Friday, 19 August 2016

Bulgaria

"Today is Friday - must be Bulgaria!" 

No,it is not as bad as that! . We have just had 5 very good days in Romania. However we are now on our way to thr Gallipoli peninsular in Turkey so Bulgsria is just a 24 hour visit and an overnight stop. That is not as fast as Hungary were we had only 4 hours in the country as we transited a corner of it. 

It was with considerable reluctance that we left Romania. On our last night we stayed in a very up market ski lodge near the town of Bran. It was superb. It would compare favourably with any of the up market lodges in New Zealand but at the price of an average New Zealand motel. The decor was superb, the service  was superb and the evening meal was superb. It would have been easy to stay for an extra day. But we have to hit the road 

A few words about Romania. We really liked it and would readily come back. As with a number of countries we have visited a negative perception painted by the media is not  matched by reality. We met a Romanian truck driver who has lived and worked in the UK for the last 10 years. He said that Nigel Fararge of the U.K. UDIP party has told blatant lies about Romania as part of the Brexit debate and has  painted the Romanian people as undesirable to have in the UK. A bit like the way Trunp has characterised all Mexicans !  In our opinion that is also absolutely untrue. The Romanian truck driver would have been a family loving model citizen of the U.K.  

Anyway back to the road. Today we off to Varna in Bulgeria which is a Black Sea coastal town and resort We head down to the outskirts of Bucharest then head east on a nice motorway system to the Bulgarian border. The Danube is the border. Because our route is of thr " road less travelled "  variety we have to cross the Danube by ferry. Thus we can now say we have done a Danube cruise. 

 

 

It was a tight fit. The bike hung over the edge of the ramp so they could only slightly raise it behind me. I was about 1cm from scratching the paintwork of an expensive BMW in front of me. 

 


Then on the other side it is Bulgarian customs. As with Hungary and Romania they want to see the bike papers. As with the other borders I give then a copy of my New Zealand registration certificate. Again they seem quite  happy with thatas paperwork and wave us through after a slightly long passport check. 

 As we left the Bulgarian border crossing I found this sign particularly helpful- 

 

We head down to the Black Sea. Again we dodge an ugly late afternoon thunderstorm. We see the thunder and lightening. We miss the rain. Whew, that one seems very nasty 

 

We arrive at Varna. What a lovely beach side town. It is very populat with Russian tourists and there is a direst ferry look with Odessa. We have a meal at a nice beach side restaurant called the " Ernie Hemminway ". Not Ernest but Ernie '. Diana gets up mid meal and comes back with a strange man to tow. It is " Bruce from Auckland". He is as surprised as we are 

Fleeting impressions of Bulgsria?  Like Romania and also totally misunderstood. Forget drabness, colourlessness and post communist blues. Like Romanis it is part of the EU since 2007 and judging by the EU flags it is very proud of it. Like Romania it seems in fast post communist catch up mode. Both countries could well leave New Zealand in the dust! 

And on that note  we get ready to ride down to Gallipoli tomorrow. 

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