Blogs from Bulgaria, Europe - page 2


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

Europe » Bulgaria June 29th 2018

HE SAID... Since returning to Australia, people have asked how I found travelling in Eastern Europe. I always tell them I loved the place, and that I would return at the drop of a hat. An old engineer was bemused by my affection for Romania. He informed me with significant aplomb that he had compiled a list of ten countries where he had no desire or inkling to travel, and Romania was one of them. I looked at him in disbelief and refused to enquire as to the other nine countries, despite sensing his desperate need to share them. I changed the subject and quietly slipped away from his tedious chatter. We didn’t spend a lot of time in Hungary, as most of our travels were through Romania and Bulgaria, but I can comfortably say I ... read more
budapest - hungarian parliament
budapest - langos
eger - eger basilica

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia June 28th 2018

HE SAID... Today we were travelling from Sofia (Bulgaria) to Hobart (Australia). We woke early to an overcast and rainy day in Sofia, which reflected the weather we would meet at our destination – we were heading home to a cold and wet winter in Hobart. We had a small and simple breakfast (muesli, yoghurt, croissants, jam and tea) in preparation for our long haul flight, because we knew there would be ample food on the planes. All up, given taxi and car travel to and from airports, and stops in Doha and Melbourne, we were preparing for a 30+ hour journey from our hotel in Sofia to our home in Tasmania. We relaxed in our room until mid-morning, then checked out of our very comfortable hotel, jumped into a taxi and headed to the airport. ... read more
sofia airport
sofia airport
sofia airport

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia June 25th 2018

HE SAID... Today we were travelling north from Gorno Draglishte to Sofia (via Rila Monastery). We woke reasonably late following the feast and free flowing wine the night before. After gathering ourselves and our packs, we headed down to our homestay family’s small dining room for breakfast, where we enjoyed scrambled eggs, toast, mekitsi (fried dough), local jam and peppermint tea. After bidding farewell to our incredibly affable hosts, we left the homestay and headed northwards with Boris the bus driver at the wheel. We were making our way to the Rila Mountains, where we were visiting the Rila Monastery. The monastery is located in a forested valley deep within the Rila mountain range, and when we arrived mid-morning, the air was brisk and mist shrouded the surrounding hills. While the building and surrounding structures were ... read more
rila monastery
rila monastery
rila monastery

HE SAID... Today we were travelling north from Bansko to Gorno Draglishte. Having spent the morning trekking in the mist-covered Pirin Mountains, we returned to our hotel in Bansko, checked out in the mid-afternoon and travelled a short distance by minibus to our homestay in the tiny village of Gorno Draglishte. When we pulled up outside our guesthouse, the dining room and courtyard area was full of people. This was our host family’s home, and people had gathered for a christening. We grabbed our room key, found our room (after navigating a maze of stairs, hallways and doors), dropped our packs and headed out for a brief orientation walk through the village. The place was tiny, and we were the only tourists, so everyone knew who we were. The village only had a couple of streets, ... read more
mountian views
streets of draglishte
farming plots

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia Province » Borovets June 23rd 2018

Our last morning in Borovets was drizzly but still warm. We went on a last walk, catching all of the local pokéstops and doing a last minute spot of urban exploration after we spotted a derelict bar/ hotel. The sorry looking calendar on the wall was from 2006 but strangely there were planks of wood piled up as though it was in the middle of being built. There were some disregarded ski boots which is particularly odd because they are expensive items. There were signs that someone could be living rough there, so we didn't stay long. The drive to the car hire depot in Sofia got hotter as we progressed and Sofia was having a very sunny day. We filled the tank and in Bulgaria they still have an attendant who fills the car for ... read more
mini place of worship and also a pokéstop.
Wooden church in Borovets
abandonned building

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia Province » Borovets June 23rd 2018

Bulgaria day 8: Homeward bound, more urban exploring and a summary Last day and a few hours to kill so we decide to go for a walk around Borovets....well there are a few pokestops and Pokegyms to take as well. Our watches are also screaming at us to do more exercise as well. We did manage to do some more urban exploring but the one building we walked into (there was no door!) looked like it had someone living there despite its dilapidated state. They could either afford ski boots or had acquired them but we didn’t stay long enough to find out. We returned the key to a box near reception in the main building but I refused to even look at the receptionist after previous experiences there. Claire managed the drive back to the ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Blagoevgrad Province » Bansko June 23rd 2018

HE SAID... Today we were travelling southwest from Plovdiv to Bansko. With a long trip to Bansko ahead, and a detour into a bear sanctuary on the way, we opted for an early breakfast in the tiny hotel dining area. I had muesli, yoghurt, prunes, toast, ham, cheese, fresh strawberry jam and tea. We checked out of our very comfortable hotel, threw our packs into the back of a minibus and made our way out of Plovdiv. It wasn’t long before we were driving along a bumpy potholed road that I think was a fairly major highway, with flat agricultural fields stretching to the Rhodope Mountains to the south. About 20 kilometres before Bansko we detoured up a steep and winding dirt track to the Belitsa Bear Sanctuary, otherwise known as the Dancing Bears Park. This ... read more
serda, belitsa bear sanctuary
charlie, belitsa bear sanctuary
bobby, belitsa bear sanctuary

Bulgaria day 7: Mountains, lakes, thunder and lightning So today was to be our day on the narrow gauge railway but we thought about spending 10 hours (a return trip) on a train going through scenery we’ve already seen....and photographed...and changed our minds. Instead we went back to the Rila Lakes idea as Claire found somewhere nearer to get to them rather than the two hour drive it looked like before. Instead we drove for less than an hour, a lot of it uphill and arrived at a car park which cost us £2.50. A little further on we paid for another trip upwards as we were to take a ski lift. Nearly forgot....on the way Pokemon Go helped us to discover something that was not signposted anywhere or mentioned in either of our guidebooks. Half ... read more

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