Places to Visit

The Aquarium in Tulcea (The Danube Delta Museum)

I visited the Aquarium in Tulcea this Saturday. My uncle wanted to show my two-year-old cousin the museum that everybody is talking about, so we took the whole family for an intellectual expedition.

[adsense]Last time I’ve been there was two years ago, just after the grand inauguration. It hasn’t changed much, only that this time I had a much fuller experience.

I was actually interested in reading all the documentation on the panels. It turns out that you can learn a whole lot more just by paying attention. There was also my uncle there who knew more about the fish and animals there.

Danube Delta Museum - The AquariumAlso, my being curious caught the attention of one of the supervisors there. I thought he was just a guard, but he was actually one of the researchers and we had an interesting conversation. Turns out that many of the things I took for granted as a kid roaming the woods near my mother’s village are actually rare plant species. Things like the Dobrujan peony and the snowdrop. They are all protected. Who would have guesed?

What does the Danube Delta museum offer?

The genesis of the Danube Delta

First, you get to see maps and images showing the genesis and the evolution of the Danube Delta. It’s cool to see that this huge territory was born only 10.000 years ago. There is a really nice interactive map where you push some buttons and you see the areas that were inhabited by various populations.

Who knew that Caraorman was inhabited by the Gets at the time when it was only an island on the Black sea? Or that Nufăru was founded by people moving from Chilia?

A typical fishery

After that you get to see how a traditional fishery was laid out, with all the typical tools of the trade, including the famous lotca, the traditional boat that fishermen use here in the Delta.

Typical fishery in the Danube DeltaI could hardly keep myself from tasting one of the fish that were dried there… God, it smelled fantastic!

Dioramas of typical Danube Delta and Dobruja scenery

[adsense]As a kid, I loooved these features of the museum. In the wild, you can’t get that close to the pelicans, the wolves or the wild boars, but in the museum, they’re right there. You’re not allowed to touch them, but they’re right there, at arm’s length.

There are four or five dioramas, picturing scenery from the continental delta, the maritime delta, and few other places in the Dobrudja, including the Măcin Mountains natural reserve.

The dioramas in the old museum had the walls painted. For kids like me, the museum was a delight. I was fortunate to visit it for the last time in the twelfth grade, because less than a month after that, they closed it forever. I’m not sure, but I think there are fewer dioramas in the new museum.

What were  found interesting was a fossilized fish from 100 million years ago that they found in a quarry in Slava Cercheză, my mother’s home village. As you can imagine, she was pretty excited about the fact 🙂

The aquarium

At the lower levels, there are the aquariums. They have there both local and exotic fish species. It’s pretty interesting, even for somebody who doesn’t really care about fish, like me.

Again, I can’t help comparing with the old museum. Although the new aquariums are much bigger, I’m pretty sure that there are fewer fish than before. I can’t say that for sure, but that’s my feeling.

The reptile expo

Now, we were pretty fortunate to ran into this reptile exposition. I think they are here only for a week or so, but there were all sorts of snakes, a cayman, an aligator, and even a komodo dragon.

We were even allowed to hold and take pictured with one of the most peaceful boa snakes in the world. How’s that?!

So, is it worth visiting the aquarium in Tulcea?

Most definitely yes! The place is great! With a trip there you’ll find out more about the Danube Delta and Dobrudja than you can imagine.

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