A Travellerspoint blog


Belogradchik and Vidin

Parks and rocks

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Although we were advised Vidin is considered the poorest place in Europe, we did not find the poverty as evident as we expected, in comparison to poor areas in Mexico and Central America, for example. We walked along the shore of the Danube, in a lush park and into a portion of the town.


Remnants of Easter.

Steve should have brought a skateboard.

The ruins of what was obviously a beautiful synagogue

The only disturbing thing in Vidin was the number of missing women posters tacked onto every other pole

After lunch (the food quality has been top notch), we ventured further afield to Belagradchik, where we climbed amongst the stratified rocks, which run for 25km. We visited the site near an old fortress, where 150 or so stairs have been added or cut into the rock.

And a couple of views of our ship - the pool floor raises and the space becomes a theatre in he evenings. First it was The Magnificent Seven, and tonight it will be Victoria and Abdul.

Posted by Deb Godley 07:53 Archived in Bulgaria Comments (0)

Ruse, Bulgaria

Ivanovo Chuch

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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 Comments (0)


The last of Bucharest and Emerald Star

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Buffet dinner last night at the Radissom Blu, which was included in the cruise package.

Calling the bar “blah” seems like a bad plan.

The included tour of the Spring Palance was a nice surprise, with lots of mosaics, which I really like.


After a bit more touring, we stopped for lunch in old town. We’d hoped to sample a few more local beers at Craft si Draft, but, alas it was still closed for Easter.

After an hour and a half bus ride, we arrived at Giurgiu to embark on our ship. The internet is really slow, so no more pics tonight. We’ve sailed across the Danube to Russe, Bulgaria and will be touring from Rousse tomorrow. We’ve signed up for “active” shore excursions the next two days.

Posted by Deb Godley 10:47 Archived in Bulgaria Comments (0)

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