Thursday, August 11, 2005

The beach

So, Neptune. It was great. Extremely hot, contrary to popular belief. I know you hear those scare stories about temperatures below -200 degrees C, what with it being so far from the sun and all, but they're all lies and vicious rumours (probably put out by unscrupulous Bulgarian tour operators in the hope of attracting the niche SE European beach market).

I have realised that when going to the beach with a (nearly) 6 year old you need different things that you do when going to a beach without one (or presumably any child).
Essential items:
  • Sand

  • Sea that deepens gradually

  • Small but perceptible waves

  • Other attractions (crazy golf, little cars to race round in, etc)

  • Room not far from the beach

  • Shower

Non-essential items:
  • Good restaurants

  • Romantic sunsets

  • Quiet and not crowded beach

Neptune covers these bases pretty well all told. The beach was packed with half of Romania - it seems most Romanians go to the coast in the first couple of weeks of August and there really isn't that much coast to speak of anyway. I reckon the coast of Romanian can't be much more than 150KM long and at least half of that is taken up by the beachless and inaccessible Danube Delta. But that wasn't especially important as all we needed was access to the sea and enough room to stretch out a towel.

The villa that Ceasescu had built for himself between Neptune and its twin city Olimp (just to mix up the Roman and Greek classical references) was invisible behind a bunch of trees and other foliage. We tried to walk up to it but all the gates were closed and armed soldiers patrolled the grounds, leading one to wonder if they'd not yet been told of the Dictator's demise and were still wondering when he was next about to pop in for a visit. Turned out that they were there guarding one his current presidential sucessor, Basescu, who was being a good Romanian and spending his August on the beach.

We all got tanned, Bogi swam and could barely be dragged from the sea, she played mini-golf, pool, table tennis and went carting. One interesting fact: apparently walking around practically naked is totally acceptable in Romania. Toplessness seems almost obligatory (for all women, ranging from the barely pubescent to the positively aged), small tight trunks are de rigeur for men, leaving little to the imagination, but strangely the sight of a pregnant woman in a bikini was enough to garner stares and sniffy looks. Weirdos.

My girls in the sea Posted by Picasa


a said...

The coastline is 225 km long.

Anonymous said...

de rigueur... le deluge... Otherwise, I enjoyed your blog.