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Not Exactly the Best Week

Saturday, August 5th, 2006

Warning: what follows may come accross as a bit whiny. Sorry. If that bothers you, stop here. The fact is, it hasn’t been the best week, so most of it’s just recounting all the various problems we had.

We’ve spent the past week or so being very frustrated. It started in Veliko Tarnovo, which was a beautiful city, where the hostel we were staying in claimed to offer day tour to the surrounding area, but couldn’t take us because they “needed to car for pickups (from the bus station),” something they do most days, and we didn’t actually see the car move all day anyway. Then we went to Varna, which isn’t the most interesting town, but we’d wanted to see a bit of the Black Sea coast. (which we didn’t actually do in the end – the beaches were waaaay too crowded). Again, day trips were advertised, this time offered by a third party, but the trouble was that only one person did them, and had a repertoir of probably 20 or so tours. He was booked until Thursday, and we’d only booked accomodation until Tuesday. Even if we’d wanted to wait, we couldn’t stay longer because everything was booked up in advance. Also, because the Black Sea coast is a very popular destination for Europeans looking to party it up on their 2 week vacations, the crowds were really not our type, indeed some of the other hostellers were almost rude. So even though we stayed in a fairly nice hostel, with a bar and community atmosphere, there wasn’t much socializing for us.

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Relaxing in a beautiful country

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Walking out of Town
Walking out of Town

We’ve been a little lax on the blogging lately – apologies. We’ve just been enjoying our surroudings – a lot.

So we did the day trip to the Rila Monastery from Sofia. It was a long day. The monastery is certainly beautiful, but we weren’t able to go and see ‘behind the scenes’, so to speak. Not at all like the sort of living museum set up of the monasteries at Meteora in Greece. So we saw the beautiful church, and one of the museums that was all in Bulgarian, and contained mostly crosses, and a few robes, a few books, a little of this and that. Not quite what we were expecting. The setting was absolutely gorgeous, though. I can see why hiking is such a popular activity in Bulgaria – there’s hardly any scrap of land that isn’t scenic and breathtaking. Well, cities aside. It is possible to stay at this monastery, but we didn’t look into it. Dunno why, we just didn’t.

[read on]

Churches and a Communist Legacy

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Early Church surrounded by Communist Buildings
Early Church surrounded by Communist Buildings

We've been travelling around Bulgaria for a few ... [Continue reading this entry]

It’s Opposite Day

Monday, July 17th, 2006

We've now arrived in Bulgaria, where we're currently staying in the second large city, at a pleasant 300,000 people, Plovdiv. There's a fantastic old city here, though not super old, as most of it was built up in the ... [Continue reading this entry]