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Ruse, Bulgaria

Ivanovo Chuch

View Eastern Europe on Deb Godley's travel map.

Ruse, Bulgaria, or Pyce in the Cyrillic alphabet, is just across the Danube from our embarkation port of Giurgiu, Romania. Right away, we can see the differences, especially in the signage, going from the Latin alphabet to the Cyrillic.


For this first of two stops in Bulgaria, we’ve opted for the “active” shore excursion, hiking up to the rock church of Ivanovo and nearby monastery. It was not as steep or difficult a hike as advertised, in our opinion, but some of the steps were quite steep. The frescoes were quite well preserved and this is one of Bulgaria’s UNESCO sites. Note the “hidden Mickey”, for all you Disney fans ???? and the Last Supper, painted long before Da Vinci’s version.

Legend has it that the saint associated with this monastery accidentally steps on a nest of eggs, killing the birds. As penance, he walked for three years with no shoe on that foot, as you can see from this statue.

Our excursion ended with a short walk around Ruse, which we found to be very pretty and clean. Our guide said they didn’t call it clean because it was dusty (likely moreso in the summer), but we meant clean, as in with little or no litter. I was a bit put off by our Guide’s frequent disparaging remarks towards the Gypsy population.

We learned that Bulgaria was one of two countries (Denmark being the other) that protected their Jewish population during the holocaust.

We’ve been happily meeting our fellow cruisers - mostly Brits, a large group from Louisiana + assorted Americans, a few Aussies and some fellow Canadians. A very good group.

I had a bit of a mishap at dinner, choking on a bit of beef, and had a table mate Heimlich me just enough to dislodge it so I could breath and swallow. That was a bit frightening, but no harm done. I think Steve is going to take some first aid training though ????

Posted by Deb Godley 21:53 Archived in Bulgaria

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