here ephemeric existence leaving a quick trace of light. I have never felt so much freedom like I felt that day. I have never felt so happy like I felt in that moment. It was perfect without being perfect, It was so wonderful being so banal. It was happiness in its pure form…