Published: July 29th 2004July 29th 2004
Sometimes when arriving in a city you just don't like it, you can't say why but it just has an uneasy feeling to it. Varna was like this for me, maybe it was the rain that greeted us, or the hassle from taxi drivers and money changers on the streets, or maybe it was just too busy for us.
We found a small apartment (bedsit) for 32 leva per night, a little away from the center. We had taken it for 3 nights based on photos, after not having much luck finding alternatives. The initial veneer of the flat quickly wore off, the door to the building banged really loudly, and the bed was really uncomfortable - meaning sleep was difficult. Moral of the story - always take a look at a room if you can.
I didn't really like the city of Varna - but it was interesting and we saw and did some good things:
- Walked along the beach really touristy, lots of cafes - so many it was almost impossible to get on to the sand.
- Walked in the nice coastal park, watched Bulgarian karate kids and giant dogs copulating (really enormous dogs some
kind of wolf hound. The owners of the dogs were obviously trying to breed them, but in a public place, am I a prude?)
One of the many buildings that can be seen in the city center.
- The dolphinarium (Bulgarian - Delphinarium) our most expensive activity in our whole trip. 40mins watching talented dolphins (or talented trainers) doing things to entertain the audience. Back flips, bouncing balls, basketball. The most impressive was one dolphin doing the moon walk on water. Still undecided on my moral position on this, how different is it really to the dancing bear that I saw on the streets? One I instantly decided was cruel and the other I paid 16 leva to watch.
- Archeoogical Museum and Roman Thermae - Fantaaastic - see my seperate entry on this, so much to write about there.
- The Stone Forest - another seperate entry - 16km from Varna one of the strangest geological phenoma in this region.
- Aldajza - 16km North in Golden Sands is a little rock monestarry tucked away in the hills overlooking the sea, worth a trip, I've added a photo or two.
In summary Varna is a great place to do things, but I found I was much more interested in the history and sites of Varna,
Near the Golden Sands resort the Aladza Monestary was literally carved out of the rock. It's open and you can wander around.
from when it was known as Odessa, but the todays Varna wasn't as appealing to me.
There are more photos below