About BULGARIA in a few words.

To come by bus from Poland to Bulgaria you need 30h. This is how I happened to visit this extremely fascinating country for the first time.

Destination? Veliko Tarnovo – historical capital of Bulgaria

City decorated by Yantra river which changes colours depending on the weather.

First impressions? City of dogs and cats (later I found out that it is not something typical for Veliko Tarnovo but whole Bulgaria in general). Beautiful and dirty, which makes it interesting and not interesting at the same time. Cheap cabs and language understandable for Polish people to a certain degree. Esthetically, seems like Poland some time ago. But I have to tell you, because I visited Veliko Tarnovo again few days ago, you can already see more and more western influences, what makes me kind of sad.

Veliko Tarnovo in winter.

One of the most bizarre things I learned about during my first days in Bulgaria was the joyfulness that young Bulgarians find in tearing and throwing napkins in the club. I am not sure though if it is reserved just for those places where chalga is a queen and half naked women (sometimes men) are dancing on the small stages.

Unfortunately we also have our own chalga in Poland. Its called disco polo and it is a big part of my childhoods’ holidays in the mountain village.  Another thing, but this time more interesting than bizarre is the idea of the person selling tickets in the public transport buses. Actually it seems to be a good way to force everybody, who would like to avoid it, to pay for their journey.

Small advice: Keep calm

I know it is not the end of the texts yet but I would like to give you one advice already. If you plan or happened to live in Bulgaria you should reach to the calmer part of yourself. There are so many things here that you could be mad at that it is just better to go with the flow.

No bus schedule? Just sit and wait for it to come or keep walking. I remember how long I had to wait for my classes to start at the University, but nobody besides me was actually stressed about that. So why should I? Go and eat shopska salata instead. They have great cuisine in Bulgaria. Everybody should use this opportunity and start food hedonism. Glass of domashno vino and good company are gonna make your day. What to be aware of? Definitely of boza, which is a popular (not only in Bulgaria) fermented beverage. It is a drink made from wheat with low alcohol content and thick consistency. So far it is one of the most not tasty things I have ever tried. We were more than six people against small bottle and we failed.

Varna – the Black Sea Pearl

It was two years ago when I’ve visited Varna for the first time. I didn’t know yet that I will be leaving here for some time in the near future. This is exactly what is the best about life, don’t you agree?

First impressions? The most ugly beach I have ever seen (but it is enough to take a bus and go a little bit further from the central beach occupied by bars to find a good one). Swimming in the Black Sea for the first time made it up though. But also delicious mussels in the beach restaurant and beautiful Cathedral. Second biggest in Bulgaria as far as I remember.

Of course now, after living here for almost a year, the way I see this city changed. It is a place where I got to know and fall in love with the sea. I had possibility to discover its hidden beauty and enjoy during all the seasons. I think you need to stay longer in a Bulgarian city to truly like it. But maybe it is just my impression.

The beach of Varna.

The Monument House of the Bulgarian Communist Party

One of the most likable places I have visited in Bulgaria was Buzludzha. We got up at 4 in the morning (which is the thing I truly don’t like). We took train to Kazanlak with change in Tulovo and enjoyed amazing sunrise with the mountains in the background.

Meanwhile some Bulgarian student helped us to buy tickets. He was so into it that I started to think that he must have seen us as a very helpless group. We reached Kazanlak, took bus and walked for 12 km. Weather was awesome – something between spring and autumn (it was the end of October then). We didn’t miss morning misty views which were waking me up every morning in Veliko Tarnovo as well. When we slowly started to see first contours of this weird communistic building, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was enough to go through small hole in the wall so that you could enjoy the best playground in the world. Where you could truly ‘enjoy communism’!

The Buzludzha Monument.

Impressions about Bulgarians

What about Bulgarians? I am amazed with the fact how social people they are. I remember when the first time some lady sat next to me in the restaurant to eat her dinner because it was the only free spot. Can you imagine it in your countries? Because in Poland chances are almost zero. Also when Bulgarians go to pubs, they somehow enjoy it with all the people at the place. It looks more like a home party. And I would like to say that it’s just this in this topic but of course it’s not.

Thing which I don’t like in Bulgarians, is that they seems to be very self centred. I can give you a small example, not direct one. You shouldn’t go out on the streets when it rains. Do you think that car will slow down just to not soak you wet? Forget about it! Happens every time, I promise.

It is similar in the matter of time, when people makes you wait few hours during the day to not show up at the end.

Nonetheless it is a place to discover. I could keep writing about it a lot but I leave you to collect your own experiences and thoughts.

Hopefully many of you will grab a chance to do it.

It was nice to write to you for a year, Daria.