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As usual, also this time I visited my friends in Stara Zagora and in Kazanlak. Traditionally we spent the first evening enjoyning the Bulgarian food and drinks, this time in the flat in Stara Zagora.


On the next day we went to the Rhodope Mountains. Although I've been there quite often, I have to confess that there is still much to discover. This time we visited the Stone Mushrooms and the Devil's Bridge.

On the way we stopped in a small village where Maryanna and Pencho, who live in an apartment block in Stara Zagora, have a house with a garden. We fed us with fresh grapes directly from the vine.



The route took us further through Dimitrovgrad and Haskovo to Kardzhali. Just before the town we turned east and drove to the Stone Mushrooms. The rocks look really like mushrooms.









After that we went further to the Devil's Bridge. Honestly speaking, a jeep would be useful to pass the last part of the road. Anyway, one can wonder why there a bridge was built. On the right side as on the left side of the bridge there is only wildness. But it used to be different in the past. The bridge in fact dates back from Roman times and was part of a road which eventually led to Rome.












We spent the evening in Kazanlak, where we visited the restaurant Bulgaran. During the summer there is a folklore program three times a week. Here you can hardly see tourists, only Bulgarians. But how they celebrate! The program includes dance performances and of course - a Horo too. There are also dancers with torches and “nestinari” (they dance on living coals with bare feet). There were fireworks as well too. And once that the Horo starts no one can be stopped. Almost everyone rushes to the dance floor, especially when the song "Byala Rosa" (A White Rose) by Slavka Kalcheva is played. For those who are interested in, follow the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEXykfbK5EA




















On the third day we drove at north through the Balkan Mountains to Arbanasi and Veliko Tarnovo. Arbanasi village is famous for its artists and its monastery. Veliko Tarnovo was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. The most famous thing there is the medieval stronghold Tsarevets.


On our way we met Khan Krum, who ruled Bulgaria in the beginning of the 9th century.



A restaurant with a stately figure



A staircase to the monastery of Arbanasi



The monastery





Rich people live here



The Tsarevets in Veliko Tarnovo







View of Veliko Tarnovo



David and I had a nice trip to the beautiful beach of Irakli, Cape Emine and the Biosphere Reserve Kamchiya. We drove towards Varna. The beach of Irakli was practically deserted, completely different from Sunny Beach. To get to Cape Emine, an off-road vehicle would be most appropriate.

In the Biosphere Reserve Kamchiya the Kamchiya River flows into the Black Sea.


The beach of Irakli





Cape Emine





Nature Park Kamchyia



Here the Kamchiya River (in the foreground) flows into the Black Sea



David





Only a few kilometers away from Sunny Beach, in western direction, you can already enjoy the beauty of the nature. I made this trip with Ulrike and Heinz-Peter from wer-kennt-wen.








 
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