For the first time I rode mostly through the night to get to Constanta, partly because I wanted to avoid the traffic but also the temperatures during the day were now touching 40 degrees. I left the main road whenever possible and came across a nice monastery (set up for tourists) on one of the back roads. It was crowded and I had to choose my moments to wait for the photographs.
I passed many more churches and newer monasteries along the way into Constanta. My choice of riding the back roads meant I climbed more hills, but the scenery was much more pleasant than from the E81 route and I really enjoyed this journey.
I arrived just after lunch at the small hostel (Eol777) and was warmly welcomed by the warden, who spoke good English. My first task after unpacking was to check and see if I had an email from iranianvisa.com, whom I had forwarded my fee for the visa code to. Yes I had an email, but it was not good news; even though I have given them more than the suggested 6 weeks they said I should use their ‘urgent’ service (at twice the cost) to ensure I was successful. I was not happy and declined, I did not need to enter Iran until the 29th July – more than enough time to sort out the code and subsequent visa. I await a further email from them.
The sun was shining and so I went for a walk around Constanta, my first stop being the beach.
The main beach was relatively clean and not busy, though lying in the sun was not my idea of fun at this time (too hot), so I moved on to look at the old town and it’s buildings.
Constanta Casino is a beautiful old building which is being allowed to fall apart. When I arrived (at what was no more than a building site) I was not allowed through the gates by one of the workers, but thankfully the foreman spotted me and came over. He had studied in England and was a really nice guy, taking me on a tour and explaining that they had been given funds to complete work on the park which the Casino stood in, but no money was available for the Casino itself.
Maybe money would be made available after the work completes on the park, but he also explained that with the history of the building during the communist era, there were many who did not care if it was restored and were prepared to see it in disrepair.
My personal view is that there is really not much to see in Constanta if you don’t visit the beaches and this would make an excellent tourist attraction…
Building work was also going on in much of the city, so I did not take many photographs.
I found a nice cheap restaurant to ‘splash out’ on local food in the evening, a welcome change from my pasta based diet. Tomorrow I would head into Bulgaria, meet up with another touring cyclist and we would ride together…
I’m running a little behind with the blog and will try to catch up – more soon.