Crossing Bulgaria with a short visit to Arbanasi

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Europe » Bulgaria » Veliko Tarnovo Province
July 29th 2016
Published: June 21st 2017
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crossing bulgaria

From Bucharest its a short drive towards the Romanian-Bulgarian border. Since Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, the border formalities are quite improved. I can remember that in the past we were waiting for hours and had to pay for many unknown reasons.

Now we only had to pay 6 Euros to cross the "Friendship Bridge", which is on one end at Romania and other hand in Bulgaria, crossing the Danube river. On the Bulgarian side after the passport check you need to buy a road vignette, which can be bought at the petrol stations on your way.

from the border city Rousse we drove to the direction of Veliko Tarnovo.

A Bulgarian colleague recommended us to visit a nice village, called "Arbanasi" which is close to Veliko Tarnovo.

Arbanasi is one of the most famous villages of Bulgaria. However it is a big challenge to get there. There are not road signs and even if they are, they are quite invisible and mostly written in Cyrillic alphabet. Without Google maps or any navigation app is is quite impossible for a foreigner to find it. In the afternoon we arrived at Arbanasi.

Arbanasi is a typical traditional Bulgarian village where you can taste some history. There is a large number of historical monuments, such as 17th- and 18th-century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture.

We walked a bit around and took a lunch at one of the picturesque restaurants. After the lunch we hit our road towards the Bulgarian - Turkish border.

From Veliko Tarnovo we headed towards the direction of Stara Zagora. On our way according Bulgarian way of road sighs we don't know if we went via the shortest way but in the end we arrived. Last time we took this route was in 1997. The situation those days were terrifying. the mountain roads between these 2 cities were full with robbers and you could only pass save if you join a convoy of truck/bus drivers. Now nothing remains from those days. After Stara Zagora we tough lets take to Motorway A1 to the direction of Sofia and go south from the junction with A4. But we underestimated the stupidity of the engineering of the motorway. When you go from east to west on the A1 there is no motorway connection to the A4. At the end it took us approximately 45 minutes to figure out how and where we can join the A4.

After we finally managed to get on the motorway, we drove the last part of Bulgaria and arrived to the Bulgarian - Turkish border.

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