Coast of the Black Sea
After visiting monastery, we continued our way to Burgas (see more about our whole trip to Bulgaria and Bulgarian wine). Burgas is the second largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast after Varna. Between Plovdiv and Burgas we saw lots of newly established vineyards – the view was really impressive! We did not stay in Burgas for long – just filling up petrol and qick look around while driving. Our aim was going to the south along coastline to see old and newly established seaside villages and resorts.
It was surprising how many new buildings are being constructed along the coast! Any small village located on the coast was like a big busy building site. In 2007, even in our host country, we saw many offers to buy a new property in Bulgaria.
In reality, major part of all new buildings are located far away from advertised sandy beaches because houses are built on cliffs. It may be true – very near to water, however often it seemed impossible to access water because there was no beach in surrounding area at all. There are exceptions of course but not that many. Similar picture appeared when we went from Burgas to the north; the only difference – there were even more new buildings and often even in previously uninhabited areas. Have to mention tat it was not possible to find any petrol station in this area and we almost run out of petrol at one point.
From the positive side of things I shall say that there were some villages where old buildings still exist. Also, villages where you can see mix of old buildings and new ones, for example, Sozopol. In some areas you still can feel heritage of the second part of the 20th century.
Some of coastal villages have very long history. For example, settlement in Sveti Vlas was formed in the second century AD by Thracians and Greeks. Sveti Vlas is the only place on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast where the beaches are facing South directly. However, Sveti Vlas has developed as a resort town for tourists only in recent times.
Following coastline and passing many building sites, we were driving to our last stop in Bulgaria – famous Black sea resort Varna. We spent one day there. Town was nice, hotel comfortable, however all the time we had a feeling that we are back somewhere in eighties of the last century. Town itself has developed hospitality with many restaurants and shops offering local production. In my opinion, one of the most famous Bulgarian produce is perfumery made from roses. We visited quite a few shops offering excellent products we bought there: Zornitza, Rose Valley. Another offering for excellent price in Varna is jewellery.
Overall Impressions about Bulgaria
We decided to leave the country using alternative route going to Ruse where bridge across Danube connects Bulgaria and Romania. I may be wrong, however my impression that this is the only bridge across Danube connecting Bulgaria and Romania.
So, to finalise my story about our trip to Bulgaria I should say – it is a country with beautiful and interesting nature, tasty and high quality wine, excellent food specialities, interesting traditions and open-minded people. It is not a rich country in terms of prosperity though.
Apart from good emotions and overall positive experience of this trip, there was also clearly practical benefit – we bought a lot of wine, sweets and perfumeries for taking home because prices in Bulgarian shops were really very graceful.