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 mike& tanya,s Bulgarian adventures

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mike&tanya
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Location : London & Kliment near Karlova.

PostSubject: mike& tanya,s Bulgarian adventures   Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:47 pm

First topic message reminder :

I intend to work my way through our various trips by year, and i will put places that you might find interesting in capitals, all of which can be looked up on internet to get much more detail.
2004
When i first met tanya in London, I like most people did not know much about Bulgaria. My first visit was in October (2 months after we got married) to visit her Tanya,s parents, who live in a village called Kliment which is close to the towns of Sopot - Karlova. We flew into Sofia Airport and were met by 2 of her close friends, the plan was to stop over night and go the the embassy the next morning before traveling on to the village. Unfortunatly no one told us that we had to get there before 10.00am otherwise they will not deal with you, and yes you guessed it we got there 10.20am. This meant another day in Sofia, I thought thats ok we will do a bit of sight-seeing (silly me), I was with 3 good looking fashion concsious woman so I got dragged up and down the up-market clothing shops for most of the day. We stayed another night in a very nice hotel in the foothills just outside of the city, and managed to get the paperwork sorted the next morning and get on our way to the village.
I got a very nice surprise on arrival in the village, the surrounding scenery was quite outstanding, being surrounded by lowwooded hills on one side that seem to go on forever, and acroos the valley much higher more rugged hills above Karlova, I never get tired of looking at this. I got a very warm welcome from Tanya,s parents and some of the neighbors, and enjoyed looking around the there property, which consisted of a traditionally built mud block bungalow, with a massive barn and a big plot of land full of all kinds of vegetables and fruit trees. There was also 13 sheep, a donkey, cats and a dog, it seems that during the communist times Tanya,s dad was a well respected shepherd until he retired
We spent a few days in and around the village and SOPOT - KARLOVA (they are almost joined together and I think of them as twin towns),and then went onto what was to become the first of many sight-seeing trips over the years. We went to SHIPKA-MONESTERY (very nice), which has a beautiful gold coloured domed roof and like all monestery,s full of brightly coloured icons and murals. From there we went onto an open air museum called ETAR (well worth a visit) which is full of original buildings dating back through the centuries and also demonstrations of Bulgarian culture and crafts. We then went onto a town called GABROVA which has a museum of humour (it was ok).
At the end of our holiday we were taken to Sofia Airport by a friend from the village, and on the way called into a very well preserved town called KOPRIVSTITSA, which although our time was limited , what i saw was very nice and I intend to go back and have a better look one day.

That it I hope you enjoy this installment and I will add more soon.

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mike&tanya
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Location : London & Kliment near Karlova.

PostSubject: Re: mike& tanya,s Bulgarian adventures   Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:59 pm

As a follow up to my last post, in the end we did not go to the show at Zharavna due to the fact that you are only allowed in wearing traditional costume, and although I probably could have got hold of some we decided to give it a miss.So consentrated on getting the Suzuki jeep sorted out.
We both flew out at the end of January 2017 for my usual 1 month and Tanya,s much longer stay.The skiing this year at Pamporova was organised by out friend Tina,s traditional dance troop, so we were added to there block booking, we stayed in an all inclusive Hotel that has a number of ditached bungalows in the grounds, we stayed in 1 of these.The only down side was that we had to be driven to the ski lift were as in the past we stayed in an apartment very close to the lifts. So i spent 3 days skiing with 12 Bulgarian women, although one of the husbands turned up for the last day.On another day we rented a couple of Skidoos and went on a mini safari, unfortunatly the guy in charge realised that i ride motorbikes and could probably be ok on the skidoo, so he put me at the back of the column, which got a bit frustrating as some of the people ahead of me did not have a clue and kept stopping or going very slowly.
After the skiing we went back to the village and messed around with the Suzuki jeep locally, and swam in an open air thermal pool at a spa centre nearby. As I said I flew home leaving Tanya with her parents A couple of weeks after getting home I hit my 65th birthday, and have now become officially a pensioner, its lucky I had paid into 2 good private pensions as the government one is not enough to live on in the UK, especially as I apparently opted out (advised by the government at the time) so i am getting the pension under the old system and not the figure we were all told we were going to get.

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PostSubject: Re: mike& tanya,s Bulgarian adventures   Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:06 am

Before going onto the summer trip 2017, I forgot to mention (I think maybe the age is clouding my memory), we spent a day both in Karlova and back at the village watching a large number of Kukeri troops performing. Kliment is a large active village by Bulgarian standards and has a big Kukeri troop that travel around Bulgaria and beyond. In fact Tanya,s mum used to make the costumes for the woman of the group (when she was younger) I have a photo somewhere with me dressed up in one of the mens costumes and Tanya and her best friend in the woman costumes. one of the guys in the village has made a Facebook site called Kliment Rose Valley if any one wants to look. After I flew home Tanya organised the builders to finish off the outside of the property with stone cladding and insulation, it now looks completely finished.
Onto the summer trip, when we had the upstairs of the bungalow extended I thought that we had done enough for now, but how wrong can you be. Tanya loves her kitchen and cooking, so when i got a tax free lump sum from one of my pensions, the inevitable conversation came up.She flew out before me and set the wheels in motion, originally we were going to do it in stages, but her parents gave her the green light to go big.So she had an arch pushed through from the room that used to be our bedroom downstairs into the kitchen and then a complete new kitchen with all the new appliances, and a floor fitted throughout, so now we have a modern kitchen and dining room.
When i flew out it was more or less finished, so while the builder was there, we got him to build what started off as a simple wooden wood storage area where the outside (very ugly) toilet used to stand halfway down the garden, but turned into a very nice (future BG area) with roof tiles and carved timbers, wood storage area. we think we have finished all of the larger jobs, but you can you never know.
it was not all work we took a trip to a complex called Damascena, which is a rose processing complex which has opened up to the public with very nice gardens, restaurant and the history of both the rose and Bulgarian culture. They are building a hotel there at the moment. There is a website for anyone interested. As you may know that part of Bulgaria is famous for the growing and processing of Roses for rose oil.
We had 4 friends come from Pomorie to try out the new kitchen and dining room, they stayed a couple of days and we took them up the lift above Sopot/Karlova, and also I ferried them about in the Suzuki Jeep to our small village thermal swimming pool that is in the middle of the fields fed by a pipe through the mountain from Hisaria.

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