A multitude of onlookers wait patiently along the terraced viewing platform, every eye transfixed upon the gently rocking sea below. No one speaks, save for the excited babbling of several disengaged toddlers. Below, the ebb of the crystalline tide reverses course, garnering enough momentum to crest into a slow, unmistakable wave — it’s headed for the point of no return, a craggy inlet upon which the mesmerized crowd has trained their attention.
At first I felt that it was in me to wax on the understated charms and bare knuckle beauty of this often overlooked post-soviet gem, but then I actually spent some time there. Considering it's approximation to other more deserving Eastern European heavyweights -- Vienna an hour to the west, Prague and Budapest equidistant on either side, and Krakow a few hours to the northeast -- who in their right mind would designate more than a 24 hour stopover to this highly unremarkable point of transit?
Better orientation. Better health. Better photos. Better sex.
One of the foremost reasons traveling can be such an insightful and life affirming experience is that it offers universal perspective. The universal perspective that travel affords can strike you in the least assuming of places -- It can blindside you in a sweltering bus terminal, under a towering coconut palm (hopefully that's perspective that just slammed into you, not a free falling super food), and in the throes of a Mexican standoff with...well, Mexican Authorities.
At the time of writing, we're negotiating how to travel from the western Romanian province of Arad to the Bulgarian black sea resort city of Burgas. Bulgarian looks like this: "какво, по дяволите ?" and the regional transportation website does not feature an English translation option. To complicate matters further, it's often been our experience that the info on such websites does not sync up with protocol.
When setting off from A to B, I used to apply the 'early bird gets the worm' mentality. You're flying to Chicago? Then you should DEFINITELY leave on that 5:30am flight. Going camping? Obviously you should leave before the sun comes up. The sooner the better. This ensures that you will be tired and cranky AND almost definitely leave something important behind.