Black Sea Adventures

Trip Start Apr 30, 2006
Trip End Mar 25, 2007

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Flag of Bulgaria  ,
Monday, July 10, 2006

The most southeastern European country, Bulgaria seems to be one of the poorest at well. There are almost as many donkeys and wagons as there are cars on most rural roads. However this is RAPIDLY changing. Bulgaria just got entrance to the European Union (EU) and with it comes herds of salivating English and German investors, hoping to make it rich on the Black Sea coast.

Penny and Paul met us in Varna on the night of the 8th and we combed Bulgaria with them for 10 days. We bought a map, a guide book, rented a car and were on our way. We started in Varna... Varna is like the atmosphere of Vegas... but on the beach like Cabo... and cheap like Morroco. Its insane. 200 elaborate night clubs situated right on the water. Bulgaria, like Romania, gained its Independence 16 years ago ... and drawing back to the ''sheltered kid goes to college'' reference we used in the Romania travel log.... Bulgaria must have been caged and blindfolded during its high school, communist years. The coastal sections are just one, huge party funded by outside investment and advertised with nothing except sex. There are prostitutes everywhere.... literally everywhere. Not just on the big roads... You'll find yourself driving down a forest road and in the middle of no where you'll see them, waiting... its very sad...

Anyway, our guidebook and map had copyright dates of 2003 and 2005 respectively. Each showed roughly 50 campsites spotted down the 200 mile coastline. How many were left? Answer: 3. The rest are now sold to investors that are putting up their neon lit casinos and hotels as fast as possible. There must be more cranes per capita in Bulgaria than in any other country.

The food... my lord.... Incredible. We ate like kings. The Bulgarians use only fresh produce; have great sauces and can cook anything. Literally, a Bulgarian menu will have (no joke) 1000 items on it... everything amazing. The price - Roughly about $1 a course and 50 cents a drink. We would get 6 course meals with apps, a few mains, a few desserts and a variety of drinks and the total bill for 4 people NEVER (in 10 days) exceeded $30. We lived like royalty.

This travel-log is on the first few days of the trip... the coastal region. A culture shock and eye into the negative effects of open markets \ open investments. It was amazingly interesting and fun exploring the Black Sea with Penny and Paul.... searching for the untouched Bulgarian coast... which we discovered, does not exist.
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