I spent the summer of 2018 on the coast of the black sea in a little village called Vama Veche; and at the start of May, this year, I decided to take a short trip back.
A good friend of mine, Luke, who I’ve known since I was in Cluj-Napoca, first introduced the idea and I agreed to go with him. It took a while for us to decide on dates, and where we’d stay but after a bit of back and forth between us, we were able to get it all sorted. We organised our transport from Bucharest to the city of Constanta and he suggested getting the bus further down the coast. Constanta was a place I’d wanted to check out for a while, but I knew there wasn’t too much to see, which is why it was great for us to spend a couple of hours wandering around before heading to our endgame destination.
We got off the train in Constanta and as the weather was still holding up, we took a little wander into the centre of the city. We strolled our way through the parks and ended up at the beachfront where we found my sole purpose of the stop; to take some cringy photos at the abandoned Casino. Almost every person that visits the city seems to take the same photo, posing on the railing with the casino in the background, and I wanted to do exactly the same, so the two us had a little photoshoot, recreating virtually the same pictures. As it was around lunchtime, we stopped off at a small restaurant and had a burger and beer. While we were sat down, we watched a dog wander casually down the street before being pounced on by an overly aggressive cat and then get chased back the way he came.
In order to get further down to Vama Veche, we took a bus as it was ever so slightly cheaper than the train, and we then changed buses in Mangalia. I won’t lie, I got slightly emotional as we journeyed closer to my old party place, all the memories seemed to hit me at once and it all felt so welcoming again. Due to agreements that were out of my hands, I wasn’t staying at the hostel I used to work at; I was staying in another property, just on the other side of the street. We made our way there and checked in. My very first objective was to grab some beer and go meet a friend of mine, he had been back in Vama Veche a couple of days earlier than I, plus he was right next door to my old hostel, so I went to have a look at how that had changed. Upsettingly, it had changed too much, and not in a good way. There was no real atmosphere and all the love I had painstakingly put into the place had been heartlessly ripped out. I spoke with the new staff and told them how it should be run, how to create the same environment I strived to produce.
A couple of beers later, and my worst expectation occurred. The weather changed. Luke and I had been checking the forecast all week in the lead up to this trip, making sure we didn’t get too drenched, but luckily the rain only hit for about an hour and that was the last we saw of it, the whole weekend was completely clear.
With the sun having set, and the drink starting to hit us, we grabbed a quick bit to eat and headed to the beach. We went to all my usual spots, Stuf, Acolo and even stopped at Molotov for a little boogie. It was a really surreal feeling to be in Vama Veche and not thinking about work; it was nice to be able to just disconnect and enjoy the place as a guest. I occupied my time over the next two days and nights doing exactly the same thing: spending the day on the beach, drinking through the evening, and then boogieing through the night. Unfortunately I never made it all the through to sunrise, but I’m planning on going back again in a few weeks, so hopefully will be able to see it then.
On the Sunday morning, Luke and I took a carpool back to Bucharest and it felt like I had been dropped from a great height, I was back in the chaos of the capital city and no longer relaxing on the sand. But it’s not all bad, I’m going back again in a few weeks; being in Bucharest means it’s only 4 hours away instead of the 15 hour journey from Cluj-Napoca.