Published: August 9th 2006August 7th 2006
Not much to report here I'm afraid. Bulgaria's Black Sea coast is a bit like an action film. It's fun but not very interesting.
Trying to escape from some zealous American missionaries (Missionaries? Bulgaria is almost entirely orthodox Christian) I had met on the Bus from Velika, I jumped into a taxi that drove me to the hostel I had planned on staying in. Up three flights of stairs later, and it was clear that the either 'Coast Hostel' didn't exist, or someone was making some extravagant claims on the web sight. Some wide-boy Bulgarian, who might have worked in this mythical place or not, (I never figured out whether it existed)took pity on me and lead me across town to the Flag Hostel.
I was greeted by Dean, a laddish northerner who seemed like he'd never really got past Blur and Oasis in 95. It was a friendly, sociable place and I met a lot of people, mainly from my own country.
Unless your going to going out at night or going to the beach, then there isn't really muıch point in coming to Varna. So go to the beach and go out at night I did.
It's wasn't really my type of thing, Cocktail bar's rarely are. But then again, it was a bit of a novelty to go to an expensively furnished cocktail bar, (complete with beds, various fountains/pools and swinging chairs) order a couple of drinks with exotic names and still pay less than a fiver.
One of the Nightclubs we visited was clearly a favourite hang out for the local organized crime syndicate. Mercs with blacked out windows and legions of bouncers were conspicous outside. Knuckleheads in muscleshirts and scantily-clad girls dancing on podiums were prevalent inside. It was the type of place that would be the setting for the second scene of a bond film (You know what I'm talking about, Russian Ogliarch concludes a shady arms deal with the head of an Arabic militia). The ludicrous thing that a) we got in, and b) it was still extremely cheap. Anyway, I didn't drink too much (I don't do that anymore) and I still had fun for a few nights. I couldn't do it every week though.
I stayed in Varna longer than I had anticipated. Not because it was such an awesome place, but because I became embroiled in
a laundry fiasco that delayed my departure by at least a few days. (The laundry took about 36 hours for them to wash and dry, and even after that they mixed up all my clothes with another person's). Still I was hardly despondant. Varna is a relaxing place, with fabulous Sea Gardens in which to Sit/Stroll/Run, and I took full advantage of them.
A few days later I was stepping off a Mini-Bus into a sea of daytripping tourists. While I'm sure Nesebur would have been lovely any other time of year (It's a very pretty little town), in late July it really was awfull. While it's not officially an Island, it is only connected to the mainland via a narrow walk-way, so effectively it is. Subsequently, there was no space at all. It was like being at a football stadium.
Of course my impressions of the place weren't aided by the fact that I contracted food poisoning about five hours later and was laid low for two days. I'll spare you the details. Being ill on your own in a foreign country: It's not fun, folks. I visited a pharmasist, he sorted me out, and I started
feeling human again a few days later. At which point I left for Burgas.
I hadn't intended to go to Burgas, but I'm glad I did. (I only went because I was due to meet my Mum in Istanbul in a week and a half and I didn't want to go straight there). Burgas is an industrial Port-town and with the only item of interest to tourists an airport. iIt was the perfect antidote to Nesebur.
I was still weak from my bout of food poisoning, so I didn't do much apart from potter about in the seagardens and hang out in an Internet Cafe. I was staying in a private room, in an authentic communist-era tower block. My host was a lovelt middle aged lady named Svetlana. Even though she spoke no English she went out of her way help. This led to elaborate and prolongued games of charades until one of us had figured out what the other was trying to say. It was also interesting to have a small glimpse into how life is lived in that socialist type accomadation. Although fairly bleak, there seemed to be a real sense of community that is maybe
lacking from more attractive. but isolated, housing developments.
There are more photos below