We awoke to a nice sunny morning which should make the drive further east today that much more enjoyable.We have had some rain on the last 2 days that we have travelled between towns on and it does limit the sightseeing and scenery.
With a filling BBA breakfast inside us we topped up with diesel and headed out of Plovdiv looking for the A1 that would carry us east to the Black Sea and three nights in an apartment in Nesebur.
We knew the A1 was north of the city and the GPS took us in that direction but as we saw the signs for the A1 we could not see Nesebur on any of them.Thinking that perhaps the system wasn't fully up to date with the highway we thought best and diverted onto what we thought was the road heading east with Vicky demanding we do a U-turn at the first available opportunity.
What transpired was a return to Plovdiv and a chance,not that we really wanted it,to see the northern suburbs of the city at close hand!She had of course been right and we should have carried on to find the highway that would take us
Initially the road surface of the A1 wasn't that great with lots of patches although thankfully no pot holes because if we had been doing the maximum speed of 130kph we would have done some damage.So we pottered along at 90kph listening to the noise from the tyres as we drove over the patched surface.Eventually,after about 20kms the surface improved dramatically and it was like the authorities had spent some serious money to get a better driving surface.
There was not a lot to stop for on the highway but the scenery was pleasant farmland in all shades from gold,where there was wheat growing to a deep green which appeared to be cucumbers.Bulgaria certainly uses its flat land to great advantage and is a large growr of crops.Just every so often there were a small herd of cows or goats of no more than a dozen or so animals, always tendered by a shepherd.Along most of the roads we have travelled in Bulgaria there have been no fences on the side of the road and of course there has been virtually no animals although on the A1 there were fences which were probably put in as the
road was upgraded to highway standard.
Being out on the plain there weren't any trees to stop under for lunch and the roadside pull offs every 10 or so kilometres was the only option.So eventually we did decide we needed more food and so pulled off parking the car in the vast tar sealed area so that the boot was mostly shaded from the hot midday sun.
As we got back onto the highway after lunch and were just settling into our 90kph there was a sound like a 'boom' and Cindy shuddered as an Audi shot passed us at what we estimated must have been well in excess of 150kph.Now the road is a two lane highway in each direction,it is straight and there is a solid concrete median but that speed was just too excessive!
The highway came to an end with about three quarters of the distance travelled although they were working on the next stage ahead and we hoped that the break from highway motoring might only be brief.The R7 took us back to what would have been the main road,the E773,before this new highway had been constructed.On our paper atlas the road
was marked as under construction so we were lucky they had got this far.Vicky even had us driving where no road was showing which means that the road couldn't have been open very long at all.
As we switched onto the E773 we came across a surprise we certainly expect.A Burger King outlet at an intersection in the small town and had we not already had lunch we would have been tempted to get another round of fries and burgers.It is the first BK outlet we have seen in ages although there was a McD's in Plovdiv where we did indulge in a double cheeseburger and fries.
At Karnobat the road turned back towards the newly completed highway and when we joined it again it had become the A4.
We didn't actually get into Burgas as the road up the coast turned at the airport.Not that it mattered as we didn't have any interest in another city at this stage.The airport looked very regional with just a small terminal.However when we checked the arrivals and departures later just for interest,it showed that there were dozens of flights every day,at times just 10 minutes between arrivals.Most of the
flights were of airlines we had never heard of before and were probably charter companies.With flights coming from the UK to Russia and many other European countries it was clear that people came from all over to get a share of the Black Sea beaches and of course the frequency of flights would now be multiplying as the summer season is about to kick off.
This was confirmed as we entered Nesebur where there were banners saying that the season opened on 8th June.
The apartment complex didn't have a street address which had alerted us to the fact that it was going to be hard to find amongst the dozens of holiday apartment buildings in the newer part of the town.So we telephoned the reception at the complex and the guy who answered said he would drive out to meet us at the Penny Market(supermarket chain)that we thought was quite central to things.He turned up in a couple of minutes and escorted us the kilometre or so down the main road north and then turned down a lane lined with complexes and there is was,the Julia Family Apartments.
The complex is in two curved 6 floor
buildings facing each other with a sparkling clean swimming pool in between.Our apartment of about 60 sq metres was perfect with everything we need including a large balcony overlooking the pool which will catch the morning sun.
We did a shop at the Penny Market which is a bit like Lidl with very low prices but not as wide a choice as Kaufland or Carrefour.Interestingly there were a couple of security guys strolling the store supposedly watching for shop lifters which amused us because the prices in Bulgaria are so cheap.Gretchen opted for some safe looking chicken breasts while I went for the BBQ pack with different looking sausages and meat patties,time to challenge the tastes!
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