Enisala Fortress

Driving through Romania (part 1)

After spending a few well-deserved days at home, catching up with family and friends, cleaning the car and doing a checkup at Nissan to make sure everything is still good with the car, it was time to hit to road again. 

The start of the return trip from my home town
The start of the return trip from my home town

My plan was to drive towards Bucharest, spend a few days there to meet with some friends and then start driving towards Maramures a region in the North of Romania I had never visited before. Once I got to Bucharest I didn’t really do much else except meet with old friends who I hadn’t seen in a while, have lots of coffees and just walk around the city.

The entrance to Bucharest
The entrance to Bucharest

I used some more of my Intercontinental points to stay at the Intercontinental Hotel, a hotel right in the middle of Bucharest, which for a long time was the tallest building in Bucharest. The hotel feels a bit old inside, but the views from the higher floors are really cool.

The view from the 19th floor of the Intercontinental
The view from the 19th floor of the Intercontinental

I also met with a friend who kitesurfs and he tempted me with the potential for some wind at the Black Sea the coming weekend. Having checked on the ferry I was supposed to catch from Ukraine to Georgia (more on that in a future post) and knowing I had quite a few days until then, I decided to extend my trip through Romania and include a little bit of kitesurfing at the Black Sea and a quick trip to the edge of the Danube Delta.

Camping on the beach at the Black Sea
Camping on the beach at the Black Sea

My friend also recommended a camping spot right on the beach next to the kitesurfing area so for two days I camped there and had one really good wind day.

Kiting at the Black Sea
Kiting at the Black Sea

From there, I drove towards Jurilovca, a small village at the edge of the Danube Delta from where I took a small boat towards Gura Portitei, a sand spit separating Golovita Lake from the Black Sea. It’s a really nice spot and if I had planned a little bit better, I would have loved to spend a night there.

On the Black Sea side at Gura Portitei
On the Black Sea side at Gura Portitei

Unfortunately, I only stayed a few hours and after a few hours I looked for a boat to take me back. Only one guy was brave enough to drive back through the stiffening wind that was blowing in the exact wrong direction for traveling back. He cautioned everybody (it was about 7 of us who were taking the boat back) that it will be a rough ride and most likely we would get drenched. Since I had the camera with me and not much water protection, I chose to stay closer to the front of the boat, which meant not so much water, but a lot of heavy bouncing around. I still feel the pain in my back even now! And my legs didn’t stop shaking for an hour afterwards because of how tense they were during the 45 minute trip. I have a very shaky video of this whole thing, but it will need a bit of proper editing to be good enough for sharing.

Gura Portitei before the wind started
Gura Portitei before the wind started

After this, I needed to relax a bit so I slowly drove towards Enisala Fortress, a 13th century medieval fortress, perfectly positioned for photos with a long lens. The cool thing about the Enisala Fortress is that it used to also be part of the Silk Route or at least the Northern section of the Silk Route which made its way North of the Black Sea. So even this far away, I was still on this amazing route. I didn’t rush and made my way around the fortress trying to come up with an interesting angle. Luck would have it that a shepherd was passing in front of the hill where the fortress is located which gave me an interesting foreground element to include in my photograph (the picture at the top).

This was my last stop in the South of Romania and from here I started driving North aiming to reach Buzau late in the afternoon and from there exploring the North of the country.

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Catalin

I am a corporate photographer based in Dubai, UAE, specializing in architectural and interior photography as well as corporate, environmental portraits and lifestyle images.

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