Going to Vama Veche
Finding a pension
Well, we are going to be beach bums!
Catching a bus from Tulcea was fairly easy. We got to Constanta fairly easily. It was only a few hours until we could get a bus. Still, we got one. We had expected a larger bus, as we pre bought our tickets. It even had seat allocation. It turned out to be a mini bus, and the seats were irrelevant. Still it was not too bad. The trip down was not much different to the rest of this side of the Carpathians. All crop land. There were a lot of wind towers along the way as well. It was amazing how many there were. Every wind farm had a couple of hundred towers.
On reaching Constanta we were at the wrong bus station, and had to go through town to get to the right one. I have no problems with different bus stations, but it would be nice if there was a bus going between the two. The bus stop was not too far away though. On arriving at the station, we asked around. The first people we asked had no idea where we should go, but with consistent asking we eventually found the right place. There are local buses here, buses to Bucharest, and buses south. A bit confusing to say the least. We were going south, but could not get all the way there, so needed another bus first.
It took us all day and four buses to get to Vama Vaeche, but we had made it…
Vama Veche was started around 1811 by a few families. Apparently its name means “Old customs point”, We thought because the boarder with Bulgaria is around 600m away. However from Wikipeadia we got this: named so after Southern Dobruja (the Cadrilater) had been included in Romania in 1913. In 1940, however, that region was returned to Bulgaria, and the village has since lain once again near the border, but the name stuck.
A lot of people have mentioned this place, as a quiet fishing village frequented by the hippies, and even a popular unmonitored spot under Communist Romania. Now apparently the backpackers have moved in.
On exiting the bus there were two touts trying to get our business, and looking at the first persons place, that assumption of backpackers came through. It was a bad room, bad bed, 20m to a bad squat toilet and at a price we expected much more from in Romania! The stereotypical Feral Backpacker joint!
The second was not much better and a lot more expensive. The third? Well, the double beds were slightly larger than a single bed. This was still pretty good considering the others, and we asked to look at another room. I wandered into the next one to see two single beds. Apparently this is supposed to be four four people!
We were despairing by now. We thought we would not find a place to stay that was not too expensive, or a complete S*&t hole. Trying one more place before we headed straight to Bulgaria. It was fully booked! However they had a second place a little out of town, and were willing to show it to us. As soon as we saw the stairs I knew it was the one! The bed was fine. It had an en suite, and even internet (which we had been told was rare here, but standard everywhere else. Apparently it is standard here too, just the quality of the people we had spoken too).
So, a place to stay was found, and a walk around the beach. Our first impression is that is it a giant ashtray. The beach has not been cleaned in a while, and just around the corner is a giant stretch of land that is used as the toilet. I could go on about the broken glass, or garbage dumps, but I won’t. It is a nice stretch of shell beach. The first section is all parasols and deck chairs, with bars on the beach. Then there is the main street with a few trinket shops, restaurants and kebab shops and a few mini markets that mainly sell alcohol. Past the main street the beach turns into a camp site with tents set up all over it. Walking past the tents is the nudist beach. This is optional, and seems to be optional for the rest of the beach as well. Then the beach stretches out to the north all the way back to town. A few cliffs are around and the blue water stretches out to the horizon. It is quite pretty and if you pass all the bars and people the beach gets emptied fairly quickly.
Apparently every year they have a festival against mass tourism (?!?), but it is set up for it. Every house is a caszare, every shop caters to the tourists in some way, and the beach in front of the village is completely commercial. Gone are the fishing boats, gone are the hippies, and now it is all backpackers and families. At night the noise from the bars stretch all the way up to us on the outskirts. If I was in the centre, I would not have any ear drums left.
We have spent three days bumming here though. A walk south along the beach to the boarder. In No-mans land we got a few photos of the sunflowers before the police there made us move along. Along the dirt cliffs to the North, but no shade there. Up through the town, and checked out a few of the many bars.
So,there is not much more to write, we have been here for three days now. I should have done more on the blog, but enjoyed doing not much of anything. Especially not moving the bags. We are off to Bulgaria tomorrow, and still don’t know much about it. Let alone how to get there!