Corbu : A kidnapping to 'Ladybird Bay'
Corbu Travel Blog› entry 180 of 268 › view all entries
â€˜So would you like to come to the Black Sea with us, YES OR NO?!â€™. Well, okay Christine didnâ€™t ask quite abruptly that time, but I didnâ€™t know her so well yet. â€˜Umm, well let me thinâ€¦ perhapsâ€¦ butâ€¦â€™. â€˜WHY NOT?! You have plenty of time. YES OR NO?!â€™. Blimey. Sheâ€™s a forceful one. Sat in a â€˜terraceâ€™ bar in Bucharest meeting up with some of the cityâ€™s Couchsurfing community I am being bullieâ€¦ sorry â€˜invitedâ€™ to join a small group of them on a weekend camping trip to the Black Sea coast. Spontaneous. Off plan.
So itâ€™s nearly 2.00am, a day or so later. Christina, Vera, Vlad, 2 tents, sleeping bags, 5 backpacks and a Tupperware chest containing hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, a block of Romanian White Cheese the size of a small house, enough cans of Vegetale Pate to supply the Navy and I are bundled into Ovidiuâ€™s Vauxhall Corsa ready for action â€¦ â€˜actionâ€™ initially meaning all of us sleeping whilst Ovidiu kindly taxis us all the way to the coast in time to pop our tents up and catch the sun rise over the Black Sea.
Why the â€˜Black Seaâ€˜? The name that is. â€™Blackâ€™? I dunno. Why is the Red Sea red or the Dead Sea dead? Well I can see my way to understanding that last one. And why isnâ€™t there, out there somewhere, a â€˜Blue Seaâ€™? â€¦ beinâ€™ as most of â€˜em have a noticeable tendency towards blueness? Too stupefyingly unoriginal I guess? Easily confused with all the other blue ones. The entire coastline here is littered with a solid carpet of sun bleached, brittle white mollusc shells that crack, shatter and shard every step you take. Barefoot activity akin to the sensation of walking on broken glass. I theorise that such a high level of shell matter might indicate high levels of subterranean fossil deposits, which compressing through the millennia could have led to a superabundance of â€™Black Goldâ€™; oil in the region and thus the name? â€¦ but the guys just offer an â€˜I dunnoâ€™ shrug to that one.
The specific little slip of the Black Sea coast to which Iâ€™ve been spirited away is called Corbu, meaning â€˜crowâ€™ from the Latin corvus. I though - as is my habit with both people and places - will rename it to my own preference and remember it fondly as â€˜Ladybird Bayâ€™ as the place fairly swarms with these cute red â€™nâ€™ black, spotty-backed little critters. Always very sociable and fun to play with the olâ€™ Ladybugs as they endless traverse the hills and vales of ones hands and fingers. They are called â€˜Gargaritaâ€™ in Romanian.
Corbu (aka Ladybird Bay) is not a million miles away from one of Romaniaâ€™s most popular coastal resort strips, Mamaia, Constanza.
We sup before our post-dawn doze so Christina breaks out the picnic Tupperware. â€™Do you want some more cheese?â€™ asks Vera.
Many a traditional beach activity is undertaken. Splashing about in the sea. Taking 20 times longer to inflate a rubber ring with a â€˜handy little pumpâ€™ than it would have done using just good olâ€™ fashioned lung power.
Later in the day we hop into Ovidiuâ€™s car again and head off to have a look at the main tourist drag of Mamaia (which oddly means â€˜Grandmotherâ€™).
We slurp some ice creams. Catch a funny cable-car thing that runs high over the roof tops of the endless strip of hotels that populate the thin peninsula strip of Mamaia. Some pretending to a modicum of comfort and style but many just the usual eye sore Socialist inspired concrete blocks that are barely saved by a more recent lick of some brightly coloured paint or other. We head back to the car. â€˜Would you like to go for a swim here at Mamaia?â€™ asks Christina. â€˜Well, what I was thinking was if we gâ€¦â€™. â€˜DO you want to swim HERE?! YES OR NO?!â€™. Jeez gal. Following a swift â€˜Noâ€™ we head back to Ladybird Bay and hit the waters there.
And one of my favourite moments of my weekend by the sea. Actually something a little more in land as it happens. For it is here, far back away from the beach line that I am able to take myself off, walk to and amongst fields of brilliant golden sunflowers such as those that had tried so hard to cheer my spirits as they flashed past my train window some days ago. Now I am able to stroll amongst them and their power is much stronger for it, and I smile.
I guess sometimes it is just better to go with the flow travelling. Even if the flow gets diverted. Even if you find yourself kidnapped to Ladybird Bay. Unexpected fun in the company of strangers who soon become friends. And amidst the smiling sunflowers. Yes I think itâ€™s best. Wouldnâ€™t you agree? To go with the flow. â€˜Well Steve, maybe on the one handâ€¦ if you think about itâ€¦ then, sort of maybâ€¦â€™ â€˜DO you agree?! YES OR NO?!!!â€™.