Euro Trip Part 10: Bulgaria
Bulgaria Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Current mood: Hyper
Category: Travel and Places
Leaving the dirty old town of Bucharest we ran into a married couple who tagged along with us to the country of Bulgaria, a French and a Canadian they were which would have been a great advantage if we were travelling France or, yup you've guessed it…Azerbaijan.
On other days along with the Dutch couple Luke and Nina we hiked a small distance into the mountains to visit the Aladzha Rock Monastery that turned out to be some religious prayer placed carved into the face of a cliff, and not an unsigned band jamming session as you'd expect it to be. There's no chance of me becoming a groupie here I thought. At night we ventured into the town of Varna to risk what had recently overtaken all extreme sports to become the greatest risk to mans life - we were heading to an authentic Chinese restaurant run by Bulgarians Trust me, this was a bold move considering our Bratislava Chinese experience and the next few hours were to dictate weather we were heading home early or not. As it happened the meal turned out to be okay all considering. There were about seven of us all sat around the table stuffing ourselves silly and once Mands had to nip to the khazi we decided to play a prank by dashing from our tables to hide under other tables, behind plant pots and hanging curtain – much to the bemusement of other diners.
Soon we were leaving
The following day we headed to the famous Tsarevets Fortress with Owen and Lou who had joined us earlier that day. What was the fortress like? It was big and made of stone and looked like every other bloody fortress. You can probably tell I'm getting bored with writing about fortresses right? But one night a week they do this really cool light show where big colourful spotlights flash across the fortress and surrounding mountainside that would make Fox Mulder of X-Files fame cream his pants thinking it's an alien picnic get together. And what's more we inadvertently missed the whole show cos we were too busy staying inside the hostel watching TV highlights of the previous nights folk dancing festival and trying to spot ourselves on Bulgarian national television. Fuck sake.
The next day was spent travelling to Bulgaria's second largest city, Plovdiv, and one at the hostel we done bugger all as the heaven's said 'They they are!' and proceeded to piss down rain on us from far above for the whole night. And so we thought we'd take the opportunity to catch a good sleep but it wasn't to be as I was awoken at a bloody stupid time on the morning by some bells ringing… and ringing… and ringing. I still have the bloody ringing noise in my ears now as I write this. I swear to god the bells would just not fucking stop, it was like Quasimodo had finally snapped after being stuck in that stupid tower all his life. Then to make matters worse, a dog started barking and it too wouldn't shut up. I couldn't help thinking the dog was sporting a few hump backs and all.
As if by this point of our trip we hadn't seen enough of caves, Mands and I soon found ourselves travelling a few hours south with a French guy and English chick to check out Bulgaria's most beautiful cave, the Yagodina. On the way we stopped of to have a butchers at the Bachkovo Monastery which looked like it had been tagged with spray paint by a load of teenage rebel monks. Well one can argue the monks do wear hoodies. A for the Yagodina cave itself the place was really impressive, the type of cave Batman would purchase if he ever won the lottery, although the public khazi outside had a lot to be desired. Actually, there wasn't even a khazi but a marble plate on the ground with a hole in the middle which, if you didn't aim too well, you'd be walking home with a squelching noise coming from inside your shoe. I've seen better toilets at
Arriving at night time we crashed at a cheap random hostel that couldn't afford carpet so the owner improvised by placing down some unwanted astroturf presumably recovered from a skip outside a sports ground. If only I'd brought my golf clubs I thought, I could have challenged the owner to a game of pitch and putt. The following day quickly found ourselves moving to another hostel where we met up once again with the Danes Luke and Nina and of course stalkers Owen and Lou. Goes without saying now doesn't it.
Here's a quick story for you guys. Mands and I were walking around the city seeing what we could get up to when Mands says to us 'Right, the plan is…' and a random Dutch guy walking past jumps in our conversation and says, 'to go to a bar'. Well that done it for us and soon we were at bar with this random stranger, something my parents always warned me against when I was a child. We found ourselves sitting at a table with this fella who's covered in tattoos, chewing our sears of talking about stuff, when he suddenly pulls out this giant flick knife that scared the crap out of the people sitting around us. It was like that prop knife off Crocodile Dundee only for real. Oh what a line that was, remember it? 'That's not a knife, this is a knife!' Anyroad, there I was thinking Rambo had aged badly until he introduced himself as Peter. Why do psychos always have normal names? This psycho decided to take us on a little site seeing tour of his adopted city, whether we went with him cos we wanted to or cos we were forced to I'm still deciding, and ended up showing us all these cool and interesting things that you'd only know of if you lived in the city for a while. And being as he didn't steal all our cash before slitting our throats, I'd put him in the category of being an alright bloke.
Our nights out involved going to a bar that used to be a WWII fascist base for some propaganda printing, or some bollocks like that. It was all dark and gloomy inside, made completely of wood with only a few candles dotted around the place to give it a little faint light. You'd think its stupid having lots of open flames in a dark bar made of wood, wouldn't you, what with the fire risk and all that. Well I have news for you, that's not a risk at all. The stupid thing is allowing me to enter the bar and start playing with the candles, at which I was beginning to have a panic attack and was thinking of making a run for it after I'd knocked over a candle whilst playing with it, only to see it set another candle and some rubbish on fire. Spare a thought for me guys, I'm still trying to get over the Kings Cross incident years ago. On another night I decided to dress up in my hippy gear to go out raving – only to be refused entry cos I looked like a twat. It seemed like a shit club anyway.
And guys, I have news here that will shock you all. After 24 years of contributing to the extinction of animals, I finally plucked up the courage and visited a vegetarian restaurant, but was a tad disappointed when I discovered on the menu there was no carnivore section. Well it's only fair, after all Beefeater restaurants have a vegetarian selection. Anyroad, I tucked into some sort of meal and thought I'd done well until we started walking back to the hostel when I couldn't stand the withdrawal symptoms any longer and ended up devouring a road kill I found lying by the sidewalk. A stray cat I think it was, although I could be mistaken as the creature was pretty mangled.
Other adventures included meeting Brits Dam and Em who told us how great Sierra