Blogs from Bulgaria, Europe

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Europe » Bulgaria October 3rd 2019

A long coach ride from the river up to Belogradchick in the North west of Bulgaria. This is a series of fabulous rock formations which have formed over millions of years from when the area was under the sea and later when the sea receded were gradually formed from sedimentation and weathering. If you have a good imagination you can see a bear, a turtle, Adam & Eve kissing, an elephant and various faces. A medieval fortress was built around it with a second gate higher up. Beyond this there are steps carved into the rocks to get right to the top which I achieved as the views are lovely from high up. Luckily I went back to the bottom just as a large group from a Viking cruise were coming up the first level. My ... read more
Can you see a hiker with rucksack?
First gate
Walk up to second gate

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 27th 2019

How time flies when you're having fun! Our time in Bulgaria was quickly drawing to a close. The previous day was our last full day in Plovdiv and the greater part of it was spent exploring Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery in the Rhodope Mountains. This was followed by a few final hours in Plovdiv's Old Town were we had lunch, and bought & mailed postcards before returning to the hotel. We were set to leave Plovdiv on Monday, the day after this 2019 Euromeet officially came to an end with our final group dinner at Restaurant Dayana (Diana) 3. There was so much to like about Plovdiv, and I knew it was going to be a bit sad to leave. It was especially difficult knowing too that some lucky friends would be staying on an ... read more
Buzludzha Monument
Central Mineral Baths
Ornate tile work - Mineral Baths

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Asenovgrad September 22nd 2019

It is Sunday morning and we had now been in Bulgaria for a week. Each day had been an education on Bulgaria: its ancient and recent historical treasures, its art & architecture, traditional culture, food and even modes of transportation. We had seen sites spanning many historical eras: the 20th-century remnants of the Communist era, Koprivshtitsa’s 19th-century Bulgarian National Revival architecture, the Ottomans’ 14th century mosque and 1st century Roman engineering in Plovdiv. Today’s scheduled jaunt would take us to sites from the early Medieval or Middle Ages period, roughly the 5th to 15th centuries. Our Euromeet host, John, had arranged a day trip to two significant sites built in this time frame: Asen’s Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery. We had a very light breakfast at the hotel before taking a taxi ov... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province » Plovdiv August 30th 2019

Only 2 days ago we arrived in Plovdiv on a Bulgarian National Rail (BDZ) train from Sofia. Our train ride of a bit under 2 hours took us past the blue-gray outline of the Vitosha, Rila and Rhodope mountain ranges which could be seen in the distance. We had seen only small villages clustered near the train stations we passed along the way. At stations such as Vakarel and Belovo the rusting vintage railcars on siding tracks evoked images of Bulgaria's past. Though we were on a "Fast Train" to Plovidiv, we made several stops and usually a uniformed station master would appear with signal sign to give our train engineer the "all aboard." As we got closer to Plovdiv, it was clear that this was a city with not only a much larger population but ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Plovdiv Province August 11th 2019

Often I have found myself visiting a place that is so interesting that my curiosity cannot be satisfied with a short visit only. There rarely is enough time to see and do everything much less take all the photos I hope to. This was certainly true for the village of Koprivshtitsa which we had just visited, and the same could be said for my thoughts on the city of Sofia. But it's also exciting to think about places you've yet to visit, so it was time to move on. We left Koprivshtitsa by way of the same bumpy, winding road we arrived on. Driving up the mountain had been much more fun than the coming down! I'm not sure that anyone else noticed, but the incredibly steep downgrade caused our minibus driver to have his foot ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia Province July 22nd 2019

We arrived in sunny and very hot Plovdiv by train from Sofia one day before the start of the official Euromeet. I was feeling a bit wilted from the stifling heat inside our train compartment, but except for the lack of air-conditioning on board, I had enjoyed the ride in our shared compartment with Rick and friends. Several of us shared a taxi to Hotel Ego and by this time I was more than ready for a cool shower and some rest before striking out for dinner. Lingering in the cool shower began to wash away the effects from the heat of the day and I felt ready to enjoy our first night in Plovdiv. Along with other friends staying at this same hotel, we all met in the lobby so that we could set out ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City June 26th 2019

My Mother and I always delighted in hearing the whistling of trains as they passed through our town and even more so when once the train brought the circus to town. My first train journey of any length was as a child when my Mother and I traveled by train from the southeastern United States to Canada. The overnight journey included meals in the dining car and sleeping in a Pullman car sleeping bunk that had been made up by a Pullman porter. The train whistles, and the clackity-clack sound of cars on the rails is still a sound I love, and traveling by train in Bulgaria recently brought back all of those warm memories. The state operated rail system in Bulgaria is the BDZ and the BDZ train we boarded on Platform 1 of Sofia’s ... read more
Sofia Central Train Station - Platform 1

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia June 14th 2019

For well over 10 years there has been a gathering in Europe of the former members of the once popular travel blog site, VirtualTourist. Refusing to let the bonds of friendship be broken even though the website that brought them all together is gone, every year these former members vote on a proposed site for an annual gathering called a "Euromeet" where they reunite. When the votes were counted for Euromeet 2019, the winner was announced: it was Plovdiv, Bulgaria, one of two cities chosen as Capitals of Culture for 2019!! It was an exciting choice to be sure! Bulgaria, a country we have never visited previously, would present some challenges due to the "many moving parts" of the trip. Most of us would be traveling independently and would make travel decisions as such, but many ... read more
BBQ Takeout Restaurant
Grave of the Unknown Soldier with St. Sophia Church in Background
 Bulgarian Lion Guarding the Grave of the Unknown Soldier

Europe » Bulgaria » Rousse Province » Ruse May 3rd 2019

Der erste Teil der Fahrt war noch ganz nett. Bergig, kurvig. Dann kam die Stadt Bello Tarnovo und damit der Zivilisationsschock. Was seit Tagen vergessen war nämlich McDonald, Praktiker, Bauhaus und Co erhob plötzlich seine schrecklichen Fratzen und alles war, wie daheim. Immerhin die alten Straßen und die an den Fels geklebten Häuser waren sehr pittoresk. Und die Touristen, die pflichtgemäß diese Schönheiten abwanderten, staunten über ein deutsches Motorrad das diese Gässlein entlang schlich. Am Praktiker Parkplatz, ich brauchte Kleber, sprach mich ein Mann an. Zuerst das Übliche, woher, wohin, allein, Frau, Alter... und das alles ohne gemeinsame Sprache. Aber dann kam er schnell zur Sache und wollte mir unbedingt eine brandneue Stihl Kettensäge verkaufen, die er dezent in einem schwarzen Plastikbeutel herumschleppte. Er wollte einfach nicht verstehen, dass ich ke... read more
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Europe » Bulgaria » Gabrovo Province » Gabrovo May 2nd 2019

Kloster besucht. In Greborov rumgefahren. Hauptsächlich verfallene Fabriken gesehen. Bauernhausmuseum besucht.... read more
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