September 15th, 2006 – by: nonna
a horse cart heading for market in the morning
Svistov (artist quarter), Veliko Turnovo (ancient capital), and Arbanassi (16th cen. Village) Bulgaria
Today weâ€™re still in Bulgaria, in Svistov which is just downriver from Ruse. . . .not exactly a suburb but definitely a smaller town. Weâ€™ll be traveling to the interior of Bulgaria, a fortress town called Veliko Turnovo and also visiting a small village called Arbanassi. There are still little donkey carts on the roads and I finally managed to get a photo of one. The roads are a little rough but itâ€™s worth a little roughness to see Bulgariaâ€™s interior. Also this is the first day of school and the village roads are full of kids carrying flowers and dressed in their best school clothes.
It reminded me that many things are the same for all children.
Veliko Turnovo overlooks a deep gorge
Veliko Turnovo is an ancient capital of Bulgaria and a fortress town overlooking the Yantra River valley. The fortress itself dates from the 12th century. Bulgaria was dominated by the Turks for 500 years and the Communists for 45 but remained very much an Eastern Orthodox nation. The writing is Cyrillic and indecipherable to me. Also confusing is the fact that Bulgarians nod their heads to say â€śnoâ€ť and use our head shake of â€śnoâ€ť to say â€śyesâ€ť. None of this deters me from shopping in town and finding a bookstore. Well, actually I found 2 bookstores and bought 4 books â€˘ 3 of them printed by a Russian publisher with photos in muddy colors.
Next we went to a nearby village for a wonderful lunch with a Bulgarian family. The food was prepared by our hostess and included tomatoes from our hostâ€™s garden. Heâ€™s a retired engineer from the Bulgarian Air Force. Then we visited a 17th century merchants house in Arbanassi and a 17th century church (Roshdestwo Christowo). The church is plain and low when seen from the outside (it was built during Turkisah rule) but the inside the floor is dug out to increase the height of the vault and the interior is covered in frescos. A local quartet sang for us in this church.
Iâ€™ve got a sore throat and am worried that I might be getting sick.