The Danube Delta – between simplicity, modernity and survival

by Oana Silviana
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Stories among waters 

Starting from Murighiol to Saint George town, travelling through all the channels of the Danube Delta by boat, you feel how time stops for a moment and reconfigures the past. Then, slowly, you add to the past new elements of modernity, offering other view to the wild channels, to the locals and to the ancient traditions. The Danube Delta is a story that should be lived from sunrise, once with the first glimpses of light in the morning, till sunset.Rasaritul Soarelui in Murighiol


If you arrive by car in Murighiol, then from here you can discover slowly every tourist attraction, each channel or route that catches your attention. The Danube Delta surprised me too, because it is a mixture of simplicity, elegance and survival also.

The well appointed people’s lives interline with the modernity given by the hotels placed right on the shore, more or less elegant or modern.

Culesul pestelui A typical day for a man who lives from fishing in the Danube Delta, starts early in the morning. At 5 o’clock am it is already late. The fish is gathered from the lake starting 03.30 am, then people place it in crates and transport it to the fishing rooms, awaiting their customers.

For a fisherman who lives only from fishing, the wild beauty of the Danube Delta is different and that is because of fog, cold, wind, icy or the hail, but that should not mean obstacles in picking the fish, but a permanent struggle with nature, for survival. foto-4                  

When you change the virgin landscape of sunrise on the water with the sightseeing and you travel the road by car, you travel actually looking for historical artifacts. At almost 70 kilometres away from Murighiol, I was on the trail of ancient Genovese.

Located near Enisala village, on a hill that dominates the landscape, at important crossroads between water and land, built on the highest promontory located between lakes Babadag and Razim, the ancient ruins of Enisala Fortress gave me a dream scape, bordered by forest and water.

capul-dolosman In the same day, I went on to Jurilovca, where at 6 kilometers away from the village, on the banks of high and steep lake, the landscape was the one that drew my attention. The partially uncovered and restored Greco-Roman fortress Argamum, but also the wild beach confuses you for the moment and you do not know if in fact … you’re to the Danube or to the Black Sea.

You reach Doloşman Cape, a limestone cliff stretched over a distance of 3 kilometers, the only rocky cliff coastal area in Romania. The time is changing here into eternity and you realize that a fireball comes down slowly over the households in the village.

You go back to Murighiol with other landscape, other people, other feelings. You discover the next day a different sunrise, where Delta tells her stories again, in a simple way.

You discover the passion for fishing of the Danube Delta “people”, a passion that crosses tens of kilometers, from the other end of Romania, for a catch and release fishing competition. Amateurs, enthusiast or professional fishmen compete in catching the fish.

Pikes are never caught definitive in the nests, they are released. All those who try to “win” such competitions are long surpassed by the local people who all their life wield with diligency and skillfully their fishing rods. And if you choose the fast boat to arrive in Saint George, only then you realize that what you saw or visited so far in the Danube Delta is only a small part.

Located at approximately 70 kilometers away from Tulcea, Saint George town has the name of an old Danube arm, and accommodates about 1000 inhabitants. The streets and the houses preserve the noble and ancient traditions, but contrasts with the new upgrades of the village, that turn slowly but surely this quiet town  in a touristic resort. The camping, the little marina with pleasure boats and the pensions, transform Saint George town.  People do not know yet what to choose – the new opportunities that will come along with the modernization of the town or the authenticity of the Danube Delta that still resists in Saint George.

The wild landscapes of the village, the fine sand on the beach from the coast of the Black Sea and the wild horses, take you for a few minutes in another world. That world where the time seems lost.sf-gheorghe The blue sky is combined with the sound of birds and the sunset passes through the few waves left behind by the motorboats and by the few tourists passioned about canoeing.

On Sacalin Island at the mouth river of the Danube into the sea, the sunset creates a special evening show, that you deserve to immortalize and to cherish, because you will stay with memories of a world that does not have a beginning or an end.

Oana Silviana Crăciun

Photography: Fairytale Traveller

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