We spent two nights in Pleven. The Lonely Planet guidebook describes it as "a languid and fairly lacklustre place". We thought it was a great town with a wonderful and extensive pedestrian zone with lots of cafés and park benches for relaxation.
The day before we were to arrive, our original accommodation reservation was cancelled because of a plumbing problem. The host, Toma also rents a room in his apartment and offered that to us instead. That would not be an arrangement we would normally choose, but we thought it might be an interesting experience.
The apartment was in a typical apartment block on the edge of town. A lot of older apartment buildings in the region have run down entryways and stairwells. Most of the owners don't have enough money to fix up the common areas of the building. Owners that do have some money will fix up their individual units but the rest of the building could be quite shabby. Toma's apartment was very modern inside.
Toma told us his whole life story until late into the evening. The next day we walked around downtown and toured the local museum covering the 1877 Siege of Plevna.
Catching the train to Pleven
The apartment block where we stayed
Our very modern and comfortable room
Pleven Panorama museum