Report on Bulgaria 2004
Trip to Nessebar island
I just love coach tours.
As a driver I never get the chance to look out of a vehicle's window and idly glance around so when I get the chance to leave the driving to others I just sit back and relax. It's amazing how much you can see of the real Bulgaria by looking through coach windows.
Our tour guide "Branni" was a born and bred Bulgarian with impeccable English.
He was also extremely knowledgeable about his country and was only too keen to impart that knowledge. We felt that a bit of political irony crept into some of his comments, especially when he mentioned the communist times and the democratic times as being much the same except you didn't disappear if you criticised the government these days!
Our trip took about 2 hours but was very interesting because it went up the mountains and back down again (OK, they were little mountains but you got to see a wide variety of flora if not fauna). And of course, we had the benefit of Branni's comments throughout the trip.
There was a comfort break at a "camping" cafe on route where you could get ice creams, coffees, crisps etc. But get to the loo first as there are only two of them (and it costs 50 stinkies the same as everywhere).
Nessebar (or Nessebur) is very nearly an island, linked to the mainland via a narrow causeway. It's very tourist orientated but we expected that. It's actually quite pretty with many original buildings (mainly churches) still intact and some older ruins.
Nessebar is not big. You can easily walk right round it in an hour or so. But it has many interesting stalls, restaurants and, of course, tourist tat so it's certainly worth a quick visit. It's situated right next to Sunny Beach, so if that's where you're staying you can take a water taxi to get there.
We had about an hour after lunch to walk about on our first visit before the heavens opened.
We had no time at all on our second visit before the heavens exploded on us, as hopefully the picture shows. At least we were prepared and got a restaurant table before everyone else got the same idea.
On the way back, Branni recited the famous "Tourists Prayer", a bit of which I'll replicate here:
Heavenly Father, look down on us as your humble and obedient tourist servants,
We beseech thee O Lord to see that our plane is not hijacked,
Give us this day divine guidance in the selection of our hotels
that we may find our reservations honoured,
Our rooms made up and hot water running from the taps.
We pray that you will make the telephone work
and that the operator will speak our own language
and that there is no mail waiting for us from our children
forcing us to cancel the rest of our holiday.
I'll leave the rest for Branni to tell you on the coach trip back!
What we liked
The scenery on the way
What we disliked
Marks out of 10
7 (would have been higher but for the rain)