Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Adventures in the Balkans...

Instead of going on our normal Croatian vacation as in the past three years, Ljlija, Sina and I decided to finish off the Balkans by going to the Black sea in Bulgaria. (Now all of us have visited all the countries in the Balkan Peninsula!). Wherever we went everyone was again wondering how a Bosnian, Finn and South African/Brit got together, but it didn't matter, the main thing is that we had fun!!

We travelled two days to get to our Nessebar View (overlooking Sunny Beach) apartment. It was MUCH better value for money than in Croatia - including a pool (and as the complex was fairly empty it was almost a private pool!). Here are Ljilja and Sina in front of our place (on the right) with the pool in the background... 
And here is a close-up of the pool with the two of them ready to go jogging - aren't they cute in their matching outfits!
I didn't get any pics of the inside of the place, but it was really nice, and this was the view from the complex...
The highlight of our stay was definitely the old town in Nessebar. It is a UNESCO World Heritage City for good reason! Here I am in front of the peninsula on which it is situated:
The statue of St Nicholas on the entry of the city - it is full of great symbolism: he is holding a cross and a dove...
 The streets are full of old wooden houses:
 And loads of stunning byzantine era churches:
 And some other pretty scenic photos as well:
We did go to the beach a couple of times... but I must admit that we weren't overawed by the beaches: crowded or full of seaweed (as below). We made good use of the pool instead! 
We mostly ate in our apartment (including a braai/barbecue one night!), but 3 times we celebrated something special in Nessebar. The restaurants there were really amazing...

Here we are having strawberries and cream (and sparklers thanks to the fun waiter) in celebration of Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon win :)
Celebrating Ljilja and Sina's birthday (which are only this week, and in August, but a good excuse none-the-less!)...
And enjoying the last night of our holiday in style...
On the way back we decided to break our trip at a place which was recommended on tripadvisor, and which kind of broke the trip halfway...Belogradchik rocks and fortress... And it turned out to be the highlight of the whole trip!!

I still can't believe how amazing it was and how blessed we were that we were able to go there: The pictures do NOT do it justice, and I can't believe it isn't more exploited as a tourist destination by the Bulgarians...

It is a formation of sandstone rocks that cover an area of about 50m2, but in one particular area a fortress was built (first by the Romans, then the Bulgarians and finally the Ottomans) which took advantage of the already impenetrable rocky outcrops... and it is just stunning!!!!
 Once inside the fortress you can see how wide an area is covered by the rocks themselves...
And here is a fun photo of Sina and Ljilja:
 And just to give you some idea of scale, here I am in the middle of the rocks inside the fortress...
And just one more photo of the stunning rocks and fortress...
We come back from our Balkan Adventures well rested (I managed to finish 8 books... now that is what I call a real holiday!!) and completely ready for more adventures back in the real world :)

2 comments:

Victor said...

You know I read your blog through Bloglovin and for some reason, I can never click "Post Comment" and post a comment, I have to open up the link in a new tab for some reason.

Anyway, amazing trip. It's the first time I am seeing (or realising) Sina. She's beautiful.

Glad you guys had a good time. I really have to get out to that part of Eastern Europe. I just got back a few hours ago from Mexico and catching up on your blog. :-)

Belinda Chaplin said...

Not sure about the post comment thing - it might be a bloglovin and blogger thing?

Yes, Sina is beautiful!! I am sure she will be happy that you think so too!

And you really need to come visit!!

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