Wednesday 26 October 2016

Day trip to Asen's fortress

Today we visited Asen's Fortress, a mostly ruined medieval fortification perched high on a rocky ridge at the edge of the Rhodope mountains.

We took a bus from Plovdiv to Asenovgrad, and then walked 3 kilometres to the site.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Stocking up on firewood

Wood heating is a big deal in Bulgaria. Both in small villages and in cities we saw wood being stockpiled for winter. From what I can gather, older apartments (even in cities) will often be heated with wood as it is the cheapest option. It reminds me a lot of growing up in Northern BC.

Friday 21 October 2016

Food in Bulgaria

We have really enjoyed the food in Bulgaria, perhaps more then in any other country we have been to. Eating out is very affordable here and we indulge frequently.


The signature Bulgarian salad is the shopska salad. It usually consists of tomatos, peppers, and cucumbers, and is topped with grated sirene cheese (the Bulgarian version of feta, except creamier).

A variation of caprese salad using roasted eggplant and zucchini

A sampling of other salads we had

Milk salad (or Tarator salad, Snow-white salad) is a traditional Bulgarian salad based on strained yogurt and chopped cucumbers. Common additions include roasted peppers, onions, walnuts.

Grilled meats and vegetables

Meats and vegetables prepared and served on a clay or metal sach (like a skillet)

Sirene po Shopski (baked sirene cheese, with tomatoes, peppers, and an egg)

Other dishes we loved

Patatnik (potato and onion pancake)

Chushki burek (fried, cheese filled pepper)

Grilled flatbread

Peppers are very popular in Bulgaria and for sale in large quantities in the produce markets.

In both small villages or in cities, we would be walking down a street, and all of a sudden we would smell someone roasting peppers.

We found Bulgarian yogurt to be a real treat. It's thick, creamy, tart treat. And for less than $1.00 to $1.70 a litre, it's a bargain.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Samokov, Bulgaria

Samokov was just a convenient overnight stop after our hike to Seven Rila Lakes, so we had no expectations about the town. However, it was a very pleasant place to wander around and enjoy a coffee at a sidewalk cafe. The town had a number of traditional Revival style homes, beautiful churches, water fountains, a mosque, and a great pedestrian area.

View of the town from our hotel room

Pedestrian area

Huge water fountain

Typical residential street

Another water fountain and mosque in the background