Turkey & Bulgaria

May 23rd - June 6th, 2003


*Veliko Târnovo

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May 30th

Woke just before dawn to the noise of that lovely bird again. First in the distance, then very close, now he's in the distance again. A cuckoo sounded for about a half hour later, too, sounding exactly like a clock no one remembered to stop. Christina's gone back to bed for a nap, but I'm wide awake, even though it's only about 6:00.

the workroomOur work room in the early morning, with me in my usual spot and the faithful Adriana in front.


Went for breakfast and got more groceries for lunch, then worked most of the morning. Grabbed a sandwich and worked some more. It's very gray and a little today but no thunderstorms or rainstorms, and at least we're getting a lot done. I've written about 12 postcards, caught this journal and my photographs up to date, and am working on revising the 5th chapter of my novel already.

By mid-afternoon we were both tired of working, and so we reluctantly locked the reluctant Adriana in our room and caught a taxi to Veliko Târnovo. It's a beautiful small city, built on the sides of ravines, with a huge walled citadel--a huge fortress--on one of the hills. The area has been settled since Neolithic times, and there is still a lot of evidence of the medieval era. The streets are narrow, sometimes not wide enough for cars. We wandered through a tiny bit of the Varosha Quarter. The streets are residential and narrow, then open up into a more public space. The houses are lovely, many being restored and repaired. This is where Christina and Matt came to stay last summer when they first came to Bulgaria and took Bulgarian language courses. The residences were awful, so they eventually moved to Arbanasi with the dogs and stayed where Christina and I are staying now. I was too busy looking around to take photographs, and of course I wish now that I had, but I remember the narrow streets, the lovely views, the lovely little grey and white house for rent.

We did a little grocery shopping, then decided to take the quick taxi ride back to Arbanasi for dinner. The town is really close, and from parts of Arbanasi, not really the part we mostly frequent, though, you can see views of Veliko Târnovo. The drive takes you along a ravine, where there is a rock collar around the hills that looks so much like the walls around the citadel it's amazing. They're strange, vertical rocks ringing the hills with forests above and below. After there it is forest again, then quickly Arbanasi.

Found a restaurant with a lovely huge garden to have dinner in--I had roast lamb and while I've had better, it was quite lovely, especially to eat it in the garden. After dinner we returned to our house, and Christina read me the what she had written today. Again, we went to sleep very soon after the sun had gone down.

Bulgaria - 03.05.29 § Les Semaines Index § Bulgaria - 03.05.31

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