From our overnight spot it was only a short drive along a windy mountain road until we reached the town of Tryavna. On the way we stopped to filled up our water tank with spring water coming out of the side of the hill. All over the country there are many of these places so water is never a problem. You see the locals come by and fill their water bottles so it can’t be bad water in fact most of the time it is really clear and tastes great.
We have now wild camped for 7 days in a row without any problems, we always have plenty of water and the solar panel provides us with enough power to charge all we need. There seems to be plenty of secluded places to park which have been quiet and peaceful. We have felt safe at all the overnight places we have stayed.
Back to the story! At Tryavna we found an easy park close to the old stone bridge and went looking for the tourist info place to get a map of the town. With a map in hand we set off to explore the place. It is a smallish town but there was more to see than we had expected and we didn’t end up leaving until 4 in the afternoon. The town is renowned for its woodcarving and there are plenty of shops selling cheap souvenir wooden products, but there were also workshops with artist working where the real wooden products could be seen being made. We took some time to also enjoy a lunch by the river with a view to the old stone bridge.
While on our ramble through the town we passed a shop that had some bandana’s displayed in the window, well I had to go in and have a look. The result was a new bandana for my collection at the price of $3 a real bargain.
We have spoilt ourselves lately with having lunch out for many days in Bulgaria. The reason for this is one the good food and the other is the price. Our cheapest lunch we had was $10 and the most expensive was $18 for the two of us. In the evening we just have some bread with assorted toppings. I keep joking that Jenny will forget how to cook.
The Shipka Pass and the Spaceship.
Our destination that night was an old communist building at the top of a remote mountain Buzludzha.
On the turnoff to our overnight spot was the Freedom monument at the Shipka Pass. It is at the top of the hill and after a steep drive to the carpark and a walk up a large flight of stairs we were there. The monument was interesting but the views were spectacular over the valley. From this vantage point we had our first glimpse of the “Spaceship”. The monument was erected at the site of the 1878 battle for their independence from Turkish rule.
It was only a few kilometres to the Buzludzha Monument but it took us a while as the road was very windy, steep and potholed. We placed ourselves in a carpark area near to the lower monument which is in the shape of two hands holding burning torches.
The clouds were appearing to build and rain was starting so we made plans to visit the monument in the morning as it was getting late we decided to settle in for the night.
The Buzludzha Monument was built in 1981 by the then communist party at an enormous cost of
7 000 000 euros. It was lavishly decorated and it was built as a tribute to the creation of the communist party in 1891. When the communists no longer had power in Bulgaria it was abandoned and over the years vandalized.
As evening approached so did the storm. It rained and the wind blew into a gale. The ‘Bunyip” was a rockin and a rollin, not very pleasant. We tried to get to sleep but the noise and the movement made it impossible. A few kilometres down the road that we had come up we had seen a picnic area which we thought might be more sheltered, and we discovered it was. The difference was amazing, at the hill top it was like being in a Twister movie but a few kilometres lower it was still windy but the “Bunyip” was not rocking.
In the morning the weather was not any better and when we did drive to the summit we had little visibility and the rain was coming down almost horizontal due to the strong wind. We couldn’t get out of the van and the visit to the Buzludzha Monument was cancelled. A bit disappointed we made our way down the mountains to the plains where it was sunny and a slight breeze.
Our next destination is Plovdiv a place we skirted around two years ago. This time we intend to explore the town.