22.06.2012 33 °C
I have definitely gone from traveling mode to holiday mode. Mind you, it's pretty hard not to slow down in a place like this. I had to drag myself away from my balcony view to go out for dinner last night.
Earlier in the day, I'd seen a restaurant on the other side of the peninsula with a terrace over the sea, so I headed over there. It was lovely, watching the waves roll in, and imagining what it must have been like here when it was a Greek trading port.
The meal was not bad, but I got majorly ripped off with how they charged me. In fact, the waiter was so embarrassed he said I didn't have to tip him, and gave me a discount. That's when you know you've been had. As I made my way home, I was muttering and cursing about how much the day had cost me in lost items and over-charged meals, when I literally stumbled over a free show in the ruins of an ancient church. It was mainly groups of young people, performing traditional Bulgarian songs and dances, but there were some adults as well, and a few modern songs. It was brilliant to see such a variety of songs and dances, and all the fabulous costumes. I sat there late into the night watching the show, and when I thought about how much I would have paid to see that, I guess everything evens out in the end.
This morning, I made the most of not having to get up early and be anywhere. When I did get organised, I packed my little day pack, and set off to walk to the other side of the bay from Nesebar. Half way around is Sunny Beach. It's the package tour destination for sun loving Bulgarians, Ukrainians, and Brits. I didn't hear a lot of English, so I don't think the Brits have arrived for the season yet. Still, the beaches were packed all the way around.
Mostly, there are umbrellas set up by hotels that tourists pay to lie under. Having a deck chair doubles the price. However, there are some areas called "free" where you can set up your own umbrella. Generally, the dress code seems to be as little as possible. The more body you have, the less you wear. A few areas are total nudity, and I have some impressions burned on my brain that will take a long time to get rid of. I became quite good at pretending not to notice, as I walked through scores of naked people. Naked old people, to be honest. My advice is, when you're walking along a nude beach, don't look up towards the deck chairs.
Every now and then, there'd be a middle aged bloke, standing there in all his glory, blocking my path. But I pressed on, and after two hours of walking along the beach at a steady pace, I reached the other side. I think the best way to describe Sunny Beach is a cross between Bali and Surfers Paradise on steroids.
On the way back, I walked along the back of the hotels to see what the town is like. Basically, it's full of restaurants, English pubs, souvenir shops, pumping nightclubs, touts, sex shops, and families. It was fun to see, and I caught the bus back later on for dinner, but I'm happy to be staying in picturesque, quiet little Nesebar. Well, quiet except for the busking Bulgarian bagpiper, and men on loudspeakers trying to entice people into their water taxis. But it's definitely picturesque.