Hello to all my cosmic friends who are out there in the world. This time I want to go to a crazy place in East Europe. Today we are in Balkan madness- Bulgaria! . I was in Greece and didn’t have any idea what to do. So let’s go to the Bulgarian rainbow gathering! And so I did. The Bulgarian rainbow was in the south- very close to Greece and Turkey. It was next to a town called Krumovgrad. Personaly- I can’t say the name of that town without an accent. Any former communist accent will do- as long as it’s heavy… It is located in a beautiful place in the Rhodope mountains. And there are a lot of turkish decent there. Which means that a lot of people speak turkish there. I honestly felt like I am entering a pre 1990 movie in Turkish/Bulgarian. It was cool! I had to buy lighter shoes because I had heavy boots. Well, in the market place you will find everything you need. If everything you need are thick flowery blankets that are designed from the latest Moscow fashion magazines in 1986. I did find shoes though. They were light. They were cheap. They were brown. Oh yes- and they had the bling bling effect in the front. If you can’t beat them….
The way to the rainbow was also lovely. The villages look like they were taking from an Emir Kusturica film. He is a famous director from that area of the world- watch the movie “Black cat, white cat”. So they could look like the most poor villages ever- With fences that they build from wood with the ancient technique of their great grandfathers. A hole in the ground is the local Autoshop For fixing the cars (and maybe also the local gynecologist office?… Just a thought….) BUT! They all had satellite dishes stuck to the roof!
My friend Yoav and I decided to hit the road straight from the rainbow and hitchhike all the way to the Black sea. But we had to go through Krumovgrad. Paying for a hotel was way too many leves (the currency there) so we had to use our creative hobo minds to think of a place to crash. So we did.
Far far away, at the edge of the town, next to a little forest, there is a tiny square. And in that tiny square there is a lonely statue. If you listen closely- the locals whisper that it’s a statue of a mighty Bulgarian freedom fighter from the 19th century.
Sure- that’ll do!
That’s the view from the tent in the morning 😀 there’s nothing like waking up and seeing a Bulgarian freedom fighter in the morning….
So we started hitchhiking towards the black sea. And to be honest- it wasn’t too hard. Yes, our Knowledge in the Bulgarian language is pretty much just “hello” “thank you” and “Banichka” (We’ll get to that later) but still it was not hard. In 2 days we arrived there. We saw a hotel with a swimming pool and decided to go drink coffee there. And then we looked at the pool- we haven’t had a shower in… I’ll just say more than a week and let you decide how much more…. It was a hot day…. We were walking and hitching for a long time….Should we do it?…
Of course we did it…. This was actually not even a question. After half an hour of happiness, when we are already outside and dry- the waitress comes to us and asks if we are guests of the hotel. “No, but we drank coffee here” (I know in this photo we are not blondes- but you have to play the stupid blonde act sometimes. It’s fun and helpful in these situations) “I am sorry but the pool is only for the hotel guests. You will have to leave” oh no….
Ok, now a BIG BIG tip for anyone who wants to travel in Bulgaria (and you should- it’s such a cool place!): I don’t know why, everyone says something different (and trust me- I asked!) but the Bulgarian people nod their head for “No” and shake their head for “yes”. Confused? So were we! So I drew a very accurate sketch to demonstrate this weird behavior:
So, at the end we arrived to the promised black sea! And I have to say- it was a beauty! We camped on the beach for a night and tried to get into the sea. Now, me personaly- I don’t like high waves… It’s not my thing…. And the Black sea was called that way by the ancient greeks who lost a lot of people there ’cause it’s one rough sea (wow thanks Anat for that bit of knowledge! You’re welcome sweeties…). But hey- it was still special and amazing!
Yoohoo! Welcome to the Black sea!
And over there was the first time I saw the sun rises from the sea. Where I come from the sea is on the west so… I have to say it was a very special and “full of life moment”. Even though it was cloudy… There’s no filters I swear!
After the black sea we started hitching west. After a nice stop in Sophia we continued and got the best ride ever. A lovely hippie called Phillip who invited us to his little house in the mountains. At one point we had to change cars- ’cause his van can’t go up those mountain roads. No vehicle can actually do that, but you know what can? If you said a soviet truck you were right! Da! Only those machines can go through these crazy roads, because they don’t care! If they want to go straight- they will go straight! And phillip was distributing bags of flower to his neighbors, so we joined the ride!
Phillip told us that tomorrow the closest village has a local celebration. When we went there I understood why he said local. It was only the people from the villages near by. We were the only foreigners in sight. That is why I love traveling- those “in the right place, at the right time” experiences are worth all the gold in the world. They hired a gypsy band to play and all the children performed in traditional costumes. It was very special.
After that We went back to Sophia and I decided to go to my friend who was in Basel, Switzerland. We were sitting in a restaurant in Sophia and I had to decide between a bus or a train. Well, the waitor made it very easy when he said the train was faster and started laughing when I asked why? “You obviously never took the Bulgarian public transportation ha?”. Ok, a train it is. So I was waiting at the station when a train that came straight from the communist era stops next to me on the platform. What a great way to end a mad journey through Bulgaria!
Oh, before I forget- Banichka! It’s a pastry filled with cheese or spinach or lots of other things. This food is originaly from Turkey but spreaded all over that area . It also has a lot of different names: Byurek, Börek, Boureki and many more I was too lazy to google… Where I come from we call it Burekas and we love it! The first time we tried it in Krumovgrad, the lady told us it comes with a special drink. We tried a bit and it was so awful! We didn’t know what was inside and we were’nt sure we wanted to know. There was a picture of a rabbit on the bottle…. But then again there was a picture of a baby too… Ewwww
We did discover after that the drink was made of wheat or barley or something similar. So: Banichka- highly recommended! That drink- less…
I’ll finnish with a photo I took in the train station in Belgrad, Serbia. Yes, I know, it’s not Bulgaria anymore but it’s still a funny photo. It was 2013 when I took it yes? Please take a good look and try to guess what’s, let’s say- interesting and a bit weird in this photo… A hint- it’s not the chair, not the copy machine and not the mug….Enjoy!
So remember- Don’t take life too seriously ’cause life doesn’t take you seriously. Trust me- life called and said you’re bumming them out…. Love, Peace, Harmony and a Smile!