Posts Tagged ‘Momchilgrad’


Everything according to schedule. From 250m, up to 630m, down to 200m, up to 800m, down to 200m. Home, done and dusted, and ready for dinner by 4. James had 3, or maybe 4 courses, depending on how you count. It’s good to have some hills. We felt overfed and under-exerted yesterday. 🙂

At 800m, our highest point today - Popsko

At 800m, our highest point today – Popsko

I am amazed how many people speak German here. English is less useful than German. I was told that the reason for this is that many have been in Germany for work. This morning, I even conversed in Dutch. The guy at our hotel in Momchilgrad was wearing a jumper from Albert Heijn (a Dutch supermarket chain) Pijnacker (a tiny village near Delft where I lived for a year). At dinner this evening I was told that all the villages in this part of Bulgaria are empty, as people have all moved to work in western Europe. Ivaylovgrad, once a town with 15000 inhabitants, now has a population of only 4000. They do have a nice hotel which makes good Creme Caramels though. 🙂

Breakfast was bought at the local market. Seeing a milk-looking drink, I had to try it – even though I was warned it was not milk.

Not a milk drink

Not a milk drink

Not a milk drink

Not a milk drink

The first climb was uneventful as it was grey and misty. The second because we were in the balding forest with no views the whole time. We did see a donkey pulled cart, though.

The views are hidden by the balding forest

The views are hidden by the balding forest

Donkey and cart

Donkey and cart

From our humble abode in Ivaylovgrad, we are a mere 5km from Greece, and only 50km from Edirne – one of the gems of Turkey. Turkey sounds so distant from good ol’ Eindhoven, and we are both very excited. Turkey, here we come!!


Lying on my bed in the bridal hotel in Momchilgrad, listening to the chill out music James is playing on his laptop, I ponder on the day. Wonderful, friendly people in a bleak landscape, penetrated by a shiny bright new EU road that, one day, will connect Bulgaria to Greece.

Momchilgrad

Momchilgrad

Today was bleak partly due to the grey, cold (but dry) weather, and partly due to the run-down towns and villages. The landscape is littered with empty bottles, wrappers, and other random rubbish. Coming from the west, it seems a small effort to put rubbish in the bin, but, it seems not to be done so widely here.

Rubbish at a drinking spring

Rubbish at a drinking spring

The Bulgarian people have all been lovely. Rather than aggressive horns from annoyed drivers, we were constantly greeted with drivers waving, giving us the thumbs-up or a salute. The lovely owners of Hotel Flora in Zlatograd gave us each a pair of hand-knitted woollen socks. These will be treasured on the cold nights ahead.

Our lovely warm socks

Our lovely warm socks

We finished early in Momchilgrad. There is a high-pass between us and the next town, and not enough daylight. We spent some time looking for a hotel, cycling through high-rise apartment buildings before we spotted the hotel we were looking for.

Momchilgrad

Momchilgrad

Momchilgrad

Momchilgrad

Momchilgrad

Momchilgrad

On seeing the hotel sign, James dropped to my feet and asked for my hand in marriage.

Hotel Konak

Hotel Konak

There is a wedding reception here tonight. Maybe I will catch the flowers thrown by the bride, and James might have a chance.