Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


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Wordless{ish} Wednesday: Bachkovo Monastery

*Linky below*

This post covers two trips to Bulgaria’s beautiful Bachkovo Monastery – the second largest monastery in the country. The first was a quick stop for Vince and I when we were on our way down to Smolyan in November – right at the height of the beautiful fall colors. The second was in December when my mom visited and we made a stop there on the way back to Sofia from Smolyan.

Like I said…doing a lot of blog post catch-up over the next few weeks!

Hope you enjoy the photos (there are a lot of them)!
Bachkovo MonasteryBachkovo MonasteryBachkovo MonasteryBachkovo Monastery
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Fun in Plovdiv with the Denali Crew

My friend K. who is visiting from Alaska also happens to be my boss in Denali (for Princess Cruises). She’s been there for years and has always had a large staff of Bulgarians working for her–mostly big, burly Bell staff men. She sometimes refers to them as her “Bulgarian Mafia.” Don’t know how accurate that really is, but you never know! 😉 All I do know is that they are a great bunch of guys (and one gal who is a supervisor in housekeeping) that I am happy to call my friends.

*cue sappy muzak*

When she made plans to come to Bulgaria we knew that a large get together with everyone was in order. Almost all of us (besides Vince and I and another married Bulgarian/American couple who live in the states) live in or around Plovdiv and Asenovgrad. We made Plovdiv our home base for a night last weekend and booked a room at a hostel (Hostel Mostel, which wasn’t all that great, btw). All of the plans were made and all we had to do was show up at Restaurant Arbanasi ready to party.
Denali Gang

The food was delicious but the entertainment was what it was all about. We had the best table in the house (thanks F. for making the reservation “for your American friends who get the best table in the house.”) When Vince hears Bulgarian music and has any amount of alcohol in him…he turns into a dancing fool. Having a few glasses of wine myself, I eventually joined in as well.

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Weekend Recap

Asen's Fortress

We just returned from a weekend getaway to Smolyan and I am pooped.

Time sure passes quickly when you are having a good time!

It was a wonderful trip and I am so glad to finally be able to see and experience Bulgaria in the fall; it’s downright gorgeous.

The autumn colors here rival anything I have seen in Utah or Alaska.

I don’t have it in me to write up a full post tonight–after the 4-hour drive home we went grocery shopping and unpacked all my suitcases and the stuff we brought up from the apartment in Smolyan, so my energy levels are nil–BUT I can certainly recap all the awesome things we did:

  • We drove down after Vince got off of work on Friday night. I slept most of the way, but I did wake up in time to see Asen’s Fortress all lit up. Vince said the new lighting has been in place for awhile. It’s really something. I am looking forward to driving by again when it’s dark. When we arrived in Smolyan, around 10pm, my MIL had her yummy bean soup and klin (A Rhodopean-dish made with potatos and pastry) waiting for us.
  • Saturday we decided to make the most of the beautiful weather and attempt to reach Devil’s Bridge (Diavolski most). I have been obsessed with seeing the bridge for years but its location, 10km down an unpaved road from Ardino, make it impossible during the winter months (which has always been when I arrived in BG until now). The road was definitely rough and we ended up having to walk about 2 miles, but we made it and the end result was well worth the effort. The bridge is breathtaking (full post with pics to come!).
  • Saturday evening we relaxed, gorged ourselves on more of my MIL’s specialties, and I ended the night curled up in bed with a new book on my Kindle, Gone Girl.
  • This morning we packed up a bunch of stuff to take to our apartment and yes, ate some more! We got a fairly early start, so we decided to stop off at a few spots along the road: Bachkovo Monastery and Asen’s Fortress (yep, posts to come on these as well!).

 

All in all it was a quick but fun weekend. It was great seeing my in-laws after so long and they definitely took care of us and sent us home with TONS of food. We are set on bottled/canned goods for the entire winter, and good thing because I love my MIL’s peppers, lyutenitsa, jam, and….ok, basically everything she makes!

I don’t know how I managed to survive the first 25 years of my existence without a doting baba in my life!

Hope you all had a great weekend as well,

W.

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