August 29, 2014


bulgarian holiday has been...average because ups and down, of course :) i took doctor to Plovdiv because my past experience there was positive, and sure enough, so it was again. bulgarian cities have more or less of the soviet infuence in the architecture and perhaps culture. service culture is...well, 50/50, they might or might not smile to you. anyway, we arrived to Plovdiv at 6am and walked around with our backpacks until we found our hotel. super central. then we sat at a park bench for an hour before they would check us in (they were almost empty, so this is the soviet service culture im talking about). Plovdiv is green and full of pedestrian boulevards, i think it makes for a good visit, day or two. there is not much to do of course, unless you count the roman amphitheaters and that....  i dont. anyway, whats interesting is that bulgaria probably has more wifis than any other EU county ive been to. not only does every cafe and restaurant have their own wifi, but there are free wifis available in the public areas too. perhaps this means the mobile operators are not offering very good deals to bulgarian residents?? i dont know, but im happy to be "connected", with or without nokia.

i had not been to Varna before, and we both found it a pleasant surprise. the center looked more old-europe than soviet and there were a few shops and so on. the proximity of the beach, trendy beach bars and relaxing pedestrian streets took us by surprise too. it was simply enjoyable.

in general i find bulgaria an interesting mix of things. its not polite to describe a country by comparing and referring to others but its just SO convenient! so, bulgaria is;
  • soviet (some architecture, behavior, service culture)
  • turkish (some hassling, food culture, charging money for beaches indirectly etc.)
  • "euro" (shopping opportunities, brands available, foreign restaurants, english spoken widely)

ive have had some bulgarian foods now but nothing very impressive. im not a big food connoisseur of course, so that doesnt mean much. what i ate so far were like greek gyros, turkish kebab (using pork) and some hot pots. meh. but ok, i didnt come here for the local cuisine, i came for cheap sushi and pork, and thats what i got! until...  enter St. Constantin and Helens, the "peaceful holiday resort". someone could have just told me its DEAD :D there are so few  restaurants offering so few decent foods  its not fun anymore. quiet it is, i give them that. and green, as are Plovdiv and Varna, I like that. but i dot think i will be returning. the lively & international restaurants of Varna are just 8km away and we are sitting here at 10pm wondering where to get a bottle of water. the resort has seen its best days (about 30 yrs ago) so now what is left is mold, rust an russian tourists. or bulgarian. or romanian. how would i be able to tell the difference?

anyway, the poolside and a comfy bed make up for a lot :) i will return to istanbul on monday - not really looking forward to a 9h bus ride but oh well. doctor will go to the opposite direction and continue to Bucharest for a couple days. 

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