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Published: September 13th 2009
Our stay in Varna has essentially been 10 days of down time, a welcome break halfway through this trip. It's just a shame the British weather came to greet us as we were looking forward to lying by the pool and getting a tan.
We were met off the bus by Rob who we worked with in Azerbaijan. He kindly invited us to stay at his house in the hills above Varna. Our first full day with him was glorious and we basked in the sunshine making the most of his swimming pool. Sadly that was the last we saw of the sun for almost a week!
On Monday Rob had to leave but he entrusted his house to us for a further week. Rob left behind torrential rain and a chill breeze, lovely weather for Steve, another former colleague, to arrive in! Fortunately Internet access and satellite TV mean we don't get bored! Being in Varna was a bit of an Azerbaijan reunion really. We also met up with Arpana who we knew from Baku, and her Mum.
Our social life didn't stop there though. We drank in the local magazin
where we rubbed shoulders with the
local villagers and various ex-pat Brits. We also went to a neighbouring village a couple of times where El Barr
caters speciafically for the ex-pat market. Their Sunday lunch is great as are the fish & chips and the pies. A home from home!! We even won the Saturday night quiz and took part in the karaoke.
Staying in a rural Bulgarian village with just 3 buses a day into town you get to experience the countryside and see how the locals survive. It was nice to wander around seeing the sheep, goats and turkeys in gardens as well as a multitude of vegetables just waiting to picked. It's a bit strange to see the odd abandoned vehicles but Trish was happy to pose with an old Trabant!
We had a good wander around Varna too and even fitted in a trip to the city's shopping mall. Trish and Steve both had their hair cut. This caused much amusement in the salon, especially as it had been some time since Steve last had a trim! We went in the cathedral which was nice, but they wanted 5 Lev for me to use the camera so there are no
photos! The seaside park was nice to walk through. We found a few interesting monuments which we couldn't find explanations for including one to cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Quite why there were several motorbikes mounted on a wall we really couldn't figure out!!
Summer is coming to an abrupt end though. When we went into town with Rob the beaches were packed as the sun was shining. A week later and the situation looked bleak with the sands deserted. The sulphur baths were busy so I guess the water in there must have been warm. It's a shame the military museum was closed for refurbishment (that seems to have happened to us a lot!!) but at least it was easy to see the ships and helicopters in the gardens.
It has been a lovely place to rest but the isolation of a remote village has us itching to move on now. The peace and quiet has enabled us to think about where we are heading next. Romania then Moldova then Ukraine was the decision and our flights have now been booked from Kiev to London. 4 weeks of travelling left so it's off to pack the rucksacks and, of
course, to clean the house!!!!!!!
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