Inside Bulgaria: Into the Black Sea
Nesebar is one of the most popular seaside resorts in Bulgaria. It’s been called the pearl of the black sea due to its importance as a trading centre in the ancient world. It’s currently enjoying an economic boom with real estate developments such as hotels, restaurants, and condominiums going on in full swing. It’ll be just a matter of time when the pace of urbanization collides with the goals of preserving its historical past dating as far several millennia ago.
We spent two days in Nesebar. The hotel staff welcomed us with the traditional bread and wine.
After partaking of their hospitality, our group decided to take a leisurely walk around the town. I decided not to join them. I felt it was time to wash my clothes that were starting to smell due to repeated wearings.
In the absence of coin-operated public laundromats, I had to do it by hand in the bathroom. In lieu of detergents, I used the hotel-provided little bars of soap in the bathroom. In the past, I had used hair shampoo and it worked as well. After washing, I hanged them on a portable clothesline that I brought with me and left them to dry overnight in the bathroom. Had they not dried out completely in the morning, I would have hung them in the closet hidden them from the cleaning lady.
Hotels scoff at guests doing this kind of thing. They figure if you can pay for your room, you can afford their laundry service. I suppose their point of view makes sense, but I’d rather use the money for food.
Our stay in Nesebar included a visit to its archaeological museum that tells the town’s rich history through artifacts collected from local excavation sites. As usual, no photos were allowed inside.
The ruins of fortification walls built during the middle ages. The Thracians built the first fortifications in the 8th century BC.
The unfinished Church of St. John (14th century AD). According to our guide, construction of the church stopped when its architect jumped from the top of the church to his death because of a broken heart. Church rules state that worship couldn’t be performed in a place where somebody died.
The Church of Christ Pantocrator (13th century AD)
The Church of John the Baptist (11th century AD)
Other photos taken in random while exploring the old town of nesebar.
From Nesebar we traveled to Varna. Like Nesebar, Varna is a major tourist attraction on the black sea coast. We arrived in the city at around noon time. It was too early for the hotel to check us in, so we went downtown for a little sightseeing.
People enjoying their lunch break.
The famous American export with the Macdonald sign in cyrillic. When overseas, always look for Macdonalds. They provide clean restrooms which are free to the public.
A man playing the bulgarian gaida.
Stefan Karadja (1840-1868) – revolutionary and Bulgarian national hero in the struggle against the Ottoman empire.
Varna Cathedral built in the 1880s.
We visited the Varna Archaeological Museum established in the late 1890s. A professor from the local university guided us through the exhibits representing the city’s history from the prehistoric period to the time of independence from Ottoman rule. The most significant of these exhibits are the 3,000 golden objects recovered from ancient tombs dating to 4,600 BC. They represent the oldest processed gold ever discovered in europe. Darn, it was for our eyes only. No photos were allowed.
Our stay in Varna concluded with a sumptuous dinner at Paraclissa Restaurant. According to our guide, the owner and chef is the best in Bulgaria with published cookbooks under her belt. After dinner, we danced with the chef to the accompaniment of a four-man band playing Bulgarian music.
The following morning, we headed to Veliko Tarnovo, the city of the tsars, in central Bulgaria.