Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bulgaria - Borovets and Plovdiv

We have been to Bulgaria before - great ski resort of Borovets (in the Balkan mountains) and our failing rand still makes it an economic country for us to visit with food and other prices similar to here. I think the rand had fallen since our last visit but in the ski resort, it was summer and the slopes were grassed.. prices seemed to have been kept down to attract visitors compared to their winter ski-season prices, so we were on a par. Adventure sports.. quad bikes and mountain biking is popular in the summer.

We had a self-catering apartment there so we were able to maintain a healthier diet shopping at the Billa supermarket in the village of Samokov about 10kms down the road, and hiring a car here for the 4 days meant we could explore the region a little from our base in Borovets.

Our forest facing apartment in the ski resort

One of the main ski slopes in summer.. you could still go up on the chairlift and walk or cycle down - there are numerous hiking and bike trails 

Big renovations were underway at the Rila Hotel at the heart of the resort due to open in time for the ski-season

Without English you cannot make head or tail of the Bulgarian language with it's cyrillic alphabet

Our Flora Apartment building 100m from the main ski slopes

A Bulgarian national dish - baked in an earthenware pot

This is the first time I have visited a place because I saw photos of it from an Instagram and Facebook friend. Plovdiv is about 120 km from Borovets but the roads through the mountains are incredibly windy and the trip there and back took us the whole day. The area formed part of the Roman Empire dating back nearly 3 000 years and there are well preserved antiquities and archaeological sites we took photos of.

Ruins of a Roman amphitheatre in Plovdiv

Archaeological site and viewpoint over Plovdiv, one of the world's oldest cities dating back some 3000 years

Roman Theatre

Our left-hand drive hired car and shopping from Billa

Beautiful Bulgarian plates and dishes for sale everywhere

Water to drink on the way to the monastery - we saw these drinking spouts all over Bulgaria

Bachkovo Monastery near Plovdiv

Asen's Fortress on a mountain near Plovdiv

As you can see it was a roasting hot day, but a chance also to improve my tan

Asen's Fortress

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