Tag Archives: Black Sea

L is for Litoral (Seaside)

romanian black sea coast

After a long winter and rainy spring, a trip to the Black Sea to take in the sun is a godsend. And that is precisely what Romanians and other Europeans do from June through September. Flock to litoral (seaside). 

Every one of my visits to the old country includes a trip to the Black Sea. It’s hard to get excited about the beach nowadays. Living in Southern California — a place with beautiful beaches along the coastline — hardened me somewhat in that regard.

Yet, the Black Sea is different.


For one, it holds a special place in my heart. Secondly, it’s the intersection of history and culture — from Romanian to Russian, to Turkish, to Bulgarian, to Ukrainian and Georgian.

Sure, I’m biased, but who better to describe the Black Sea than this kid at heart, who still remembers days spent camping or vacationing by the seashore. Or days spent visiting with family there, not long ago.  


Me (left) & family members building a sandcastle for my son, in the middle

The picture above was taken in May, when some days are still a little chilly but just as beautiful.

The Black Sea is a wonderful creation of nature. It is one of the youngest seas on the planet, so it’s still in the process of change.

There are rugged areas as well as five-star resorts. I prefer something in the middle, a touch of nature and convenience. And the Romanian litoral offers both and so much more.


B is for Black Sea

I love spending time by the water.

black sea

In California that’s easy — there is a beach every two miles along the coastline — yet I drag my family to another part of home, the Black Sea in East Europe. 

Surrounded by nieces and nephews (one grown up in the picture above and bent on carrying me to the water) I spent many summers there.

Returning as tourists, we avoid the busy months — the cost and large crowds are the main reasons — and as such we get colder days. But that’s okay, because our aim is to enjoy the view and have fun with family and friends. 

As the native tourist, I’m the designated guide for my husband and American friends. So, while trying to recall the history classes I took in school, and with a little help from my Romanian family, I came up with a few nuggets of information about the Black Sea.  Or Marea Neagra, in Romanian.

1.   The sea is surrounded by six countries — Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Russia and Georgia. 

2.   Mt. Ararat — along the Turkish coastline  — is rumored to be the landing point for Noah’s Ark.

3.   The sea is connected with the Mediterranean through Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. It’s a small world, isn’t it? We’re all connected.

4.   The Black Sea got its name from the Ottoman Turks — as a navigating point (Kara means Black), also means North in medieval Turkish. It retained the name because the lack of oxygen in the lower layer prevents the development of microorganisms, making it appear black.  Of course, it doesn’t look black from the beach.

5.   It is a famous destination choice for tourists. Couple dozen languages are spoken at any given time during the high season.

Outside this list, the Black Sea is a perfect place to visit and build memories while finding inspiration.

ry=400[4]And that is what I do, while watching my nieces and nephews play with my son in the sand.

Maybe one day my son will take his family there, build castles and tell stories. 

Maybe he’ll claim the place as another part of home, even if that is a far-removed concept now. But “home” can mean many things and with age comes understanding.

What keeps you emotionally attached to places?