Springtime in the Northern Bulgarian Coast with FOR YOU

Last Saturday we went to Cape Kaliakra for a teambuilding trip organized by Association FOR YOU. It is a promontory situated 60 kilometres from Varna, North East of the Bulgarian Coast. In no other place like this part of the country. There is such a drastic contrast between the wintertime and the springtime. Just a couple of weeks ago, the urban environment was still clouded by foggy weather, grey concrete and gaunt trees. A typical gloomy post-Soviet scenario.

Suddenly at the end of March, the greenery exploded together with a feast of unexpected colours and balsamic scents. Baba Marta is being kind to us.


Just six months ago I reached Finistere by foot, the ultimate European western outpost before the Atlantic Ocean. It was supposed to be the last step of my Camino de Santiago in Galicia. This promontory is located in the opposite part of Europe but still is another border and windy outpost embraced by the sea.

Funny how everything in life remains the same, in a different way of perception. The slithering peninsula is mottled by bright brush strokes of yellow flowers, like a real life impressionist painting. Walking in this countryside environment makes you feel like a quiet swimmer in a pool of light and azure.

The view is so charming and inspiring that you want to give back to the world at least one ounce of this beauty in some way, writing or painting or just trying to explain its magic to the other people.


After a few hundred meters of dirty road, I reach the entrance of the ancient medieval fortress perimeter: one tower made by calcareous stones which skirt the jagged cliff. A bunch of motorcycle riders has parked there some shiny Harley Davidsons. Their black outfits made of leather and latex make them seem like beauty marks on the bellybutton of Gaia. One big guy full of tattoos becomes aware of my presence and welcomes me with the typical horned hand gesture. Everything around is so beaming and bucolic that your first thought isn’t about hard rock concerts or underground clubs full of undressed girls and alcohol but rather nice hopping mountain goats ridden by Heidi.


Inside the remains of the ruined fortress, there is a big cave facing the sea. It was converted into a kind of archaeological museum full of antique evidence of the Hellenic colonization and the old Bulgarian kingdoms: cracked vases, splintered knives, cooking tools etc. Some tweeting birds vault softly around the display cases, disappearing suddenly inside small emerald fissures on the ceiling. At that moment I realize that the interior of the place hosts several nests swarming of life. I feel amazed and glad to be in such an enchanting location.  The end of the coastline is marked by a small pastoral church devoted to St. Nicholas, the patron of the fishermen. Placed side by side you can find an arch of stones raised on the precipice, like a window without walls around which frames the conjunction between the blue sky and the swashing water.

Its name is “The Gate of the 40 Maidens” because of a legend about 40 Bulgarian girls who preferred to tie their hair together and jump into the Black Sea rather than face the prospect of being captured and converted by the Ottomans.  The bottom of the waters shine as a chest full of pearly jewels. I strongly feel the desire to follow the example of the maidens and dive inside it, just to merge with the deep womb of the Black Sea. Unluckily it is getting late and we have to go back to the bus to attend the second part of the trip.


Fast and Furious, FOR YOU edition

After a delicious lunch in a nice traditional restaurant next to a mussel farm, we went to the karting circuit in the surroundings of Varna. We took part in a driving race between the Bulgarians and some of the volunteers hosted by the Association. Not all of us were keen to take part in the challenge: some exhausted people preferred to stay on the terraces and some others exchanged their racing cars for kick scooters driving like drunken snails (hi Dovilé!).

Personally speaking, it was the first time for me so I couldn’t resist the temptation to get a strong injection of adrenaline entering the fray without the risk to sprawl panic & chaos among the innocent people around. In the end, I reached the best seventh time of the day, not bad for a guy who took the driving license just 8 months ago (but maybe that was a kind of facilitation).

Surely worth to mention was the performance of Beñat, the French journalist. He drove as some kind of Jean Alesi high on amphetamines for 9 laps (totalizing the best time of all of us) just to sadly derail on the last one. Thanks, Beñat for teaching us an important lesson: power is nothing without control.