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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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Europe » Bulgaria » Gabrovo Province » Gabrovo May 1st 2019

Laaaanger Tag. In der Türkei ist ebenfalls der 1. Mai ein Feiertag und daher waren die Strassen im Zentrum von Istanbul ziemlich leer. Aber weiter draußen waren zwei lange Staus und so dauerte die Fahrt aus Istanbul raus über 2 Stunden. Ich hielt mich brav auf der 100, das ist die vierspurige Straße, die keine Autobahn ist. Erst 40 km vor Edirne verzweifelte ich, weil es doch sehr langsam ging, und fuhr auf die Autobahn. Und als dann die letzte Mautstelle kam, stand da die Polizei. Mir immer noch rätselhaft, warum die Alarmglocken nicht losgegangen sind. So entkam ich ohne Strafe. Die Halbinsel, auf deren Spitze Istanbul liegt, ist etwa 100 m hoch, sanft gewellt, praktisch baumlos. Riesige Äcker, Getreide oder Raps. Und entlang der 100 ein Indistriebetrieb neben dem nächsten. Oft Textilindustrie. Schon 20 km ... read more
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Europe » Bulgaria » Blagoevgrad Province » Bansko September 22nd 2018

De multe ori suntem tentati sa ajungem cat mai aproape si o destinatie ar fi Bansko, Bulgaria. Poate ar fi mai avantajos sa ajungi undeva iarna, dar daca nu esti iubitor de sporturile de iarna, ce faci? Pur si simplu o viziteti, ca noi curiosi de inca un oras al Bulgariei. Arata ca o destinatie de munte de pe la noi, dar parca mai bine intretinuta in cabanele/hotelurile imense si in extrasezon parasite. Am gasit cazare la hotelul Gazei, care intre timp si-a modificat parcarea, adica nu mai exista desi pe booking scria ca este, dar nu au updatat informatia mergand pe principiul 'lasa ca ne descurcam noi cumva, sa ajunga ei la mine'. Si chiar asa a fost. Hotelul este situat in centrul vechi pietruit, greu de acces cu trolere. Camera a fost destul de ... read more
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Europe » Bulgaria » North July 27th 2018

As usual, we got up early and ate breakfast. Around 9 we got on the bus. Luckily the bus was not full so Susan and I both got to sit by a window. The bus drove thru Russe, Bulgaria where we were docked. Russe is the biggest port in Romania even though it is not on the Black Sea. We saw a few sites in Russe from the bus and then we left for the long drive to Velido Tarnovo during which, I read some on my kindle. We drove thru the country side for about 1.5 hours to get to the town. Velido Tarnovo used to be the capital of Romania several hundred years ago. It is a pretty town with a large castle and buildings that are on the side of the mountain. There ... read more
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Europe » Bulgaria July 17th 2018

7-17-18 Tuesday. We spent the entire day sailing upriver on the Danube. The main attraction was the Iron Gates, a stretch of the river through a gorge that had been whitewater before a dam was built downriver and is now deep and smooth enough to accommodate riverboats. One side is Serbia, the other Romania. Trajan’s (Roman emperor) Tablet, carved in stone commemorating the completion of a road was cut from the rock face of the gorge and moved up to its present location because it would have been covered by the new river height. Further along on the other side is a huge relief sculpture (like Mt. Rushmore) of the head of King Decabalus (ruled 84-106) carved in recent times. We transited a lock which we shared with other boats, passed several towns and another lock. ... read more
along the  Danube
along the  Danube
along the  Danube

Europe » Bulgaria » Vidin Province July 16th 2018

7-16-18 Monday. Vidin, Bulgaria. Afternoon arrival. The main attraction here is the large well-preserved Baba Vida medieval fortress on the River Danube. After a tour of the fortress the group walked by the shell of a large ruined Romanesque synagogue en route to a nearby small mosque which is across the street from a Christian religious organization.. Inside the mosque we were introduced to the imam who was very enlightened about the need for different religious groups to live in harmony. His mosque interacts with the local church in social functions and the two groups have cordial relations. There is no longer a Jewish community there but Jews from elsewhere are planning to restore the synagogue and turn it into a museum. Later in the afternoon a local group of school children from an English speaking ... read more
Baba Vida Fortress. Vidin, Bulgaria
Baba Vida Fortress. Vidin, Bulgaria
Baba Vida Fortress. Vidin, Bulgaria

Europe » Bulgaria » Rousse Province » Rousse July 15th 2018

7-15-18 Sunday. Rousse, Bulgaria. Sofija, our charming and efficient tour guide arranged a taxi for us since we were going on a private excursion into the countryside to see some medieval churches in limestone cliffs that have murals. Our driver, George, was a short local man who could speak enough English, was funny and warm, so good company. After passing through farmland and a small village we came to the hilly national park where the churches are. The first one was accessible by a trail that went up to a ridge with valley views and we entered through a narrow passage that had been blasted through the rock into the rear of the church. The original entrance is now a balcony in a vertical rock face a few hundred feet above the valley floor. Originally access ... read more
en route to Church of the Virgin Mary, rock monastery Saint Archangel Michael, Bulgaria
en route to Church of the Virgin Mary, rock monastery Saint Archangel Michael, Bulgaria
en route to Church of the Virgin Mary, rock monastery Saint Archangel Michael, Bulgaria




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