Monday, May 26, 2014

Plovdiv

Rode the train southeast to Plovdiv. After a walk down leafy Ivan Vazov we hit the Central Square and installed ourselves in Hostel Gramophone. Unfortunately, for the first time on this trip we changed hotels after one night as Hostel Gramophone is perched on top of Bar Gramophone and although the young man in charge of the hostel told us everything is quiet after midnight; it was in fact only quiet until midnight.

We liked Plovdiv. They have an Ancient Roman Theater perched on a hill above the Old Town, a Roman Stadium under the lively pedestrian main street, and some stylish 19th century Ottoman/Turkish houses. Not to mention several other hills, Thracian ruins, a couple of outstanding Bauhaus buildings, and some pretty good pizza-by-the-slice.

One day we excurted to nearby Assenovgrad by train, walked 13 kms to Bachkovo Monastery; then rode the bus back to Plovdiv.

Pleasant hours on the train to Plovdiv.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Pedestrian Mall.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

There is a partially excavated Roman Stadium near the Mosque and under the main street.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria>

More than several shots of the distinctive 19th-Century Ottoman-style houses.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Looking over the Old Town from the ancient acropolis.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

A couple shots of the Ancient Roman Theater which was uncovered only in 1972! They are setting up for a political rally for candidate #18.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Pedestrian street.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The Maritsa River and covered pedestrian bridge.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Leafy, shady Ivan Vazov Street.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Commuter train to Assenovgrad.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

St George Orthodox Church - Assenovgrad.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The Assenovgrad Ancient Roman Fortress and Church.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Looking SOUTH towards Bachkovo.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Remnants of the ancient road.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Stopped in Bachkovo for a drink, water bottle refill, and chat with this man who built the fountain in memory of his father.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The souvenir stand and snack stand gauntlet on the walk up to Bachkovo Monastary.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

The Monastery with church, monks (lurking on the upper veranda) and grounds.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Sometimes one sees old shoes by dumpsters. Donations to the poor I suspect.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

And finally more between-the-wars Modern architecture from Plovdiv: a house and a school.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, Bulgaria



2 comments:

Charles said...

I really liked Plovdiv also, although when I first arrived there and saw the area around the train station, I thought it looked like a dump with lots of dodgy looking businesses. Why do so many former Eastern Bloc countries have gambling shops everywhere?

The train I took from Sofia to Plovdiv was over an hour late leaving Sofia and I remember some guy who looked like a heroin addict wandering up and down the corridor selling magazines before we left.

Sun-Ling said...

@Charles, so good to hear from you! Finally decompressed from your travels?! We thought the area around Plovdiv train station was pleasant enough. Maybe all the leaves on the tree made the difference.

Ditto on the gambling shops. A guy in Romania said to us that the only football fans are gambling fans. In certain parts of China there are a lot of gambling mahjong games. Someone explained to me that one either has real economic opportunities (run their own business, has a job, ...) or hopes to get rich the quick way.