Tuesday 31 May 2011

A Tourist in the City

Told you it was cool
A unique blend of Roman history and Hollywood cosmopolitan Varna is a city discovering its self. Looking past the gorgeous tanned bodies of Varna beach to the relatively salt free waters of the black sea people here are both hip and sexy. Sex sells and if they have it they are definitely flaunting it, and sometimes if they don't necessarily have it they are flaunting it anyway. Incidently, I managed to find a road in the middle of nowhere and asked a lovely lady on the side of the road if she needed help and then if she could give me directions. Turns out I had stumbled upon the Manchester street of Varna and I was bad for business so I was quickly shooed away.

Varna Beach
As eclectic as it may be here I am drawn back to the differences between Bulgaria and Turkey.  The roads are shit the farmers stare and the women drive fast look sexy and are empowered. Both countries have their fair share of farmers still toting around on a horse and cart. Far fetched from the smooth riding of Northern Turkey where the women mostly adhere to cultural boundries far within their need to be noticed.

In a fantastic revelation it turns out I have replaced my diet of fresh fruit and veges with an exceptional amount of ice cream. Both affordable and lovely it suppresses the need or desire to eat anything worthwhile, but then why would you when sustenance is wrapped in chocolate.Follow this with a bottle of the pride of Prague (Paropramen) with my feet in the golden sand and I am wondering why I will leave tomorrow??

Yeah Right!!
Speaking of food, in a rookie move I managed to burn my pasta to the bottom of my pot yesterday evening while I was preoccupied with the swatting of mozzies. Because it was kiddie pasta it was made up of numbers and letters not unlike the spaghetti we would have as children so now when I eat I can spell things as I go. Unfortunately the pasta was made from the Cyrillic alphabet so it is like playing scrabble in Russian, or playing monopoly in Turkish.

Poppy's and Dasies
Strangly enough I trusted Lonely Planet's guide to Eastern Europe for the first time yesterday and it let me down horribly. Riding through rain that would make Fiordland proud I amassed 150kms. I thought in lieu of such a day I would have the next off and went looking for a backpackers, then a hostel......then another hostel and in the end after 195km on the road most of which was in the rain and into a gentle breeze I camped in a field anyway. Turns out they were all shut down because they were operating illegally. At least the other night I managed a rinse in a chilly river but I was not to be so fortunate this time.
Misty morning on the waterfront. Varna

The sweeping fields of Bulgaria are only broken by the steepness of its hills and I can only imagine what it will be like when I hit the Rila Mountains south of Sofia. I hear the rock monastery's are incredible and they can only be matched by the grandeur of the surrounding mountain peaks. The churches are exquisite and the ice cream delightful. I have only the one genuine experience of the famed Bulgarian charm when a young lad of five or six shouted from the back of a caravan of horse and carts "welcome to Bulgaria my friend"


  1. Pip is visiting at the moment and we are reading your blog. It is fascinating.

  2. I don't understand your comment under the photo of the blue road sign. It clearly says that Yambol is 44km straight ahead or if you turn left then Bosna is a mere 53Km away and Karnobat is 32km away in the other direction. Maybe you need to eat more Cyrillic alphabet pasta. Also thanks for buying me a piece of Baklava and eating it for me.

  3. Hello Ben,
    I came on here expecting another blog and now sadly will have to go back to work disappointed.
    You can make it up to me by taking a close up photo of one/some of those amazing red tulips against the sky, I think that would look hanging up. I wonder why Pete chose to call himself "swifty" that is an odd nicname. Hope all is well, Pip

  4. *Look amazing