21.06.2012 30 °C
It wasn't my best day, but I think I've landed in heaven. I left Plovdiv early this morning by bus, and for almost the entire 5 hour journey, we traveled through massive fields of sunflowers. Some were in full bloom, while others are not too far away. There must have been millions of them, which I kept trying to photograph, while everyone else on the bus seemed oblivious. I guess it's a familiar sight here. Who knew Bulgaria grew so many sunflowers?
Not long after the bus pulled away from the station, I realised I had lost my handy fold-away water bottle that I have carried with me throughout the journey. I can get another one, so it's not the end of the world, but I did mourn its loss for a while, until the sunflowers cheered me up. My first destination was Burgas, from where I needed to get a connection to Nesebar. Initially, everything went well. The bus was modern, the music was Bulgarian (as opposed to the usual Celine Dion), and we stopped somewhere long enough to get lunch. When we got to Burgas, I thought we'd go to the bus station, but after stopping at a couple of road side stops then continuing on, the driver suddenly slammed on the brakes, looked around, shouted "Burgas" and promptly dumped me, my bindle, and another guy on a grass verge of a busy road. Thank god, the guy dumped with me goes to uni in Scotland and spoke good English. Otherwise, I would have been completely screwed. We walked to a bus station nearby, at which time I realised I had lost my hoodie that I have faithfully tied around my waist every day. It must have fallen off in the scramble to get off and get my backpack. I later tried to retrace my steps, but it was gone. Some lucky Bulgarian has a brand new Katmandu hoodie. But haha them, I hadn't washed it yet, and I've been very sweaty.
The guy with me started to tease me that I had started out with 3 bags, and only managed to keep hold of one. It didn't help when I went to get on another bus with him in Burgas and dropped 10 leva on the ground. I tried to tell him that I have been all over Romania and Bulgaria without any problems, but he looked rather doubtful. So, once we worked out where we were, we took a local bus to another bus station and from there he caught a bus to the airport, and I boarded one bound for Nesebar. Before we said goodbye, he went with me to buy my ticket to Istanbul, so he was a really nice guy to go to so much trouble for me.
When I finally arrived in Nesebar, I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the place. I'm staying in the old town, which is out on a rocky island in the Black Sea, connected to the mainland by a modern causeway. It is drop-dead gorgeous, no doubt helped by the stunning weather. The bus station in Burgas said 42 degrees, but it's probably more like 32. I checked into my hotel, and then had to drag myself away from my little balcony overlooking the harbour.
Nesebar is filled with four things - the ruins of ancient churches:
souvenir shops and Eastern European tourists
and restaurants so pleasantly situated that you just want to dine at each of them.
Once I'd calmed down about my balcony view, I went for a little walk around the old town. It's so picturesque that I started getting all creative with my camera.
Everywhere I looked was another beautiful seaview shot.
When I knelt down to take a photo of a seagull, I realised I had become totally intoxicated by the place. I have seagulls at home that I never photograph. Having explored the old town, I walked across the causeway to the new town, which gave me a good view back to where I will be staying for the next few days.
Nesebar Old Town
I think I've reached the end of the line. If anyone at home or at work needs me, they will have to come over and drag me back. For now, "waiter, one more litre of beer" (for $1.80).