Bulgaria is a small country on the Balkan Peninsula
right on the Black Sea Coast, which has just 8,5 million inhabitants.
Nevertheless a multitude of cultural historical treasures, unique
in the world, bears witness to a great past in the course of which
Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Osman conquerors ruled over the country
for centuries and left behind their traces. But still Bulgaria has
cultivated and preserved its original Slav culture.
Among the sights the mediaeval
city of Nessebar
is a jewel and a must. The 2500 years old city has been on the World
Heritage List of the UNESCO since 1983. Located on a
small peninsula of the Black Sea the delightful tourist spot yearly
attracts a million visitors. The romantic place has cast a spell
on us since we visited it for the first time in 1991 and we'll
certainly return whenever we have a chance.
Despite its numerous tourist attractions
Bulgaria is a poor country and many, many people live under the
poverty line. The villagers mainly live on what they raise and preserve
almost everything, even meat. As a tour group we were traditionally
welcomed with bread and salt. The hosts had put on their traditional
clothes, entertained us with home- baked cake and showed us their
plain furnished homes. After that they took us on a ride in their
horse and donkey carriages. Our donkey did a good job and even passed
some horse carriages - just for fun.....
In the evenings we sat on the balcony
or on the hotel terrace drinking wine and often
went for a stroll. The nights are mild and there are numerous beautiful,
rustic, open air taverns and restaurants, where one can have a romantic
evening under vine trellises, by good wine and local dishes or enjoy
traditional dances with colourful, elaborate embroidered costumes.
The Bulgarian cooking is similar to the Greek and Turkish - hearty,
but not hot. We had booked "all inclusive" and all day we enjoyed
a great variety of local and international dishes, desserts, cake
and ice cream as well as raw vegetables and fruits in abundance
and of course the good wine.... We revelled in that all very much
and felt like on cloud nine!