A Travellerspoint blog

From Greece to Melnik, Bulgaria

A great introduction to the country!

Saturday 19th June

Woke up to Glorious sunshine and no trace of the storm last night, apart from our wet items that we stuck out to dry. In no time though the items had dried. Although the beach location was free and great, we got itchy feet and decided to head up into Bulgaria. Stopping en route at a motorhome shop to buy a fan, a fly screen (as Lorna was constantly being bitten) and some essential toilet liquid! We ended up though getting a small cool air fan, that worked off 12 volt and you added water to it to cool the air slightly. This with these hot nights though was needed.

After a few conversations with people, especially the guy in the motorhome shop. We found out to what degree Greece’s corruption was! Recently it seemed that on the Government getting a great deal of money for the EU, many government jobs were set up for people who didn’t exist and a great deal of salaries paid to a few people! By the sounds of what was said, the Greek government and people need to be totally re-educated on future thinking and not just what they can get in their pocket now. Then again the whole world is really like this, just on different scales, but corruption is everywhere and rife in different forms. From the British government doing dodgy deals with say the British arms trade to supply weapons to dodgy dictatorships and everyone government and companies getting bulgier wallets from it. To complete in your face corruption in poorer countries, where the rich government officials are getting wealthier when the country is getting poorer. It’s all connected anyway, as most times it is western governments who allow certain regimes to flourish, as they can get certain advantages themselves or companies they have close interests with can. It is the great Globalisation or so-called free market, which allows colonialism to continue but under a different name. Anyway corruption is rife in many different forms and in many different societies, even though we are all led to believe the west is the best!

Anyway, I wont go on. With the items bought we headed north to the Bulgarian border and to a country I had been looking forward to venturing around. We passed through the border with pretty much ease, although as we came to a stop by the border officials Lorna decided she would jump straight out to drop some Greek postcards in the last post box on the border! After a quick look inside we were waved on, that is up until another small office where we had to pay 5 euros to get a weeks road pass, called a Vignette. We were then free to set forth and investigate the country. We headed towards the wine town of Melnik, where it is said that they grow and make some hangover free wine! The countryside around is wonderful, rolling hills mountains and forests. The Cyrillic signs are a little difficult to understand, but most have English too.


On driving nearer to Melnik down a potholed road, we enter a landscape of sand type pyramid natural hills and beautiful old Bulgarian houses. We pass through the town, as there is no sign of a supposed campsite and continue along the road to the monastery. On arriving at a few houses and couple of old style taverns by a small car park, we are in the process of turning around when a local shouts to us and makes signs to say that sleeping here in the motorhome would be no problem. As the light is fading we think why not, so park up. After a walk up the hill to the monastery and back we decide to pop over to the tavern. Which we find the friendly bloke runs and we order some of the local wine. Instead of a glass we opt for a jug! With an olive and onion salad. The jug has some sliced lemon in it and the wine tastes very fortified, but very drinkable. A few glasses later we begin to feel the effects, of this seemingly potent stuff. Then a huge storm erupts and the rain and hail come down, but it is still warm. In the middle of it the power goes in the village and all the lights go out, which enables us to see all the fireflies glowing in the hedgerow. People though continue to eat and drink in the dark, so we assume this must happen quite often. The power is returned in time for a coach load of local people and a two man local band to arrive. Seems like this is the party tavern! The music kicks off and we continue with our jug of wine, now the effect in full flow! Later now very drunk we pay a stupidly small amount of money for the wine and salad and head back over to the motorhome to get some food in us. This seems a great start to our Bulgarian journey!

Posted by marklorna 04:47 Archived in Bulgaria

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