Epic stories about the inhabitants of the Danube Delta
Once arrived in the Danube Delta you might try visiting it off the beaten path. O.K., your choice, your risks. Without joking anymore, it could be a good idea, if you don't forget these tips!
In order to visit Delta in its depths and to discover all its secret, try to stay close to the people, the amazing locals. Take a regular ship from Tulcea in any direction, and start observing discretely the inhabitants. They are all fishermen, but I am sure that you can make the necessary distinction between the locals and the visiting fishermen!The locals won't wear fancy suits, they have worked hands and a special look. They seldom go out shopping, only the really necessary things.
|No local has car, would be useless, but all of them have boats|
Since a few decades the population of Danube Delta is practically the same. They really love their places, otherwise won't stay here. This territory is one of the thinniest populated in Romania and Europe, nevertheless human settlements have been for milleniums here, remember Tulcea or Sulina, as the most important representatives. But along the years many other simply vanished, leaving behind some amazing ruins and monuments. The water had no mercy at all and gulped down many artifacts.
|Locals (Lipovans) fishing in the Danube Delta|
The locals of Danube Delta are one of the most important assets and attractions of the area. Their look and daily life are absolutely amazing. Most of them are very strong and tall, it is a basic condition for surviving. The men usually wear huge beards and spend most of their lives in the boats, searching for fish to make a living. Their stories, myths and legends are tighten to the river and fishing adventures (don't bother believing them, just pretend, as otherwise you can offend them). They are perfectly mastering the canoes or Kayaks, and some of them became renowned sportsmen and recordmen, e.g. Ivan Patzaichin, a Romanian legend living in Bucharest now.
You will appreciate at once, from the first sight, the uncomplicated way of the locals. They are really charming, due to their optimism and hospitality. Staying by them is an event and an honor you can refuse. Don't go there with empty hands: a bottle of strong alcoholic drink (vodka or brandy) will be the most welcomed present, together with cigarettes. And thus you will get a fantastic fish soup, secret recipes, with few different species, bigger or smaller, depending on the last captured prey.
|Lucky skilled people get the deserved result of their fantastic work|
But who are these amazing people and where did they come from? If you were an outlaw, would go to idea that Danube Delta is the perfect hiding place. Remote villages, difficult communications, seldom policemen. Most of the locals came here as fugees, and the most important community is the Lipovans'. They had to live Russia by the beginning of the XIXth century due to strong confessional repressions. They are actually orthodoxe of the old communion, keeping on the Julian's calender. They are blond, strong and tall, and speak perfectly Romanian, but also a sort of Russian among them. You can find them all over Danube Delta, in Ilgani, Rosu, Ceatalchioi or Rosetti, Chilia etc. They build their houses from mood and wood, cover with bulrush. These houses are not supposed to hold a life, as these harsh locals are used to build more houses in a life. The houses are not very rich, but clean and well kept.
If you are a fisher they will adopt you at once, taking with them to the daily fishing. Please observe carefully, even note, and learn, as they are are really masters with a huge knowledge and unbelievable stories, far beyond your imagination. As a wine afficionado I had no easy task here, but I managed doing good friend among these excellent people you can rely on.