Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Veliko Tarnovo

Gettting right to the point: Veliko Tarnova was amazing starting with the "15 minute uphill walk" from the train station to city center. Several gorges, or is it the same gorge, slice the town about 7 different ways; officially, the Yantra River (Danube tributary) cuts the city into three hills. Every few meters one gets a different panoramic view.

One day we toured the city and the Tsarevets Medieval Fortifications which are very cool. We also found a family run restaurant that served up some good vegetarian Bulgarian dishes. We went back two more times. ;-)

The second day we walked a big 24 kilometer loop to the Preobrazhenski (Transfiguration) Monastery with many other day trippers, old and young; then to Holy Trinity Monastery which is in fact a nunnery where you pull a cord by the gate that rings a bell - a nun looks out the peephole and then lets you in - no talking, no picking flowers; and then the nearby town of Arbanassi that is almost completely gentrified - better called a resort - then straight down the hill to Tarnovo.

The 3rd day we made an excursion by train one hour south to Tryavna, known for its architecture and woodcarving. We made some friends on the train, visited an old church and an old house, and finally bought a few souvenirs in the very touristed town. Not so bad, a day trip to Tryavan means we get to spend another day in Veliko Tarnovo.

Day One.

John on the train to Veliko Tarnovo.
Veliko Tarnovo, Romania

What a great city. Two days in row we picked up free beers (radlers - half beer, half grapefruit juice). And then drank them as we walked down the street.
Veliko Tarnovo, Romania

Monument (that can be seen from almost any spot in town it seems) commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Bulgarians are very nationalistic (have national pride).
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bugaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bugaria

Back street architecture.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

View to Tsarevets.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bugaria

Tsarevets Cathedral.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Sun-Ling scales Baldwin's Tower.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

View to Arbanassi The next day we would come charging down the trail beneath the power lines.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

First visit to favorite VT restaurant: veggie clay pot gyuvech (L) and mish mash (R).
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

What a view!
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Day Two.

Gaining elevation on the Red Stripe Trail on our way to Preobrazhenski Monastery.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Funky Bridge.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Getting out of a small gorge. Not as difficult as it may look. About fifteen ten-year-olds were right behind us. ;-)
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Heading NORTH with the Yantra River and the RR tracks below to our right.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Among the wildflowers were many wild roses.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Church at Preobrazhenski Monastery.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

View across the gorge to Holy Trinity Monastery perched below the cliffs.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

A bit harder to follow the hiking signs when they are in cyrillic. This one points to Holy Trinity Monastery or transliterated to Latin letters MANASTIR SVETA TROITSA.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Crossing the Yantra River at the bottom of the gorge. 
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Holy Trinity.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Following the Red Stripe Trail up and out of the gorge.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

More wild flowers.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Traditional house in Arbanassi.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Down the hill to Veliko Tarnovo.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Thistle!
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

The route.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

And the reward: two shots of rakia and a bottle from the local brewery.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Beans and Shopska salad.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Day Three.

Morning fog.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bugaria

Day trip to Tryavna: One of the 7 things you must do in Bulgaria is to eat pizza with ketchup (and mustard and mayo). Woohoo!
Tryavna, Bulgaria

Tryavna: The old school.
Tryavna, Bulgaria

The Daskalov  House.
Tryavna, Bulgaria

Tryavana streets and Clock Tower.
Tryavna, Bulgaria

Wood Carver.
Tryavna, Bulgaria

Church of Saint Archangel Mihael with stone roof.
Tryavna, Bulgaria

Tryavna Station.
Tryavna, Bulgaria

Typical V. Tarnovo architecture with overhangs and bricks.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bugaria

Meal #3.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bugaria

Veliko Tarnovo, Bugaria






2 comments:

Crash Eddy said...

Your hike track looks like a GPS track. Are you carrying a GPS? Or does your notebook have a built-in GPS?

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, our 7" Nexus has GPS. We are using Oruxmaps and hiking maps from http://www.openandromaps.org/en/. We seem to do more hiking because when you have the GPS, you just want to hike all the trails, haha.