Friday 30 September 2016

Troyan, Bulgaria

We stayed three nights in Troyan, a town of 22,000 people set on a river. We visited an arts and crafts museum, took a hike in the surrounding forest, relaxed in the pedestrian area, and walked through the different neighbourhoods. We also visited the nearby Troyan monastery.

We were walking down a regular residential street, when these sheep and goats came around the corner.

Thursday 29 September 2016

Troyan monastery

The Troyan monastery is a short drive from our hotel in Troyan. While we were visiting, a very friendly worker with limited English asked where we were from (he knew about the Vancouver and Calgary Olympics), and tried to explain a bit of the history behind the frescoes painted on the church.


Wednesday 28 September 2016

Travel day to Troyan, Bulgaria

On our drive from Veliko Tarnovo to Troyan, we stopped at the Krushuna-Maarata waterfalls, Devet√†shka cave, and the town of Lovech.

The water pouring down the Krushuna-Maarata waterfalls comes from several springs at the base of limestone cliffs.

Over time the mineralized water has resulted in beautiful travertine formations.

Devetàshka cave is a cavern with a number of additional "sky lights". It's huge - the photos don't do it justice.

Lovech, a lovely town with some traditional houses, a wooden bridge, and some ruins. We ate supper here before driving to our final destination, Troyan.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

We spent five nights in Veliko Tarnovo. We were there during Bulgaria's Independance Day celebrations so it was quite busy for the first two days. They put on a light and fireworks show the one night that was very spectacular. We were so close to the action that we could feel the fireworks explosions and at times the still glowing ashes were raining on us. Unfortunately, a phone camera can't capture the scene.

The older part of the city is built on the steep hills above bends of the Yantra river.

Tsarevets fortress

Preobrazhenski monastery

The Preobrazhenski monastery is a 15 minute drive from Veliko Tarnovo, sitting just below some cliffs high above the valley. It was built in the mid 1800s.

Apparently in 1991, a huge mass of rock broke off from the cliffs above and fell onto the monastery. One of the residential buildings was damaged. One large rock split in two and the pieces just missed the church, ending up on either side. No one was hurt.

Huge rock that missed falling on the church

Abandoned residential building

Another church at the monastery