In Constanta we visited an excavation of a Roman market from the third century, lots of big round-bottomed jugs
(amphorae) Roman architectural flourishes, and an elaborate mosaic floor. It blows my mind to think I’m looking at relics created by ancients, but I have to admit that I missed most of what our guide said. My brain is so punch-drunk from 3 weeks of nonstop wonders, it takes an electrifying narrative to hold my attention.
The museum down the street displayed lots of delicate glass bottles used for cosmetics. Makeup was critical in the Roman women’s effort to compete with the beautiful Dacian locals. One woman was buried with enough gold jewelry to dent the national debt, a coin to pay the celestial boatman, and her makeup. There were also a few bottles with spouts at the bottom for feeding babies. I hate to think how hard it must have been to get a baby to take a glass nipple.
The guide warned us to guard against pickpockets, and as some well-scrubbed children passed through our group, our friend told me to watch them because kids are sometimes used a pickpockets. I really think it was just an educational family outing. Another friend took a picture of four un-scrubbed boys on the street. One, on a scooter, had conscientiously whined at each of us, asking (I assume) for money in the dejected way that beggars we’ve seen adopt. He dropped the angst for picture time and hammed it up with his buddies. One even threw in a cartwheel.
At a seaside resort we picked our way through shell fragments to dip our toes into the Black Sea–yes! A few sprinklie clouds had quelled the morning heat, so we had almost no competition for beach space and little inclination to linger. My other grudging admission for today is that I appreciated the chill’s keeping me from getting carried away. I wouldn’t have liked spending the rest of the day in wet clothes like the two adventurous guys who braved a swim.