Krapets – the last Black Sea bastion of tranquility

Krapets is a small village nearby Romanian-Bulgarian border, right at the Black Sea coast. A peaceful, quiet bay, not conquered by concrete and tall buildings yet. It’s a remote area, where the villages have pretty weird names – Krapets, Durankulak, Shabla. A forgotten place, not touched much by the urbanization and civilization. A wild spot, where the luxury and the snobbism are unknown. The visitors still could reunion with the nature and are able to fully enjoy it.

I have fallen in love with this almost invisible, extraordinary piece of the Black seashore 32 years ago. The last time I saw it was in 1991. Nowadays I was excited to find out Krapets has not lost even a breath from its charm and unique spirit. It’s a fairy place, where you can meet the sunrise in a complete silence. Then to stare at the sunset in peace, after a tiring energy consuming day on the beach.

30 years ago it was a rough coast. Lots of cliffs around, wrecked ships, thick forests right at the edge of the empty beaches. No hotels around, no fancy resorts, no all-inclusive, just simple camping with bungalows. The knee high yellow grass was fun to cross, heading to the nearby semi-salty water lake, where the best delicacy was the crabs. These are my precious memories, where the wild lake crabs were quickly boiled to be eaten up in a couple of minutes, “attacked” by our teenage band.

First childish love with a local guy from the nearby village. The boy with the bluest eyes ever, who made my heart skips a beat. So pure and simple, when you believe a random hand touch is the top of intimacy and would last forever. One kilometer walk was the distance from the camping to the village of Krapets. I actually lived a similar summer life, like in the episodes of the old Spanish movie “Verano azul” (Blue summer).

Four or five years in a row, every summer, Krapets was my secret two week escape from the city. I was dealing with that summer magic, drenched in emotions and adventures. I discovered that place for the first time when I was only 14 year old.

We used to spend the whole day running around, mostly on the beach, swimming to different rocks or ship debris, diving for shells, enjoying simple ball games in and out of the sea, playing badminton and beach volley, or cards under the handmade shade…The usual meal in between our games was peaches or water melon… Unforgettable and miraculous. With no cable TV, no dvd players, no mobiles and no Wi Fi.

In the evenings the camping used to turn to a market. Lots of Polish, German, Hungarian and Czech tourists used to come on vacation to this empty peaceful beach, bringing stuff for sale (the usual way to survive, if there is no cash in advance). Bulgarians and Romanians were curious to see and buy those belongings, starting from clothing and cosmetic, ending to hairdryers and inflatable boats. Simple source of cash flow. The bargain information was spread from mouth to mouth. The usual way to find whatever you need was to move from a bungalow to a bungalow, checking on this type of “garage sale”.

25 years later I saw Krapets again. Now it’s a bit more cultivated. The old, covered by sharp shells beach is cleaner and well shaped now. Some umbrellas and sun beds in use. A bit overcrowded in weekends. Lots of Romanians coming for the off days, still with no prior bookings, just knocking on the locals’ door for renting a room. The price per double room is between 10 to 20 euro per night. But even this range is still negotiable. Nothing changes. This nomadic style is still alive and the local hospitality welcomes such a way of vocational informal booking. I was shocked this quiet in the past village is now fully booked, not only the camping, but even the village rooms for rent.

The guests are very welcome to buy their food (corn, tomatoes, pepper, peaches, melons) directly from the host’s garden. Those gardens still produce tasty eco and bio vegetables and fruits. The other nutrition option is to wait for the fishermen early in the morning. Directly from the boats could be bought fresh fish at sunrise. I recalled my childhood memory – fresh fish, mussels, crabs and picked from the trees around fruits. This “ancient” place with no modern technologies is well preserved. I even met my first teenage thrill – now much heavier, married, two kids…recognisable mostly by his blue eyes. 

Small gin-joints around, cheap beer, tasty fresh food, smiling friendly native people. The simplicity here really amazes me. It’s so rare to find it nowadays. Getting in Krapets the reality calms you down and “shoots” you down to Earth. Very laid back and even sleepy atmosphere. Far away from the contemporary way of holiday, mostly hippie and natural sea style. As one of my closest friends, a psychiatrist, described it: “Perfect place to rehabilitate shaken nerves and broken relationships”. That’s true. Krapets is truly the last bastion of tranquility on Black Sea.



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