The Danube Delta is the most complex protected area in Romania. It is composed by several unique ecosystems. Many of them are also , protected areas, such as Letea Forest, a spectacular natural reserve. Situated in the north-east of the Danube Delta, Letea is considered the most northern tropical forest in the world. It is the oldest natural reserve declared in Romania (in 1938).
Letea Forest starts from the northern part of the Lebada village. The reserve stretches on about 3200 hectares and it consists of several areas - such as Hasmacul Mare, Tarla Popii, Schiopul , Crusina and others.
Main landscape feature is the strange way in which trees developed in this forest: trunks are bent and contort.
Basically, Letea is a forest of grey oaks but also includes ash, lime and poplar. It is also the only place in Europe where you can see lianas. You can identify thousands of plant species, several dozen unique in Europe or even worldwide. The presence of the most of the exotic plants here is due to the seeds brought here by the African migratory birds.
The route to Letea
It is quite easy to go in Letea, because there are daily ships which leave Tulcea and head to Sulina. Once you are in Sulina you`ll have to cross the Danube and take the buss from the other riverside and go to Letea (through Cardon and C.A. Rosetti ). This trip will take you from 3h 30m to 6h (depending on what ship you take from Tulcea).
|Cloudy morning near Letea||flooded area. In the summer, this area looks like a desert|
Interview with an inhabitant
*First, we want to thank you for your hospitality and to tell you that we are very grateful for your hosting.
You`re more than welcome here…It`s always very nice to see that the teenagers are still interested about this places
*For how long are you living here, in Letea?
Well, I bought this land here in 1994 but that time I was living in Tulcea. So after a long enough period of time, me and my wife decided to sell our home from the city and move here permanently
*And what`s the reason you did that?
You see…when i first came here, in Danube Delta, but especially in Letea, i felt in love with this sandy land, this fresh and salty air, this life without worries…
*But don`t you miss the city life?
No…not at all…I really don`t miss that busy and noisy life…
*What are you doing for living?
Well, you might laugh, but i`m not like any ordinary Delta-man. I mean i don`t fish like everyone. You saw I have 5 cows, and a garden big enough to grow the vegetables i need for my own . So, you can tell i`m more a farmer than a fisherman
*Is the Delta now as it was when you first came here?
I really don`t see any difference…Yes, we have digital television and stuff like that, but being outside all day long is like we won`t have it, because when we come in the house after a working day we are so exhausted that many times we don`t turn on the TV. And all this modern problems…I really don`t see the effects of the financial crisis that we hear about everyday. Here in Danube Delta man will be as it was from the beginnings… will fish for food and live a simple but beautiful and healty life.
Our new friend
|He`s our host (also the man from the interview) and his "not very friendly" dogs|
|This is a salt lake near Letea, formed after the `70s inundation. It`s water is so salty that you can float in without any effort|