Day 11 – Thalatta,Thalatta
May 31, 2012
Rode from Bucharest, back along a quarter of the Ring Road and down the Highway #5 to the Bulgaria Border. Tonight we are in Nessebar, just north of Burgas and a well-preserved Roman and Medieval site on a promontory. Very touristy, but there are oodles of ruins to look at. Oh, and today it rained – just two thunderstorms, but enough to continue the trend that it has rained every day so far. Tomorrow: Turkish Rain, as we slam into Istanbul with its diabolical drivers and 13 million people.
Xenophon relates in his Anabasis – to the despair of schoolchildren such as myself 50 years ago when I had to translate it from the ancient Greek – don’t kids learn the classics nowadays? – how the army of 10,000 went all over Asia Minor fighting difficult battles and generally having a hard time – I bet it rained every day – and one day on the march they came to a high point and the men at the front got all excited and eventually Xenophon, who was marching somewhere near the back (probably very wisely) made out what they were shouting: “Thalatta, Thalatta”. The gist being that on a sea, one can build ships and sail home. And so today we came within sight of the Black Sea, and as proof I adduce this picture:
… which is the same sea that Xenophon’s mates were shouting about. I have never seen it before. Actually, it is only black at night; in the daytime at the edge it is a slimy green colour. Soon we will see the Black Sea from the actual place where Xenophon saw it, at Trabzon. Then (apart from what’s left of the Aral Sea, and the huge Lake Baikal) there’ll be no more seas until the Sea of Okhotsk on Day 102 – and what a sight that will be.
Here’s the view from my hotel window: these are Roman ruins
Some more photos of Nessebar. The first one shows the entry to the town; the second one shows a church built in the 13th century and used up until the 19th; the last one shows a church built in the fifth to ninth centuries and the dome is still standing! (Guess which building the girl is painting a picture of)