Monday, 10 August 2015

Bulgaria

I hadn't planned to go to Bulgaria but I was invited to a house warming so how could I say no. Graham Field, who I know through the Ted Simon Foundation had recently moved to Bulgaria and invited me over so I crossed from Nis, Serbia and headed to MotoCamp, Idilevio, 100km (?) east of Sofia. 

MotoCamp is exactly what it says, but more than that. It is a wonderful home from home, travellers/ bikers Mecca and the sort of place that no one leaves in a hurry. In fact several people, haven't ever left! 

Arriving at MotoCamp.



Nice Lenin!


There were other people there, honest, I just happen to have taken photos when everyone was asleep!

From MotoCamp I visited Veliko T─ârnovo and its amazing fortress.








I also went to Bulgaria's space ship! This relic of the Communist past was built in 1981 as a sort of conference centre for the Communist Party. It's on top of a hill/ mountain and can be seen for miles around. It is now derelict and locked but you can crawl in through a small gap. I had the place to myself for the first 20 minutes, it was an eerie, weird but amazing experience. I'll let the photos tell the tail.

Nearly there



The way in.


And also the way out.



Bizarrely it's partially destroyed/ derelict but not totally. 

Ceiling

These are three of the leading Bulgarian Communists from the 1980s with the President being the one who's been chipped away.

See what I did there?! 

Slightly Star Treky??


I took a video inside which I've put on my 'Gone Riding' Facebook page.

I was very impressed with the space ship, quite a unique and unexpected diversion for me.

Back at MotoCamp another guest had arrived but nothing disturbed the cat. 


I left Bulgaria after visiting the world famous Rila Monastery. I found a very cheap campsite and got up early on Monday morning so I was at the Monastery before the hoarded of tourists arrived. It certainly ranks in my best 10 monasteries. 


There's room  for 300 monks! 





And that was Bulgaria. Unexpected but wonderful. Largely due to the hospitality of Igo and Polly at MotoCamp and Graham as well. ( Graham has written three excellent travel books, check them out). 

It appears that anyone who is anyone has been through MotoCamp and I can now add my name to that list. But unlike so many before me I managed to leave as well! ( Although I am hatching a plan for next summer which may include a return to MotoCamp!) 

Next stop, Greece. 

PS Heidi is working perfectly and I've found the roads and traffic in the Balkans extremely easy going. Serbia wins the price for most law abiding car drivers - often the speed limit was 60 or 80 kph and they kept to it! 

It is, however, extremely hot. I've fallen into the regime of riding until early afternoon and then stopping for the day.  I'm in no rush and don't need to exhaust myself. Dehydration can be a real problem and, especially in Montenegro, I was seriously dehydrated for a couple of days. Not good on two wheels. 

But the bottom line is that I'm having a fantastic time and just don't know why I don't do this more often! 



















No comments:

Post a Comment