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August 12th 2015
Published: August 17th 2015
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Serbia and Revisiting Bulgaria

Bulgaria for all its faults seemed like an old friend after Turkey.

In three weeks in Turkey we got good sleep only at 3 camp sites. Barking dogs, noisy men lurking around, and the blaring loudspeakers blurting out the message that Imans can not sing, ensured we did not rest well.

Our first night back in Bulgaria was pure bliss- peaceful and quite a bit cooler.

Then we headed for Plovdiv. Why Plovdiv?. Because we know where the Kaufland store is there and its on the way. We became like kids in a lolly shop. Starved of good choices for 3 weeks the first stack of goodies were the fruit and vegies aisles. Suddenly faced with mush wider choices and far superior produce we saw a better side of Bulgaria. Their meat was something to awaken the taste buds from a long slumber. After a choice of chicken chicken or chucken for a few weeks he sight of Bulgarian pork wanted us to get ready to pig out. Then there are cakes. Savoury Bulgarian cuisine may not have any noticeable traits or ethnic features, but their cakes and desserts are truly delectable. And here we had rows and rows and rows of them. Such a change from a choice of dry crackers or salty crackers. Then something to fill the trolley with. Beer wine and spirits. Wow. In my time in Turkey I kept recalling the words of a favourite client who said many times to be careful doing business with the overly religious, the infirmed 9 esp mentally sick), and total teetotallers. So many Turks who only want to know you if they can get something off you – and they don’t drink and are outwardly religious zealots. But they do make a good beer – Efes - The problem is that only a small number of stores stock it.

Now here in Kaufland wine is anything form about 1 Euro a litre and whiskey from 8 euro for 700 ml. Skippy’s cave was filled.

Then we camped by lake Istram before heading for Serbia.

Serbia proved itself to be a wholesome country. We were only passing through. From the road we could see housing that is of a higher standard than that of Bulgaria with more of an alpine look. Serbia boasts large plains of rich agriculture and densely wooded spectacular mountains. Infrastructure is invariably clean and well maintained and as modern as most of Europe. Their people drive in a normal and orderly manner. Its such a relief to be in a Christian country.

On our second night we camped by the Danube just outside Belgrade. This was the second time we had visited the Danube. The other time being at Russe on the Bulgarian / Romanian border. Sorry , nothing exciting to report about the Danube- its just a big creek from where I see it.

Some things are different here in Serbia. Most of the old Tito communist apartment blocks of Belgrade are being replaced with new modern apartment blocks and those still standing are being maintained in some sort of liveable standard. On their highways there are frequent sopping places with shady trees – somewhat different to neighbouring countries who have not yet learned to plant a tree.

Serbia impressed us as being productive, with friendly people many of whom speak some English. In many ways as pleasant a place to be as Croatia. Serbia has been the only country we have visited that presented us with a tourist map and basic touring information on crossing their border. They pride themselves on being helpful.

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