Nessebar, historic... and tacky!May 27, 2019 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
Late departure from Veliko Tarnavo today, so we had some time for a walk and shopping after breakfast.
Only one scheduled stop today on the way to Nessebar, and it was the village of Zheravna, an isolated village at the foot of the Balkan Mountains, with 500 inhabitants, and 300 houses mostly of the Revival Period of the 18th century. The architecture differs in this village because the traditional houses are made entirely from wood, with the stone used for the perimeter walls.
We arrived in Nessebar, on the Black Sea coast, in late afternoon, and had a bit of a kerfuffle getting into the old town - only residents and hotel guests can bring a vehicle into the old town, but you have to physically collect an entrance card from the hotel before you can enter, so Nadya had to walk 750m to the hotel to collect the card, then when she got back the card didn't work because the hotel forgot to check it "out"... so the system wouldn't let us in because it thought we were already in. The guard on the gate refused to open it manually and he insisted she walked back to the hotel to fix it, so, with our car now causing a major traffic jam, there was much swearing in Bulgarian and arm waving before it was sorted!
Nessebar exists in two parts separated by a narrow man-made isthmus, with the ancient part of the city on the peninsula (previously an island), and the more modern section on the mainland side. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and claims to have the highest number of churches per capita in the world - there are 41 churches, the oldest from the 5th century AD. Unfortunately it has also become a magnet for masses of (mainly) English, Russian and German package tourists, and the shops are a seemingly endless stream of tacky souvenirs and overpriced food amongst the spectacular old buildings.Read more