From Bulgaria to Romania

Celebrating the unification of Bulgaria

I’ve been in Romania for nearly two weeks now. It was a bit mad going North when the weather is getting wintery.  My sensible side was telling me to go South before it gets too cold but I doggedly refuse to listen to it.

I wanted  to see  the Danube Delta. Having seen the river  being born in the Black Forest and followed its course through several countries,  I wanted to get to where it meets the Black Sea. 

Luckily he spoke fabulous English!

But there was more to Romania for me.  There is the language too.  I was told that it is accessible to Spanish speakers and I was looking forward to being able to talk to people I meet along the way.  One of the things I’ve found the hardest is my inability  to communicate properly. I use sign language in shops,  markets and cafes and when asking for directions and that is OK,  but I miss having proper conversations. More and more I’m coming to realise that this inability to communicate will be the most challenging part of my trip. 

rps20151018_184742Meeting my friend Carol,  staying with some pretty special people and arriving in the Black Sea have been the highlights of Bulgaria.

Carol came over to Plovdiv,  the second biggest cit in Bulgaria.  We chose it because it was in the right place and rps20151018_185209we just liked the sound of its name. We spent a lovely   week together exploring the old town,  visiting Monasteries in the nearby mountains,  going to the Opera in the old Roman theater,  ambling in gardens,  drinking coffee in small cafés,  having leisurely breakfast in  the balcony of our apartment and talking,  talking.

Bulgaria has been the country in which I’ve ventured into Couchsurfing.  What a discovery! I have met the most generous,  kind people  who bought echinacea for me when they saw I had a terrible chesty cold,  cooked a  delicious BBQ and showed me some amazing sites.

The door to the communist monument

My favourite site was this incredible concrete communist monument in Varna at the top of a hill.  The entrance was bricked in but someone had knocked some of the bricks off. Tienne,  my couchsurfing host and I, armed with torches climbed in. The inside was a maze of stairs, rooms and corridors,  some covered with graffiti . Nothing was  at a straight angle,  Here and there were openings to the outside letting in the grey light of the day. At some point we discovered we weren’t alone  as smoke  started to come up from the basement rooms.  We decided it was better to leave before we had an unwelcomed encounter.

And the monument outside
And the inside

I’ve had a great time in Bulgaria and I’ll be back when on my way to Greece once I’ve explored a bit more of Romania.





7 thoughts on “From Bulgaria to Romania”

  1. Blanca – I have meaning to leave you a message for months. I wanted to say that I think what you are doing is amazing and I love reading what a fabulous time you are having. Having just got back from a few months break from work (meeting up to work at the races in Ecuador and the Atacama Crossing) I know what you mean about “where does time go?”. Keep up the travels and get into some sunshine.

    1. Hi Blanca
      Wow! It seems like your “adventure gene” is really being exercised but paying you big dividends! What great sights you are seeing. We have had a beautiful autumn here but last night was cold and frosty and I was thinking about you – so great to read your post this morning.
      Continue to take care my friend. Enjoying your journey.
      Maureen x

  2. Sounds great! I do hope the winter is kind to you. Are you heading for warmer climes soon? Turkey can be very wet and cold, I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Should I invest in a Click-stand and how are you finding the Drinksafe bottle and tap adapter. My own trip starts in early April. Thanks for keeping us updated and happy travels x.

    1. Hi,
      I’m heading south soon. It’s really frosty in the mornings now. The click stand is OK, not as good as a proper foot but I was really worried about weakening the chainsaws. It sort of does the job but need to spend a bit of time balancing the bike.

      On the other hand the drinksafe bottle and tap adaptor are a god send. I’m hardly buying any bottled water.

      Starting in April!! How exciting, I loved getting ready for my trip.


  3. Wow Blanca, you are discovering such interesting places. Part of the beauty of cycling and not being on the tourist trail. The monument looks amazing but quite scary! The kindness of strangers is such a wonderful thing. Wishing you daily doses of it!
    Loads of love
    Kath xxx

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