This is the story of my trip to the seaside in winter. I was thinking about sharing one of my best experiences here, in Romania, with you.
One night in Cluj
Everything started in one night in a club. I went out with some of my friends. We were talking about traveling and our stories with crazy adventures. It was just an ordinary night.
This way I came to tell them that I always wanted to go to the seaside during winter. Suddenly, one of my roommates said to me: “Let’s go to the seaside! Tomorrow!” Just to understand better how crazy it is, this was in the middle of January with temperatures around freezing or just below. :-))
In the following minutes, I posted on my groups on Facebook, if there’s anybody who leaves the very next day from Cluj-Napoca to Vama-Veche. This place is the last village on the Romanian Seaside before the border to Bulgaria and my favorite of all on the Black Sea. I normally go here in summer with my friends for festivals or just to enjoy the vibe of this place. It is a bohemian place that is very inclusive, tolerant and relaxed towards all kinds of people. I have amazing memories that I made here.
On the Road to Vama-Veche from Cluj
To drive from Cluj to Vama Veche would take us about 11 hours. There was no wonder that it was very hard to find somebody to take us there because the weather bad, the highway was closed and almost nobody goes to the seaside during this time of the year . We tried all day to find a way to get to Vama Veche. The trains weren’t an option because our budget didn’t cover them and it would take too much time to get there because in winter there are no direct connections. Luckily, in the end, one person contacted me, he said that he’s going to Bucharest and has 3 places for me and my two friends to come along. He also didn’t charge us that much, so it was perfect. I asked him if the highway is still closed and he said that in that day at 12 AM it started to work again.
So, there we are, on the road to Bucharest. We left from Cluj-Napoca in the evening, so we arrived to the capital city very early in the morning. To be specific, at 5 AM. In the first place, we wanted to continue the trip hitchhiking, but it was too
early, so we searched for a BlaBlaCar and, lucky us, we found one exactly at that hour. We switched the cars and moved on to Constanţa, the bigest port city at the Black Sea in Romania and 1 hour away from Vama Veche. Oh, did I mention that we went with a private delivery courier to Bucharest?! :-)) Which made our adventure even better, because they are not known for carrying people along with the mail and boxes.
At the Seaside in Winter
Ok, moving on, arrived to Constanţa, we took a bus to Mangalia. This is the closest city to Vama-Veche, about 11 km away. Mangalia has supermarkets and all the comforts of a little city. In case you don’t find something in Vama-Veche in 15 minutes you can be in Mangalia by mini buses that in summer run every 30 minutes. Almost before we were at our final destination, we remembered that we didn’t arrange for an accommodation place to stay overnight. Being winter and out of season, in Vama Veche most of the accommodation places were closed.
We went to the bus station to go to Vama Veche. Given the fact that we didn’t know at what time the bus will come, I started to hitchhike. After less than 5 minutes, somebody stopped and took us there. We couldn’t believe that the man, who took us with him, is the owner of one of the most famous camping places from Vama Veche. He was very impressed about our courage to come here in the middle of winter and especially hitchhiking. His camping was closed but he tried to help us find accommodation and spoke with some of his friends to help us out. In the end, he found a place for us in a wooden chalet, how awesome is that! We were thrilled with it and his kindness.
Finally in Vama Veche !
Once settled, we went out to explore the village. We almost didn’t recognize it. Compared to the busy streets and beaches of summer, now the village was deserted and covered in a thin layer of snow. On this walk we met some people who were stuck with their car in snow, so we helped the guys to free the car.
I have to confess that only one day spent in Vama Veche in winter is worth more than 5 days in summer. Yes, it’s very, very, very cold, freezing actually, the wind is very strong, the sea is very agitated and cold, there are 5 people maximum in the entire village! BUT the fact that we found an open place, drank a hot wine while watching the sea and the sand, made it one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Honestly, it’s one of the things you have to do once in your lifetime and it’s totally worth it, especially if you don’t live at the seaside!