Monday, 5 March 2012

Bulgaria, Plovdiv: My Memoirs

- Flying in and being amazed with how it goes from completely flat to mountainous.

- Wondering around trying to find the apartment. I asked a Bulgarian man, and he (like every other the whole trip) was incredibly helpful, regardless of the huge language barrier.

- Walking around the crazy city. It seemed so derelict in parts. The pavements were very broken, and seemed quite in the past. The nicer buildings had their architectural features painted on.

- Climbing the biggest hill in the city, with a statue at the top of a man holding a Tommy Gun.

- Going to a restaurant. The most expensive dishes were £5. Liam asked for some kind of meat, and the waitress said "no... that is... no good...". Avoiding the 'pork knuckle'.

- Playing Ring of Fire. Liam and Ash being 'drinking buddies', and between them finding every single 'double up' and 'drink' card available.

- Drunken grappling.

- Craig's fry up in the morning. Sausages, 'meatballs', bacon, beans, eggs, toast. Awesome way to start the day.

- Getting the train to Asenovgrad. Asking for 5 tickets and being charged 6 Lev's (£3). I then had to ask twice to make sure that is really for 5 people.

- Driving to Bachkovo. The taxi driver being inches from every parked car, and reversing in the snow through the tiniest gap.

- Going into the Bachkovo Monastery. The Christians were taking it very seriously, crossing their chest as they walked in.

- Climbing up the snowy Rodopi Mountains in completely impractical shoes. I didn't think it would be snowy. Many snowballs were thrown. Liam ran, lost his shoe and fell over and we drank from natural springs.

- Trying to save a weird beetle thing that was walking really slowly because of the cold. I wanted to get it to a tree or rock or something.

- Going in the abandoned building on the way back down the mountain.

- The awesome cakes in the town. Liam had soggy doughnut things, and I had a weird chocolate cake. No idea what they actually were, and the language barrier stopped us asking, but they tasted nice and were cheap.

- Looking for Grill restaurant Craig saw on the way in. He said it would be a 15 min walk, but over 7km and many "it's just around this corner"s, a satellite dish that was no where near the building it went to, and a big metal entrance cut into a mountain (Soviet secret base style) we finally found it.

- Ordering loads at the restaurant because it was crazily cheap. I had a double whiskey for 55p. We pretty much ordered 5 plates of meat, a bit of rice and some vegetables. Including drinks it came to less than £1 each. It was so cheap that we gave a big tip, and the waiter loved us. We shook his hand and shared a magical moment.

- Getting a 5 man taxi... which in Bulgaria is a 4 man taxi with tinted windows. The 30km journey I think it only cost £2 each.

- Buying a bottle of white wine for £1.10, vodka for £3, whisky for £3.50, and a bottle of Morgan's Spiced for £10 (you have to push the boat out sometimes).

- Playing BattleShots (battleships but you take a shot when you are hit). Liam losing two boats almost instantly. The fear of your boat being hit, after already having too many shots. Chilling out after with drunken Charades.

- Not wanting to move the next day after hiking and drinking, so randomly wandering around the city, attempting to look for old stuff. They didn't seem to care that they had 2000 year old ruins around. It looked more like they just couldn't afford to move them.

- Finding Captain Vestman among the graffitied ruins of a Roman tower, overlooking the city.

- Eating the worlds dirtiest kebab. A wrap, dipped in grease, then rubbed against the kebab meat, then filled with a sauce, 'salad', and 'meat' dripping with grease. It was nice, but the guilt almost made it unenjoyable.

- Playing more Battleshots and Ring of Fire. Mixing shots of vodka with cheap white wine, and getting rid of the taste with cheap whisky and coke. Stopping midway to go and buy more alcohol. Buying another bottle of vodka and rum, which we found the next morning mostly unopened.


  1. Liam's "soggy doughnut things" were baklava

    And the meal was 77 lev, which is (according to Google) ~£32.83

  2. That crossing yourself thing - it happens all the time in Ireland, and then I started noticing it here in London; on the buses as we pass religious places! (Admittedly its not normally local English people)

  3. Thats so cool man , before a year i also had a trip to Plovdiv , Bulgariq and try some nice woman and meats over there , greeting John !