Friday, August 25, 2006

Your fish sausages, fig jams and laces


R, father Vladimir, and I returned from the Black Sea yesterday. R and I are very tan and a little fatter. We have only a Bulgarian day left.

We came home the long way - mapped so that I'd have extreme exposure to history and sites. First along the Black Sea coast north of Sozopol to Nesebar, then inland, across majestic gold fields that could be any stunningly bucolic land where Americans spend lots of money and compose books about living off the grid amongst the locals (by authors with last names starting with "M").

Laces for sale, sozopol

Whereas the Black Sea Coast is - at its most popular beaches - package tourist-to-sweaty-shoulder by package tourist (not so much Sozopol, but generally), the acres just inland are untouched and un-populated save for the shepherd, or the scant evidence of a farmer - a Vlada parked by a field. No pick-up trucks here, the eastern european tin/cardboard autos-of-old continue to boldly service the agricultural community. The Vlada-by-the-field motif is a quick location check - this is not Provence).

Cross these Thracian Plains then take a right and pass north through the Balkans (mountains), on a road built by the Bulgarian youth in the 50's. There's a monument to the teen-builders at a high pass: brave, brawny and stunningly patriotic.

Then you arrive at Arbanassi, where we spend our night in a farmhouse hotel...

But that's for another post, I should get this up while I still have abttery.

And with so many Bulgarian stories to tell.

C in Sofia...

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