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BULGARIA


Location - Eastern Europe; Capital - Sofia; Population - 7.1 million; Currency - Lev MORE BULGARIA

From Velika Tarovo there's a few buses south to Kazanlak, from where I took a taxi to the fantastic communist relic of Buzludzha, before heading to the Black Sea coast - May 2019.

 

bulgarianoteThe 10 Lev note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria143A first glimpse of the Buzludzha Monument was an exciting moment, somewhere I'd wanted to see since seeing photos like this - Buzludzha

 

bulgaria150It's a twisting and turning drive up the 1,441m peak to the UFO-style building - Buzludzha

 

bulgaria155Buzludzha was inaugurated in 1981 as an assembly hall, built to honour the creation of Bulgaria's first socialist party in 1891

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria153Dark clouds above Buzludzha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria163'Workers - men and women of the world, unite! Ahead! Comrades, let's bravely build up our great cause! Let's work, let us create - the worker we need to enlighten!' reads the script on the near side. Apparently.. No idea about the translation of the far side - Buzludzha

 

bulgaria173From Veliko Tarnovo I was going to get off the bus at Shipka, slightly closer to Buzludzha, but the driver said there weren't any taxis. I couldn't see any and the bus didn't go into the centre, so I carried on to Kazanlak where he phoned a driver who took me for 40Lev return (or 50Lev? can't remember) with 30mins waiting

 

bulgaria170A red star, or what remains of it, adorns the top of the monument's concrete tower - Buzludzha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria181Sadly the monument recently closed its doors to visitors, and there's several 'Entry Prohibited' signs. The building is crumbling and falling glass & debris is a genuine hazard - Buzludzha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria183... but some find their way in somehow. A security guard now patrols the area, and other visitors were talking about offering a bribe at an opportune moment (don't know if they got anywhere). Even if you do get in I'm not sure how straightforward it is to reach the hall and its fading mosaics. There's talk of it being transformed into a museum but there's nothing to show for it so far - Buzludzha

 

bulgaria177So I made do with these mosaics, of sorts, which include a 'Fuck USSR' scrawl - Buzludzha

 

bulgaria192The views of the plains below are superb, especially if the sun pierces the clouds like here - Buzludzha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria188Soon after this photo it started raining, and as you'd expect at the top of a mountain it was very windy. And in the winter this is all covered in snow - Buzludzha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria174Walk down this track to another small monument - Buzludzha

 

bulgaria146The Torch Monument lies below the UFO - Buzludzha

 

bulgaria193Some guy waiting at the train station at Kazanlak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria195It was just under 3hrs by train from Kazanlak to Bourgas, after which it's a short bus ride to the attractive Black Sea resort of Sozopol

 

bulgaria200The main town beach, which was very quiet in early May, with all sunbeds stacked away. These photos were from my maze-like hotel which very kindly opened one day before their season started, when I sneaked in the front door at 10pm - Sozopol

 

bulgaria205At the end of the beach is the old town peninsula - Sozopol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria209A restaurant with the perfect location - Sozopol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria213Canoes on crystal clear waters head off to the nearby St Ivan's Island - Sozopol

 

bulgaria211The bay was beautifully calm and quiet - Sozopol

 

bulgaria212Drying out (or warming up?) on Black Sea rocks - Sozopol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria214 St Ivan's Island, a bird sanctuary and the Black Sea's largest island, is on the northern side of the peninsula - Sozopol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria221The fishing harbour was also chilled in May. You can hire boats to St Ivan's Island (out of nesting season) from here - Sozopol

 

bulgaria222A clipper moored in the harbour, probably waiting for the summer tourist season to kick into action - Sozopol

 

bulgaria219A 15min walk south of town is Harmanite Beach - Sozopol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria224North of Sozopol and Bourgas is another old town peninsula next to Sunny Beach at Nesebar

 

bulgaria226Cross the isthmus, past a funny looking windmill, to Nesebar

 

bulgaria227Entrance to the old town is through the 5th century Town Gate - Nesebar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria228Nesebar is popular with day trippers from Sunny Beach, which is little more than 2km away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria230Walk between old wooden houses - Nesebar

 

bulgaria234There's several medieval churches in the old twown, including one adorned with swastikas, which represented the Sun in medieval times - Nesebar

 

bulgaria237Nesebar is lined with cafes and restaurants, plus loads of souvenir shops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria241On the opposite side of the bay from Nesebar is Sunny Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria246And the same picture in reverse, with the peninsula of Nesebar's old town seen from Sunny Beach

 

bulgaria256The beach view from Ina Golden Rainbow Hotel - Sunny Beach

 

bulgaria257Sunrise over the Black Sea - Sunny Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria263Sunny Beach, known as Slanchev Bryag in Bulgarian, covers several kilometres of sand meaning the resort stretches a long way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria260This was the general scene when I was in Sunny Beach. It was pretty much a ghost town with most shops, bars and restaurants closed or doing renovation work in preparation for the summer season

 

bulgaria265The Soviet Army Monument stands in Ploshtad Troikata - Bourgas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria268The Easter bunny's been in town - Bourgas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria272An Armenian genocide memorial outside an Armenian Orthodox church - Bourgas

 

bulgaria274Well thanks very much - Bourgas

 

bulgaria276..I'm sure Jimi Hendrix would listen - Bourgas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria279The beach is long and pretty good for a port city - Bourgas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above the beach is Maritime Park, from where you can take in the pier and the waters of Bourgas Bay - Bourgas

 

bulgaria291Water sports in Bourgas Bay - Bourgas

 

bulgaria278And of course we have to have some Bulgarian street art - Bourgas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria285 A memorial honouring those 'who died for freedom' fighting against fascism - Bourgas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bulgaria284Maritime Park is a long stretch of gardens, cafes, sculptures and other attractions runnning alongside the beach - Bourgas

 

bulgaria282Snap! Haddaway! Dr Alban! Some blasts from the past playing a Bourgas festival

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2019 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

http://bulgariatravel.org - official Bulgarian tourism

www.bdz.bg - Bulgarian trains website

www.busexpress.bg - and the buses site

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
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