London - St Goer - Bucharest to Kazanak, Bulgaria PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Sunday, 23 September 2007 00:00
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London - St Goer
St Goer - Prague
Prague - Vienne
Vienne - Budapest
Budapest - Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
Cluj-Napoca - Brasov (via Bucharest)
Bucharest to Kazanak, Bulgaria
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Day 8: Sunday 30th September - Bucharest to Kazanak, Bulgaria

Best nights sleep so far in our little blue chalet. Anne awoke with a start thinking she could hear the bus engine running outside. Went for breakfast to the restaurant we'd visited last night: sliced bread, a tomato and two types of reconstituted meat; both not to my taste.

Arrived back at the chalet to see Scooby and Barry trying to awaken Daz by thumping the side of the chalet. This went on for some time with little response from the inhabitants. A few minutes later I opened the door to see Daz starkers, except for his money bag appropriately placed in front of his bits and pieces, staggering around and gibbering. I think the healing lotion had worked.

Set off for Bulgaria at about 9.05am with the intention of calling into a supermarket to buy food for a picnic lunch somewhere rural and use up everyone's Leis. Bought two nectarines, two kiwi fruits for Barry, two bottles of water, some small plasters to supplement our first aid kit and four hot chicken legs for Barry who is diabetic and needed something to eat.

Passed from Romania into Bulgaria without fuss or cost. We crossed the Danube for the last time and I couldn't decide which country it is in because of its proximity to the border and the length of no-mans land. According Simone's Pocket World Atlas it is the border.

Next part of the journey took us through the beautiful Balkan Mountains with all the hills covered with deciduous trees. Once over the top we descended down an amazing gorge and into our destination. At one point two gorges crossed each other at 90 degrees, the second consisting of old houses built into the cliff face high above a fast flowing river. Unfortunate the coach was moving too fast and I didn't even have enough time to get a photograph. As we approached the town Leighton gave us some basic information about the place. Kazanak stands at the entrance of the Shipka Pass and has a long tradition of growing roses but has prospered since the WW2 making weapons including Kalashnikovs. He made the observation about 'guns and roses'.

Kazanak lays in a very wide bowl of a valley and although of Roman origins we only saw evidence of Soviet architecture of the high rise type. Coach stopped to ask the way to the hotel and she (Daniel) climbed aboard to direct us to it. When we arrived there was some confusion about whether it was the right hotel. The 3 star Hotel L3ophuua stood on a hill overlooking the town and consisted of white buildings laid out more like a Roman villa with patios, verandas and a pool which alas was empty. We arrived just in time to witness a beautiful sunset over the mountains. Made our way to our room with some trepidation after the last two nights capers. The rooms were already allocated in advance and we were gob smacked to enter a suite with double bed, couch, chairs, TV, mini bar, phone, a beautiful marbled bathroom and a red rose on the pillow. Jackpot! This was luxury by our standards. After a refreshing shower we had a good dinner consisting of a bowl of fresh salad sprinkled with goats cheese, followed by a very tasty meat stew and fresh fruit to finish. Consumed two bottles of a very well balanced Bulgarian Merlot with Simone and Noreen while Anne, Fe and Viv stuck to a rose. Night finished off with beer and dancing to a duo who somehow managed to do impersonations of Bob Marley 'No Woman No Cry', Sting Message In a Bottle' and La Bamba with Spanish accent and all.


Last Updated on Thursday, 27 November 2014 18:13