Last time I went to Vama Veche it was about 7 years ago. Vama Veche, for Romanian people is that little resort-village down south on the coastline, just next to the Bulgarian border, where all the hippies and free spirited people go to spend their lazy summers relaxing at the beach, drinking too much alcohol, where people in colorful clothes and no inhibitions dance all through the night to the loud music screaming loudly from the big speakers set all over the beach and where kids who don’t know any better go to get themselves in trouble.
First time I stepped on the Vama Veche sand I was indeed a kid, 16 years old, curious to discover this nonconformist place of the ones who don’t play by the rules. At that point, there was only one bar that played rock music set on an empty beach, a couple of old drunks sitting at the wooden tables, amused by the sight of the group of teenagers jumping to the rhythms of the music. Over the next few years, I kept going back again and again and saw the place’s popularity grow wider and wider amongst the youngsters like myself.
What really made Vama Veche what it is today was a festival that was organized for the first time the same summer I ever stepped foot there. This was called “Save Vama Veche” and was meant to preserve the resort from turning into a commonplace by gathering bands and artists that represented the true spirit of the place, passing on the message that Vama Veche old school fans had to say – that they wanted to keep this place a getaway and not have it turned into a mainstream resort, like any other at the shore of the Black Sea. What the organizers accomplished was to grow Vama Veche, bring a lot of local business in and surround it with a bad reputation.
This weekend I decided to take David to the summer escape of my youth years and so we went and we saw. What hit me was the number of families with kids and pets running up and down the few streets of the old village. I realized, at least this time of the year, the people who were there for the weekend were my age or older, coming there years later after their first visits, passing on the spirit to their youngsters, in a nostalgic moment of commemorating their good youthful and careless years.