Trip Start Jul 20, 2011
Trip End Aug 07, 2011

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Where I stayed
Fourfifteen Hostel Sunny Beach
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Bulgaria  , Burgas,
Thursday, July 28, 2011

British humour - famed for being dry and witty, it's not for everybody.  Personally speaking, I've watched a few British sitcoms over the years and have enjoyed them.  Today, I got to live through a real-life episode, starring four English guys who were also staying at the Plovdiv branch of the Hostel Mostel mini empire in Bulgaria.  I was treated to quite the entertaining dialogue this morning as I sat in the basement, eating my breakfast.  It's a perfect example of how traveling in groups, for all its perks, can go off the rails when people start getting on each others' nerves.

Barnaby (6'-3" frat boy type):  "Steve, you stink.  Are you going to shower today?"
Steve (with dreadlocks, looks a bit like a British stoner version of Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis):  "I told you, I'm not showering until Chris does what he promised."
Brock (another 6'-3" frat boy type):  "How long has it been since you showered?"
Steve:  "It's been ... uh ... three days ..."
Barnaby:  "F*ck Steve, why don't you hurry up and take a shower!"
Steve:  "I told you, not until Chris keeps does what he said he would."
Brock:  "F*ck man, don't punish us and our nostrils because of that.  Have a shower!"
Steve:  "I actually don't stink that bad ... I just feel ... unclean, is all." 
Brock:  "F*ck man, why don't you just use the soap in the dispenser hanging on the bathroom wall?"
Steve:  "I told you, not until Chris does what he said he would, and buys the next bottle of shower gel.  I'm not using any of that shit wall soap!"
Chris (sticking his head in through the basement window, from the outside):  "Hello guys!!!  I'm here and I heard everything!"
Steve:  "Then why don't you hurry the f*ck up and buy some more shower gel like you said you would?"
Chris:  "Not until you admit you lost the last bit of shower gel."
Steve:  "Who cares Steve, why don't you just buy some more?  And don't buy any of that no name shit, get the good stuff!" 
Chris:  "Tell you what, I'll buy some more shower gel tomorrow after you've showered today using the wall soap."
Steve:  "F*ck, I told you I'm not using that soap!"

Before I could see how this riveting Britcom episode would end, I needed to leave, first because I was ready to pee my pants from laughing, but also because I wanted to partake in some more of Plovdiv's cafe culture before catching my bus for the Black Sea and Sunny Beach.

By all accounts that I have heard so far in Bulgaria, Sunny Beach and Varna are great for crazy, over-the-top holidays, but absolute shit for a beach destination - overcrowded and over-touristed, there's really nothing Bulgarian about the place.  As soon as I set foot off the bus in Sunny Beach, I knew I would hate it here ... but still, there was a slight hope that it was only because of my preconceptions based on earlier conversations ... I hoped that was the case but sadly, it wasn't. 

415 Hostel offers a pick up service from the bus station, as do many hostels in Bulgaria - with its horrible reputation for taxi drivers ripping people off at the train and bus stations, I suspect it might be something they offer to keep tourists from getting off to a bad start.  But not having a cell phone, and having spent the past five hours seated on a bus, I decided a nice walk was in order.

From the get go, it was obvious how over-developed Sunny Beach is.  A purpose-built resort, it reeks of greed - developers see a chance to make millions and they pressure or bribe whoever they need to in order to get approval and haphazardly start constructing casinos, hotels, restaurants, shops, whatever.  You can see that not a single thought was put into doing it properly, as not one bit of the layout makes any sense ... there are hardly any sidewalks to speak of, even on stretches of the main drag.  None of the streets are named, and I wondered if it was because Sunny Beach was so poorly planned.  Block after block of ugly concrete ... it's a shame, really.

Sunny Beach is renowned as having one of the best stretches of sand on the entire Bulgarian coast, but even that is ruined by developers.  Between the tacky, cheesy carnival atmosphere of the boardwalk which is packed with international chain restaurants and bars with go-go dancers (not that I'm complaining about that one), there is barely an available patch of sand, as the beach is dominated by umbrellas and lounge chairs for rent.  It's a perfect place if you're looking for a crazy place to party, perhaps for a stag, but it's really not for me.  I couldn't find one redeeming quality about this place ... simply put, this place is shit!!!   
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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