Bulgarian ChamonixAugust 19 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C
Last night ended with a spontaneous invite from our campground neighbours from Germany. Over a glass of wine, they told us they would have been on the Pamir Highway this year if it wasn't for Corona.
In the morning, we left early as usual. There had been a thunderstorm with heavy rain during the night, so we didn't sleep too well. The roads were still wet and dirty, those crystal clear streams from yesterday had turned into mud brown rivers.
After a 42km descent, we stopped for breakfast, bought some fresh bread at a Lidl and sat down at a typical Bulgarian coffee place. Pretty ugly, but the coffee is good and cheap and we have chairs and tables to eat our breakfast.
Then we continued going South. First, we could cycle on a quiet secondary road, but had to turn into the main road once we headed into the next valley. We had to gain about 900m of elevation over 24km. It's not too steep, but no fun with lots of traffic. On the way, we saw lots of huge signs next to the road, advertisements for spas, resorts, clubs and alike, so we were already wondering if we had chosen the right place for us. But when we arrived in Bansko, it surprised us in a positive way. Once we had past the resort area, we got into a quiet residential area where our guesthouse was located. The owner was nice, he had received a package with spare bike parts for us. So we could spend the afternoon fixing my rear break.
Afterwards, we went exploring the town. Part of it is a typical ski resort with lots of bars, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs etc. But it also has a really nice historical center where we also had dinner at a restaurant.
Overall, Bansko is VERY empty this year, half of the stores and restaurants are closed. Our guesthouse owner told us that they have no foreign tourists at all this year and Bulgarians only come on the weekends. It's sad to see how Corona hit this town. But for us, the situation is kind of lucky as I don't think we'd enjoy the normal amount of tourists here.Read more